Banana brand Chiquita has released a special artist edition of its ubiquitous stickers, designed by illustrator Ricardo Cavolo. Comprising five sticker designs, the collection is typical of Cavolo’s work, featuring an equal gender balance of characters with two sets of eyes in vivid colours, and a positive message behind each. Chiquita says it selected the illustrator because his “artistic universe is closely aligned with the brand,” featuring “intense, flamboyant colours, with exuberant use of yellow”.
Cavolo was also given license to customise the Miss Chiquita logo, created by Pink Panther creator Oscar Grillo in 1987. The renowned logo depicts a woman in a flamenco dress with fruit on her head – an evolution of the original 1944 logo by cartoonist Dik Browne, which depicted a banana in a dress. In Cavolo’s versions, each of the five stickers shows Miss Chiquita presenting a different motif with her aloft hand – a heart, star, flower, sun or shooting star – relating to the pattern on the background of the sticker.
In a video about the collaboration, Cavolo explains that he approached the project wanting to “talk about people” and though it is a commercial endeavour, it still embeds his personal values because “if it’s not personal it’s not real”. The four of the five stickers each focus on a different character, two male and two female, on a patterned background that represents something about that character’s persona. For instance, the boy with the shooting stars is a rare person, Cavolo says, with “something special about them – if you’re lucky you meet one of these people and you see life through their eyes,” he explains. The girl surrounded by suns is “solar – full of light,” and the boy surrounded by stars with a banana on his head is about dreams, and always looking up.
The fifth sticker simply features Cavolo’s trademark flaming heart with a crown, channelling his own philosophy for life. In this project he aimed to show what he enjoys finding and exploring in his work, the hidden qualities in people. “Doing this through the banana stickers all over the world is beautiful,” he says. “I really want to reach everyone in the world through my art. Hopefully people will keep it and use it. It’s like having a little piece of my heart on the stickers.”
The stickers will feature on Chiquita bananas globally over winter. Last year’s inaugural artist collection featured illustration by Brazilian artist Romero Britto.
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