The Future of Cereal Box Art



Will they still be magically delicious?


A well-trod path of critique, but ever relevant as the grotesque devolution seems unstoppable.

Twenty years later, and it’s as if we are permanently stuck with the worst of 1995-era character design trends and the infatuation of the period with the then-recent discovery of just how many gradients, bevels, and other effects Photoshop was capable of.


There are definitely signs that breakfast cereal sales are in decline; I remember reports from three years ago that Captain Crunch was no longer being actively marketed,. The future may hold strange things indeed.

Previously on BoingBoing: The Breakfast of the Gods webcomic, “a pitch-perfect spoof of contemporary grim’n’gritty superhero crossovers … featuring old-school cartoon cereal mascots”, whose web presence seems to have tragically disappeared at some point last year. Looks like the first part is still on blogspot, at least.

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The Lucky Charms we get over here are nothing like the fresh ones in Ireland.


I work in character and mascot development for advertising, and this would be funny if it was not true.
So many Art Directors want to reinvent something and be “fresh”, “New”, “Relevant” etc that they kill the charm of the original characters. At the same time this is all about the sugar rush and the visual hit it right on.


You can get a printed book of the comics – he did a KickStarter a few years ago to fund the book.
Breakfast Of The Gods | IndyPlanet

on the upside, at least by 2030 brands will be avoiding tropes about gingers


Pink Floyd called and says you’ve got some 'splaining to do to copyright lawyers.

Fake! That is totally photoshopped!

No it’s not. Rob went into the future and brought back a cereal box.

It was that or the cure for cancer. He stands by his decision.


Godammit I broke the like button.

Previously, on BoingBoing…

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From the recent examples I’ve seen, it does seem to be more about the (unconventional up-) lighting than the actual expression.

When cereal commercials started ending with “To be continued…” I knew things were in a downward spiral. And I cursed myself for not realizing it sooner. I should have known as soon as Lucky Charms added purple horseshoes. And they weren’t just introduced. They were rolled out in a series of commercials that promised a new marshmallow, and offered a “hint”. The hint was a purple horse holding up its hind legs.

At the time of course I merely focused on the fact that cereal marketers are a bunch of horse’s asses.


That’s part of the creepy factor, yes. That and the ‘designed to make eye contact with children to sell more’ thing, which is dystopian as hell. Not to mention the other very deliberate choices based on child psychology, taste addiction and assorted evil science.

But what’s most annoying to me (and, based on Rob’s previous postings on this subject, also to him) is the untimely death of perfectly nice, well-done, human-oriented design and illustration in favor of some horrible MAXIMUM EXTREEEEM $$$!!!1! ethos.

It’s not just a nostalgia thing. I for one was born in 80s Brazil so I didn’t ‘grow up with’ most of those mascots. It’s being sad that character designs with personality, quirky but solid graphic design with a childlike sensibility, and a variety of subtle or bold color palettes have all gone down the drain in favor of a uniform and soulless airbrushed crazy-eyed bold italic embossed beveled outlined rainbow saturated buy now damn you mess.

Sure, you might say it’s just commercial art, who cares if that went down the toilet when the product itself is promoting child diabetes (or any other loftier, more urgent complaint about low quality, high profit processed foods being a staple of many diets, or the disastrous results of cereal grain subsidizing policies / GMOs / whatever). And you’d have a point. Living with ugly, sad things is still living, and there are more serious issues to worry about. But as you know, we prefer things wonderful around here if we have the choice.


I believe Lucky Charms could be manufactured from the skulls of the rarest miniature lolcat and I would still skarf that shit down like it was…well, like it was Lucky Charms. It’s a sickness.

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Hey, look at the change in the Trix Rabbit.
He goes from sweet & speedy:

To stoned (that’s when the eyebrows happened as two rectangles):


(P.S. Notice the “X” emphasis.)


I’m sorry I neglected to share this earlier.