Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Little Traveler

I recently scrounged up this shopping bag from my closet to use for this class, remembering why I had kept it, which was because of the illustration. I received this with my purchase of a teaspoon from a unique shop called The Little Traveler located in Geneva, IL, a neighboring town from where I grew up.

I can’t find the illustrator for their logo, but it reminds me of Victorian-esque art. The image portrays a child holding some kind of toy boat, or a treasure to him as indicated by the way he is nestling it in his arms. He is illustrated in what looks like originally black pen or ink, atop of some ornamental cross-hatched design with scrolls or swirls resembling a platter or mirror or just something that would be hanging up as decoration in a Victorian household. In the center is the shop’s title in what seems to be hand-draw script type. The style of which the boy is illustrated resembles how people were portrayed in Rococo art (Victorian era artists stole some ideas from Rococo): sort of stocky, yet elegant.

The Little Traveler is a historic mansion with 36 rooms, or departments, carrying items such as tea, candy, antiques, cookware, china, silverware, furniture, clothing, books, jams, jewelry, crystal, and children’s toys. Most of these items come in from Europe or the Far East and are changing all the time. The Little Traveler started out with Kate and Edmond Raftery receiving an unusual tea from a friend of theirs, Lucy Calhoun, who traveled a lot and sent gifts to her friends in the US. Kate asked to send more because she knew her friends would enjoy the treasures. She collected them over time and displayed them in her living room, which turned into an afternoon tea and sale. By 1922, part of their Italianate Victorian residence became a shop.

I think the logo/illustration fits perfect for the store, as it hints at some of its history or foundation, and adds a fancy flair to the bag...which may persuade other Geneva shoppers/visitors to take a gander inside.


  1. First of all, I SO want to visit this place, it sounds perfect. Judging by your description of the store, the bag seems to fit nicely. If I were walking around Geneva and saw someone carrying this bag, I would definitely have to ask them where it came from.

  2. Good post.

    A question (for everyone): If you were interested in creating an illustration that could be used as a bag design, what would be the steps? Could you choose a place that you think needs a nicer bag, and what would you do to pursue that? Think of this a "real-world" assignment... How would you get your drawing on a bag for some business establishment or other institution?