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GUEST BLOG: The art of the pizza box

19th November 2013 - Scott Wiener


Scott Wiener developed his love of pizza growing up in New Jersey, before university and touring with a rock band opened his eyes to the regional and cultural variants of not just the pizzas but the boxes they came in. He blogs at Scott's Pizza Journal and also runs regular tours taking in the history, science and culture of New York City pizza.


He maintains the world 's largest archive of pizza boxes and he's picked out some of his favourites - the stylish, the ingenious and the downright peculiar - for new book Viva La Pizza!, the perfect gift for the discerning pizza lover in your life. Here, each with a little background information, are ten of the best.


Read our Q & A with Scott here





Working for his father-in-law's printing company in Brooklyn, Pasquale Trilli approached a nearby pizzeria on Columbia Street and Hamilton Avenue in 1955 with an offer to print custom boxes for just 5 cents apiece.The concept caught on a printed pizza boxes became standard in pizzerias throughout New York City and the north-eastern United States. Freeport Paper's current stock box was designed in 2008 by the company's senior production designer Holly Del Re, based on a painting by the artist Betty Whiteaker.




In the mid-1990s, Roma Foods celebrated the introduction of four-colour printing with a series of seasonal boxes. This Valentine's Day box (circa 1996) is one of the only Roma boxes that does not feature a company logo.




RockTenn is by far the biggest pizza box manufacturer in the United States. This box earned a bronze medal at the International Flexographic Printing Competition in 1998.




Another RockTenn pizza box. Rock Tenn currently produces 8 billion square feet of corrugated paperboard per year, the equivalent of 380 American football fields per day, which accounts for 65% of all pizza boxes in the United States.




Artist Ed Hardy was a fan of Tony's Pizza Napoletana in the North Beach section of San Francisco long before he designed this limited edition box. The four-colour spot print by Star Pizza Boxes was limited to a run of 10,000 and sold to customers for $3 on top of their pizza purchase.




This piece, created in Italy but discovered in Amsterdam, sports images that seem to resemble popular television characters from The Simpsons, although some significant details appear to have been changed to avoid legal complications.




In the summer of 2011, Larry Santora, the owner of Picasso's Pizzeria in Buffalo, New York, commissioned the local artist Michael Biondo to create this image of an inviting Italian vilage. The original piece was created with pastels and photographed for reproduction as a four-colour process print. The chalkboard sign reads: He who finds Picasso's finds a treasure.




The Venetian scene on this box lid is actually an 80-piece puzzle. The concept comes courtesy of a now-defunct company called PackToy, who planned to sell the boxes as an added value for pizzeria customers. Other options included boxes that could transform into a soccer field, a dinosaur statue or a model airplane.




Domino's Japan launched a stunning campaign in March 2013 featuring this bizarre box. The character in the centre, Hatsune Miku, is a singing synthesizer application with a humanoid persona. She can be programmed to make human vocalisations with a built-in sound bank.




Luca Ciancio fell into the pizza box business in 1998 when a friend asked him for a pizza box illustration that went beyond standard fare. He has since produced illustrations for more than 250 pizza boxes.

Featured on this exampe, is Neapoltian actor Antonio de Curtis, better known by his stage name Totò, who made a name for himself with comedic performances in mid-20th-century films, earning comparisons with Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin. He appears here with the most famous Neapolitan actress, Sophia Loren.




Thanks for writing this interesting blog. Yes the pizza box looks very cute and attractive. I will look forward at the more boxes with the more attractive one. Regards,

john 29/11/2013 - 29/11/2013
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