Black and White

Posted in Fortune Magazine by DCroy on 4 May 2009
Black & White

Black & White

Black & White – a blended scotch that I don’t think exists anymore. There are really only three liquor companies left in the world and Shaw seems to’ve been bought by one of the at some point and the Black & White discontinued.

Because you totally care.

What’s interesting is how much the headline lettering looks like the faddishly popular (nothing wrong with that – I like it, too) font by Hoefler and Frere-Jones called “Gotham.”

It surged to prominence along with the Senator from Illinois, I think. But wierdly, H&FJ claim that their inspiration was signage, not print. Not that I care – design is a daisy chain of influences, and it’s not like they stole this, crudely digitized it, claimed it as their own and didn’t credit the original, like that other Obama-related design.

But they are danged close. Again, I don’t think it means anything in particular. Just an interestingish coincidence.

Above is the ad, below is Gotham (with a much better ampersand, btw).

B&W&H&FJ

B&W&H&FJ

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2 Responses

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  1. Jonathan Hoefler said, on 5 May 2009 at 6:43 am

    Hi David,

    That’s some lovely lettering! I hadn’t seen this one before, but it’s very much the kind of thing that went into Gotham. There’s a thing on our site that details the history of Gotham, which talks about the specific artifact that inspired the design (one of the signs on New York’s dumpy Port Authority Bus Terminal), but this sign is just part of a whole cultural milieu that includes all kinds of anonymous lettering just like this. I always think of this as the result of someone being told to “just put some basic lettering on there,” resulting in a whole generation of unexpected visual connections between car parks and liquor stores and even blended Scotch whiskies.

    Thanks for the shout out!

    JH

    • David Croy said, on 5 May 2009 at 7:16 am

      Wow, if I’d known you were going to read this, I would’ve paid more attention to the writing! Thanks for stopping by – it’s an honor, really. I’m a huge fan of your work. The subtleties of the curves that you guys achieve is a genuine pleasure.

      But as you were saying, yeah, there’s a lot of that basic lettering throughout the magazine, and it’s kind of wonderful that when you had a type guy doing it you ended up with something expressive and unique (and durable). Rather than just a typed-in and un-finessed line of Trajan or whatever.

      Thanks for stopping by!


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