Nigel advertising. Figure 2 Campbell’s Soup Can Figure 3

Nigel Simpkins




The 20th century is a revolutionary
for the art as a result of numerous social and political changes. It has
created an entirely new perception of art and the world itself. However, one
movement stood up from the others- the Pop Art. Emerging in the 50’s in Britain
and later in America, Pop Art became an art movement that reflected youth’s
revolt to conventional views on what art should be. Among the first artists
that showed this movement to the world was Andy Warhol. As he was struggling to
gain recognition as a real artist he tried to be even more unique than the
existing pop art artist by completely changing the motif. Warhol found his
inspiration in consumer goods, i.e his favourite Campbell’s Soup.

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Many still question what makes this
painting a piece of art and what is the difference between a regular soup can
and Campbell’s.Therefore this essay has an aim to
analyze Andy Warhol’s work comparing to an everyday object-a tomato can and how
this art piece did not only influence the art world but also the consumeristic
society and advertising.



Figure 2 Campbell’s Soup Can                                                         Figure 3 Campbell’s Soup Cans, Andy
Warhol, USA, 1962


Soup Cans” consists of thirty-two canvases and each consisting of a painting of
a Campbell’s Soup can—each measuring 51 cm in height × 41 cm in width and one
of each of the canned soup varieties the company offered at the time. These paintings
are one of Warhol’s first silkscreening works by using stencils for each color.
The painting consists of an outlined Campbell’s soup (tomato soup in this case)
based on color ( white & red) and typography- several typefaces.


On the other hand, I have a 3D
everyday object, a 1€ Greek can of mashed tomatoes. As the Warhol’s work, the can has 2 colors, red and white, one typeface,
but unlike the Campbell’s can it uses an image as a depiction of the content.
The image is placed on the insight of a label and above it there is the body
copy of the etiquette.


Figure 4 Greek Tomato Can


But what makes Campbell’s soup can so
different than this regular tomato can? One of the main

ideas of the Pop Art culture was to
force the society to reflect on the theme of consumerism.

A lot of Pop Art used irony as a means
to critique the banality, capitalist, and consumerist nature

of society. While Richard Hamilton’s (1956) artwork ‘what is it that makes today’s homes so

different, so appealing?’ asks us to
be critical of current society, Warhol’s work puts our cultural/

everyday objects into plain view to
allow society to make our own judgements.

Nowadays if you go to a market where
there are Campbell’s soup and any other, your eyes will only focus on the
Campbell’s. This was a win-win situation for both sides, Warhol became famous
because of this canned soup, and vice versa- the soup gained popularity because
of Warhol.

From today’s perspective, this Greek
canned tomatoes could gain popularity by improving its

design that will catch everybody’s
eyes. The simplicity of the Campbell’s soup it’s what caught

Warhol’s eyes. It does not necessarily need
to have an image of the content to depict the insight

of the product. Campbell’s soup can
consists of 3 different typefaces that break the monotony of

colors. Moreover each of the typefaces
is different, sans serif, serif and condensed, but it does

not bother the concept. However, seems
like the Greek designer was afraid to combine fonts, so

he/she uses only one but with different
font style- regular, bold and italic.



What is dominating is the Campbell’s type
logo that is placed on the top of the label while on the Greek can the image is the one that gets
the attention. When it comes to the design, even if the Campbell’s soup was not famous because of
Warhol, it would definitely be brought first comparing to the regular tomato can.

Inspired by Warhol’s art I
designed two design proposals for tomato soup label. Both of them are depicting
a tomato in an art/design movements from 20th century. My idea is to
show the label and the product as a piece of art.  The first one is inspired by Jackson’s
Pollock abstract expressionism.  A
splashed tomato was my first association while I was looking at his paintings.
The fonts that are used are handwritten ones, giving to the design a personal
touch by the artist (chef, in this case) as the tagline is ‘Our chef’s


Figure 5 My design proposal I


The second design is based on
principals of minimalism, inspired by minimalist movie posters from various graphic
designers. All that this design contains is red background and tomato’s leaf  in the center, followed by the title and tagline:
Chef’s work of art.


Figure 6 My design proposal II





Design is the new ‘being painted by a
famous Pop Art artist’. As the Pop Art boosted or declined

consumerism the design does the same
nowadays. The Greek regular can can be the greek

Campbell’s soup by improving its design. The
Campbell’s soup is an object that transformed itself

from an everyday to a cultural object.
It shows how can one regular thing make something

revolutionary both in art and society.
A good design can do the same thing for any object. It is a

tool that gives power to great ideas
and concept. Maybe there will never be something so

impressive in the world of art as Pop
Art but that is a challenge to the modern society, to find its

own Warhol.