Last year my wife went to Berlin on a research trip and I was stuck at home. To make me feel better she brought back a suitcase of weapons grade licorice. I’ve savored it over the months and my supply is almost out but there’s one item I can’t bring myself to eat. Its a package of 3 sweet cream licorice bars (like chocolate bars, but licorice flavored instead of chocolate flavored). I can think of few treats I’d rather eat. Cruelly, the package of this is so perfect that I can’t imagine destroying it for the temporary pure joy of eating. I’m happy to share the packaging with you, fortunately you can’t upload the taste of licorice to my webhost.

The printing is a classic early 20th century advertising vernacular reminscent of the Beggarstaffs or Lucien Bernard. The gold ink complements the simple flat red and black that make up an image that connotes exoticism and luxury through the most modern of conveyances, the steam ship. Once opened we are presented with a handsome if somewhat disconcerting trademark of an enormous licorice plant taking root on the earth. On the reverse side is a wonderfully confident description of the licorice that starts by comparing the product to mother’s milk and finishes with a reminder to breath. Beneath that lies the second image of the steamer, perfectly aligned to sail across the horizontal seam of simple, delicate wax paper that envelops the object of our desire. The proportions of the three thin bars are a beautiful, balanced golden rectangle. Each is molded with the image of the steam ship. You can see that my excitement got the best of me and I was unable to adequately frame this last picture. Immediately after I took this final photograph I quickly slipped the licorice back into its beautiful case lest I be overwhelmed with the urge to sample these precious bars of pure joy and forever mar the effect of their perfect beauty.