In the beginning there were labels

Welcome to Matchbloc book and prints. The book and collection of prints showcase part of an extensive collection of mid century modern matchbox labels from the Eastern Bloc belonging to Glasgow based Web Designer Jane McDevitt.

Jane's interest in design and history led her to the art & design section at her local library where she happened upon a small book containing historical matchbox labels from around the world. She soon became hooked - not only fascinated with the beautiful illustrations but keenly interested in how label design and illustration could reach a mass audience and yet remain relatively under-acclaimed. The labels most of interest to Jane are of Post-war labels from the Eastern Bloc. As we might expect, images of power and revolution, industry and national pride were numerous, but so too was public service information such as health and hygiene, money saving, alcohol abuse and road safety. These messages were dispatched through eye-catching mid-century bold contemporary design and bright colours. They are not only a delight for collectors but leave behind an extraordinary and important social archive.

Eager to share her inspiration, there are approx 3,000 images from her collection on flickr.

Book

Over a pint with her pal Neal from Present & Correct the idea of Matchbloc the book was born. First published in 2019 the book sold out pretty quickly and is currently in its second edition.

Prints

Jane has teamed up with Glasgow photographer and printer Peter Byrne to create Matchbloc - an online shop selling label prints and the book. We plan to expand our collection of new prints regularly so stay tuned and please sign-up to our email newsletter to keep updated.

If you have a favourite label that you've seen on flickr or in the book and would like it as a print we may consider adding it, so please just drop us an email with any questions or suggestions.

Keeping it green

Printed using the museum standard Giclée print process with archival pigment inks to ensure fine art quality and longevity.

Printed on 290gsm archival Hahnemühle bamboo paper, the world’s first fine art inkjet paper made from 90% bamboo fibres, for a natural look and environmentally friendly paper production. Hahnemühle bamboo paper is acid free, contains no optical brightening agents and is supplied by FSC accredited sources.

Posted in plastic-free packaging where possible. We use cardboard that comes from 70% recycled stock.

We print on demand to reduce waste.

Giving a little back

For every print sold we will donate £1 to Refuweegee. They provide provisions and a warm welcome to people forcibly displaced arriving in Glasgow.