A Can pin

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I’ve always liked badges, and I especially like the enamel pin variety even though I tend to buy them then not wear them very much for fear of losing them. This handsome item arrived a couple of days ago from an eBay seller, and is the first Can-related pin I’ve come across. After Kraftwerk, Can were the most popular of the German groups in the Britain of the 1970s but I’ve never seen any Can badges or anything else related to them from that decade aside from the records. The resurgence of interest in German music—Krautrock, if you must—has prompted the badge manufacturers who populate eBay, Etsy and elsewhere to create a number of items based on the record covers of Can, Neu!, Harmonia and others. The quality isn’t always very good but then badges in the 1970s were often crude designs as well. You can’t go wrong with a simple logo but shrinking an album cover down to 25 mm isn’t always a good idea. A couple of years ago I bought three Can badges from another eBay seller; two of them, with logo designs taken from sleeves, were okay but the third, based on the Future Days album cover was poorly printed. This pin equivalent is much better, as well as being one of the few Can sleeves you could transform in this manner. The raised gold lines are a good match for the Art Nouveau-styled design by Ingo Trauer and Richard J. Rudow which was embossed on the original German pressing. The group may have been popular in Britain but UA gave British Can-heads a flat sleeve.

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The same eBay seller also makes these Kraftwerk pins which I bought a while ago. I’d still prefer to have the traffic cone without the band name—something that only aficionados would recognise—but it was good to find a pin based on the early years of the group’s career, the period which Kraftwerk themselves have long disowned. The seller recently added a new design with the same traffic cone in green as it is on the Kraftwerk 2 album cover, but the green cone was only a variation on a theme, the orange leitkegel is the ubiquitous and definitive icon of the pre-Autobahn years.

Previously on { feuilleton }
Holger’s Radio Pictures
Jaki Liebezeit times ten
Can esoterics
Can soundtracks
The kosmische design of Peter Geitner
Reworking Kraftwerk (again)
Leitkegel
German gear
Autobahnen
Ralf and Florian
Can’s Lost Tapes
Reworking Kraftwerk
Autobahn animated
Sleeve craft
Who designed Vertigo #6360 620?
Old music and old technology
A cluster of Cluster
Aerodynamik by Kraftwerk