Made in U.S.A.
The Made In U.S.A. mark is a country of origin label, indicating the product is “all or virtually all” made in the United States of America. A Made in U.S.A. claim (a.k.a, American-made) represents quality, style and certifies 100% of both to the customer. This claim has changed over time from its origin in the 1920s to 1950s to our present time.
In the 1920s, Ford started producing over one million automobiles a year. World War I had ended and America (and the rest of the world) began paying attention to Ford's Model A. Americans began to feel pride in being American and the culture coined the phrase Made in U.S.A. At the time, American design was known for lush handmade typography and an incredible attention to quality. [ 1 ]
During the 1950s, American consumerism exploded. Advertising trends were established in the cultural and economic environment of the times. All traditional media, such as radio, newspapers and magazines remained vital ad conduits, but TV quickly established itself as a cornerstone of many advertisers’ national media plans. Today, we may know it better as the era of “Mad Men” advertising. [ 2 ]
In 1952, Michigan State University became the first university in the world to offer a degree in Packaging Engineering, fueling the growth of packaging design and further developing the claim of Made In U.S.A. American design started to take its distinct form with colorful packaging that still maintained the lush handmade typography of the 1920s. Traditional values began to meet the new values influenced by emerging designers such as Charles and Ray Eames.
Over the last sixty years, American design has evolved along with the times, while still maintaining many of its roots. It retains qualities from its inception in the 1920’s and boom in the 1950’s, yet has also come to redefine the cultural and economic environment of today. We have taken back the idea of the American Dream by creating our own version of it. More than ever, consumers support and buy American handmade products.
With that in mind, and in honor of celebrating America’s Independence Day, we have selected several packaging projects that uphold the Made in U.S.A. claim. They are designed by American studios or designers and are produced in the good ol’-U.S.A.