If you’re a fan of early-mid 20th-century design then this is the day for you! Florida Memories, a site run by the State Library of Florida, has released a library of more than 600 crate labels from fresh produce industries from the 1920s to 1950s.

This is an amazing archive with a variety of design and typographic styles. Looking through the archive you can see how styles and themes evolved over the years.

Paper crate labels were used in Florida from the late 1800s until the 1950s. The earliest paper labels were fairly generic and often didn’t include a brand name. Starting in the 1920s, advertisers began developing more complex marketing strategies, aiming to entice buyers with colorful brand names and imagery.

Florida Memory
A citrus label for Clipper Brand Florida Citrus Fruit from Keen Fruit Corporation of Frostproof, Florida. State Library of Florida, Florida Collection, Florida Crate Label Collection.

As with most archives, there’s also some questionable imagery in there. While most companies nowadays know what faux pas to avoid in marketing, it is still interesting seeing what phases companies went through. For obvious reasons we didn’t include any of these in our gallery below, but if you’d like to see what we’re talking about check out Mammy BrandDixieland BrandBrave Vegetables and Indian Chief.

With that, here’s our gallery of some of our favourite labels from the archive…