For four years, photographer and illustrator Akil Alparslan set aside a few hours a day to work on an ambitious project. Nostalgic for the days when he shot on film, Alparslan had initially set out to draw a box of the Fujicolor HR 400 film he used when starting out. The intent was to print it and set the 2D replica next to his camera. But this initial illustration spun into a deeper project, one that spanned several years and ended with 1,000 illustrations of 35mm film boxes.
Alparslan's digital illustrations are both an homage to times gone by and a meticulous collection of film history. From big names like Polaroid, Agfa, and Kodak to a niche brand like Ogapan, Alparslan worked on each 35mm box with the same amount of precision and detail.
“I was able to reproduce these colorful and cute boxes that were lost in time; it was such a nice, refreshing feeling,” the Turkish artist tells My Modern Met. “Although I started the project to keep my memories alive, my aim has evolved and changed to concentrate on a great graphic work that has not been done before.”
To get each box exactly right was the biggest challenge of the project. While Alparslan spent a lot of time devoted to research, scouring books, magazines, advertising brochures, and the internet, it was not always easy to find images of all sides of the box. However, finding all the graphics and being able to complete the drawing was one of Alparslan's favorite parts of the process.
The fonts also presented a challenge, with Alparslan having to draw some of the characters himself. But, in the end, all of the time and effort were worth it. Not only did he meet his goal of designing 1,000 boxes, but he also created a beautiful resource for photography lovers.
“Anyone who is a film photographer and is at an age where they remember the times they saw film boxes on the shelves is happy to see this project,” he shares. “It reminds many of those days they forgot in their photography adventures. It is also a colorful visual collection that will encourage young people to take up film photography.”
To see all of the film boxes Alparslan designed, check out the FilmLab Flickr.