An independent archive of typography.

PingPong Foods

Contributed by Florian Hardwig on May 11th, 2019. Artwork published in
circa 1977
PingPong Foods 1
Source: License: All Rights Reserved.

Lucky was designed by André Pless and selected by Mecanorma for publication as a competition winner in c. 1972. The charmingly naïve face with the circular counters and the horizontal contrast made it all the way from France to Singapore, where it became the brand typeface of PingPong Foods Pte Ltd.:

The name PINGPONG is synonymous with Meatballs, and Ping Pong Beefball was established in 1977 manufacturing bouncy and springy beefballs supplying initially to food stalls, then restaurants, hotels and supermarkets.

I don’t know who designed the identity and when, but I can very well imagine that Lucky has been used by PingPong since the company’s beginnings. The shop sign above shows that a few modifications were made to the typeface: the i dot was enlarged, s is custom, and t got a bar. Yes, Lucky’s original t does without a bar. The PingPong Meatballs logo additionally has a custom narrow M. Don’t miss the mirrored l in “Meatballs”, which yields yet another circular interletter counter.

The logo variant on the packaging shown further below includes the Chinese characters for PingPong, 乒乓. They have been luckified, too – how cool is that?!

PingPong Foods 2
Source: Justin Zhuang. License: All Rights Reserved.
PingPong Foods 3
Source: Google Street View, 2018. License: All Rights Reserved.
The Latin script used on the packaging is . I’m grateful for any pointers regarding the Chinese typeface.
Source: License: All Rights Reserved.

The Latin script used on the packaging is Forte. I’m grateful for any pointers regarding the Chinese typeface.

PingPong Foods 5
Source: License: All Rights Reserved.

7 Comments on “PingPong Foods”

  1. Is there any better typeface for Ping Pong Meatballs?

  2. I can’t think of one!

    Mecanorma maintained an impressive network of distributors all over the world. The Graphic Book No. 14 from 1988 lists 71 addresses in 64 countries. Their partner in Singapore was Kingsley Art Centre Pte Ltd on 68 Orchard Road 03–36.

  3. Mark De Winne says:
    May 17th, 2019 1:21 pm

    WOW. Love this. I’ve been documenting oddball signage in Singapore but don’t live near Siglap. Definitely going to try and take this one soon before it gets replaced.

    I’m not sure Kingsley Art Centre still exists. It’s definitely no longer at 68 Orchard Road as the entire plot got redeveloped. (It’s now a mall, and was an older mall previously).

  4. Hi Mark,

    as you surely found out yourself, Kingsley Art Centre is later listed on 1 Coleman Street, #4–51, The Adelphi, with “status: dissolved”. Another directory mentions January 1983 as the date of incorporation / registration. It’s probably irrelevant anyway: There are many ways how a Mecanorma typeface could have ended up in the hands of the sign maker / logo designer.

  5. Justin says:
    May 18th, 2019 8:15 am

    Also note the typefaces of Myriad Condensed for the ingredients and Avant Garde for the “NUTRITION INFORMATION” text.

  6. The Chinese type is 方正康体 (test text string: 牛肉鸡肉香菇猪肉牛筋丸), based on the calligraphy of 康有為 (Kang Youwei), written by contemporary calligrapher 贝威扬, digitized by and published at FounderType.

  7. That’s wonderful! Thank you, Ruìxī. I made a page for this typeface – I assume this is the same design that’s also known under the transliterated name FZ Kang Ti, no?

Post a comment