Our photo essay originates in England, circa 1957. It was there and then that a colorful package of cheese inspired one person (unknown) to start a collection of dairy labels, neatly organized in a scrapbook. His or her now-vintage collection--found orphaned on eBay--is a virtual journal of cheese branding in the mid-20th century.
Reproduced here, these graphic labels look just as the originals would have if you could step back in time, back to a day when bright, hand-rendered package art was a novelty and innocence wasn't, and long before a blitz of color-soaked multimedia outlets emerged all around us. Once upon this time, artists illustrated a label to tell a story, evoke a feeling, with a single bright image. For many people such labels were the only artwork they saw from week to week.