Art is such a huge part of our everyday lives that we may hardly stop to think about it anymore. Look around you. Someone designed the frames of the door and the shoes you are wearing. Similarly, someone designed a salmon can label a specific way for a reason.
Labels from the West Coast fishing industry reveal not only histories, but also print technology, design, and early marketing psychology. They have helped us document a causal record of cannery origins, ownerships, and ideologies at a particular point in time. For instance, during World War II, 80% of canned salmon was shipped over to Britain to support our troops overseas. Salmon was in high demand but branding was still important and local wartime advertising was encouraged to maintain a good presence post-war. Based on the idea that women and children were at home while men were oversees fighting for our country, the company cleverly formulated a plan to appeal to their market. For this reason, the Canadian Fishing Company contracted the Walt Disney Company to create a variety of cartoons for promotional purposes. Thus, “Sammy” Gold Seal (aka “Sammy Salmon”), “Wally” Walrus, “Percy” Panda, “Pete” Pelican, and “Sneak” Seagull were created.
It was “Love at First Bite” for the Canadian Fishing Company when “Sammy Salmon” was created, which also makes for a very catchy slogan!
You can find out more about these characters here.
Source: Trademarks and Salmon Art: A Brand New Perspective. The book is also available for sale at the Gulf of Georgia Cannery Store!