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PHOTOS: History of Vegeta packaging design exhibition opens in Zagreb

(Photo: Podravka)

ZAGREB, 3 February, 2020 – An exhibition looking back at six decades of the most famous Croatian product through design, image and words has opened in Zagreb. 

The exhibition Vegeta 60 – a little package full of history opened at the Croatian Society of Fine Artists (HDLU) in Zagreb on Friday night.

Vegeta is Croatia’s most successful brand and is sold in over 60 markets around the world and 60 years of production of the internationally renowned Croatian spice is being celebrated with a number of events, including this exhibition. 

The exhibition showcases the historical development of Vegeta packaging and graphic design over the past 60 years, which has always been one step ahead of time. 

(Photo: Podravka)

In addition to 60 museum exhibits of Vegeta’s packaging over the years, the exhibition also contains a large amount of archival material, photographs, old commercials, clips from the legendary show “The Little Secrets of the Great Masters of the Kitchen” and texts that bring to life the story of a favourite product of many generations.

(Photo: Podravka)

Thanks to the enthusiasm of the author of the exhibition, Drazenka Jalsic Ernecic, the exhibition on packaging development and design of Vegeta is actually a story about space, time and people. It also reveals a number of lesser-known designers of Vegeta, including the recently deceased Dusan Bekar, who created graphic designs for the brand in the 1970s. The design and packaging of Vegeta’s first cardboard box in 1959 is the work of the then largest advertising agency Ozeha and creative director Dusan Mrvos.

”Emphasis on industrial and graphic design of the most famous Croatian spice, marketing experts, agency people, creatives, designers, illustrators and typographers is a small but important contribution to the study of design history and visual communications in this region,” said the exhibition’s author, Drazenka. Jalsic Ernecic.

Celebrated designer Mirko Ilic, who came from New York where he lives and works just for the opening, explained his emotional connection to Podravka. Ilic was the author of the illustrations of Podravka’s first corporate catalog in 1985, and is now preparing the design of a special edition of Vegeta to mark the 100th birthday of Zlata Bartl, the team leader who invented Vegeta in Podravka’s research laboratory in the late 1950s.

(Photo: Podravka)

“I did my first job for Podravka at Zagreb film when I was only 17 years old, and from the second job in the 80s and the money I earned, I painted a house in Zagreb. Vegeta has been part of my whole life, it is the spice of my youth and when you put it in your mouth you feel like you remember everything that happened five or 50 years ago. There are also numerous anecdotes, and I often say that my mother used to come to New York and cook for my son a vegetarian, always of course with Vegeta, with whom, as she says, she could save every meal,” said Mirko Ilic.

Speaking of Vegeta, Podravka’s CEO Marin Pucar could not hide his emotions.

“Maybe today we are not even aware of the value we have and what it has created through Vegeta, not only Podravka, but also Croatia. From a product that was created in 1959 to the present day, a globally known brand present in 60 countries of the world. Today, with Vegeta, we buy a spice with emotion, and this exhibition just gives us the opportunity to bring back memories, recall moments with our loved ones, our grandmothers and mothers who cooked with Vegeta. I believe that this retrospective of Vegeta’s packaging will awaken memories and emotions, evoke scents and flavuors with a spice whose packaging has always been one step ahead of time, ”said Marin Pucar, CEO of Podravka.

(Photo: Podravka)

The exhibition is open to visitors until February 18th. The spatial conception and layout of the exhibition is the work of the Zagreb agency Brigada, and the visual identity of the exhibition and the design of the catalog are signed by Bruketa&Žinić&Grey. 

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