S5 Variant View-Master Packet

S5 Packet Style

circa 1960-1963

S5 front S5 back
front back

With the S5 packet style the cover photograph broke out of the frame imposed by the previous S3 and S4 designs to occupy the full face of the envelope; many collectors consider this to be the high point of View-Master packet design.

Typography was minimized on the packet front, to avoid detracting from the cover image. Most covers included only the packet title and the slogan "View-Master 21 stereo pictures," uniform from packet to packet and again employing the art décoratif V-M logo. All other textual elements were moved to the back of the envelope; these included the packet number (set diagonally at the lower right), a list of all the packet's 21 images, and promotional copy for other subjects in the View-Master catalog.

Unlike all earlier packet designs, the S5 envelope back had an open gap approximately 1/2 inch wide. Each shrink-wrapped packet contained a reel/packet list the purchaser could use to order additional titles by mail directly from Sawyer's. This order form was packed with a leaf of carbonized paper rearmost in the envelope; a code number was stamped onto the form through the envelope gap as a packet was prepared for shipping to a retailer. The code uniquely identified the dealer so that, if the mail-order form was used for a direct purchase, a portion of the sale could be credited to the dealer's account with Sawyer's.

The physical design of the envelope introduced in the S5 period, including the open gap on the reverse side, persisted until the introduction of blisterpack packaging in the early 1980s.

 



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The View-Master Ultimate Reel List created by Keith Baird.
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