The Anthology of Pizza Box Graphic Design: Yes, Yes, A Million Times Yes

I knew I was in luck as soon as I walked in the door — all around were signs that I was in the right place: delivery drivers running around with stacks of boxes, tasty-looking slices at the counter, and the constant din of cooks shouting at each other in Greek.

My intuition was right on the money — the three slices Mr. Max and I shared solidly make the list of “top ten pizzas I have known.” There wasn’t anything fancy about them — no arugula, or feta, or pesto — but these simple cheese slices had everything: a tangy but not overpowering tomato sauce, high-quality ingredients, and texture that transcends the state of just “bread and cheese.”

And all wrapped up in a classic box design — perfection. Let’s break it down:

Generic Product Claim: “Oven Fresh.” It’s a classic generic claim that, if you really think about it, doesn’t make any sense. Doesn’t ALL pizza come out of an oven? I mean, I’ve been in some pretty nasty pizza places, but the only time I’ve ever seen the union of pizza and a microwave was on an Amtrak. And you can’t really call that food, much less pizza.

Italian Stereotype: This Italian stereotype comes to us, seemingly, by way of the Pillsbury Doughboy. It’s still a classic racist stereotype, but it’s WAY more cartoony/wacky than the usual Mario/Luigi caricatures. I’m a little confused by the shoe situation, though. It seems a little disembodied looking…but maybe that’s just a screenprinting goof?

Rating: Whole thing gets a win. A classic design for a classic pizza joint. Fun fact: Mr. Max and I picked this up making a marathon one-day trip into the City. The memory of the goodness of the pizza sustained us for the grueling trip back in the middle of the night.  It was that good.

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