Lighting up our screens today is a new collection of luxury matchboxes celebrating modernist architecture in all its illuminated glory. Illustrated by London printmaker and artist Paul Catherall, the packaging design strikes a happy balance between our love of Brutalism and bold linocuts.
Under a new brand called London Strike, the matchboxes have been released today by Blue Crow Media, an award-winning publisher of distinctive city guide maps and more, including an ongoing celebrated series dedicated to Brutalist architecture. The company approached Paul Catherall earlier this year to come up with two gorgeous matchbox designs, the first featuring the Trellick Tower.
Marking its 50th anniversary last year, the Grade II listed tower block in North Kensington has offered endless inspiration to the creative community, appearing in adverts, films and songs, and even famous books, such as J. G. Ballard’s dystopian novel High Rish and its 2016 film adaptation directed by Ben Wheatley.
It also makes an appearance in several music videos: Blur refers to the tower in its Best Days song. But enough about its history; this week, we’re introduced to an illustrated matchbox that heralds Ernő Goldfinger’s high-rise concrete creation.
Donned in Paul Catherall’s iconic style, it’s a type of architecture that the artist knows only too well. His impactful linocuts of architectural landmarks are instantly recognisable, whether on Tube posters, book covers, or, in this case, matchboxes. Clean and sharp with a striking colour palette of blue, green and pink, the balanced artwork has that same graphic edge that we’ve come to expect from Paul.
This love for Brutalist and Modernist buildings began in Paul’s youth, as he was raised in Coventry, surrounded by concrete icons along the city’s skyline. Now based in London, he has continued this passion and made controversial buildings, such as the Elephant and Castle Shopping Centre and Telecom Tower, the subject of his prints, alongside more celebrated structures like Tate Modern or Battersea Power Station.
The Trellick Tower is the latest building to get his expert eye that draws on the best of classic midcentury poster design. It’s available to purchase via Blue Crow Media’s online shop today and will be followed by a second matchbox in the series, one that will feature the Barbican. Containing 100 large wooden blue-tipped matches, the product is too good to spoil and will most likely make a new ornament on your beloved office shelf.