Huffpost Books

The Awesome Art Of Pizza Boxes (NEW BOOK)

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Melville House

Food has long been an artistic subject, and a means of showing off technical chops. Gazing at still lifes by the likes of Pieter Claesz or Paul Gaugin never fail to make us hungry. But art can also be a means of advertising food products.

"Viva La Pizza!" [Melville House, $18.35], a recently published collection of "weird and wild art" found on pizza boxes, illustrates just how innovative food sellers can be when designing packaging for their products.

Check out these 9 surprisingly artistic pizza boxes:

  • Picasso’s Pizzeria in Buffalo, NY commissioned local artist Michael Biondo to create this image of an inviting Italian village.
  • 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. Although it has no official title, the image is affectionately known within the company as “Saks Fifth Avenue” or, more simply, “Café.” The pizza maker in the bottom left-hand corner has been a trademark of Freeport Paper since the 1970’s.
  • In the late 1990’s, Roma Foods introduced a series of pizza boxes that featured typical scenes from different Italian cities. The first-edition image of Venice was RockTenn’s first four-color pizza box, which opened the floodgates for box-top image design
  • "Season’s Greetings.” This box earned a bronze medal at the International Flexographic Printing Competition for RockTenn’s Wakefield facility in 1998.
  • This Valentine’s Day box (circa 1996) is one of the only Roma boxes that does not feature a company logo.
  • This four-color spot print, designed by artist Ed Hardy for Tony’s Pizza Napoletana in San Francisco, was limited to a run of 10,000 and sold to customer for $3 on top of their pizza purchase. Proceeds were donated to charity.
  • Neapolitan actor Antonio De Curtis, better known as Totò, appears with the most famous Neapolitan actress, Sophia Loren.
  • Created in Italy but discovered in Amsterdam, the piece sports images that seem to resemble popular television characters, though significant details have been changed.
  • From a now-defunct company called PackToy, the Venetian scene on this box lid is actually an eighty-piece puzzle.

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