Yeesh. This isn’t calligraphy, it isn’t typography, it isn’t even legible* – it’s just a jumble of vaguely letterish-formed computer shapes.
That’s in the first place. In the second place, why? What does this look have to do with the 00’s, with obituaries, with anything? I totally appreciate the Times’ dedication to innovative lettering, but come on. Just, yuck.
*Look, we live in the modern world of the Internet (or as I like to call it, the “cyber” age). It might look good big on your own screen, or printed out, but if it’s this pixellated at the published size (and these are the actual published sizes), it’s just wrong.
This isn’t great. Good, but not great. I’m including it because it’s a nice variation on a script. The w especially is noteworthy. But other than that, let’s face it – who gives a shit about New Zealand? Though it would’ve been kind of fun to address a letter to “New Zealand Government” – the whole government – asking about pony treks and hotel amenities.
I do like the lettering, and love the noir look. But the dawn of the ID Bracelet Age seems a forerunner of some kind of nebulous post-war American arrogance. Which makes little to no sense. I can’t put my finger on it, but there is definitely some triangulation of the rise of identity bracelets and the decline of Western civilization.
No doubt in my mind.
Here’s the full ad. And I will say that at least Hadley was an innovator. I’m not sure what the deal was with Speidel Idents (remember that shit?).
Interestingly (somewhat) is how ’50’s this looks. We’re only at 1938, but the esthetic boundaries are definitely blurred.
Again the hand craftedness is what gets me. That calligraphy Spring, so simply and expressively conceptual, doing what lettering is supposed to do. And, of course, the rest of the headline. The jaunty R is particularly neat.
More info on french line ships here.
This Schick (Lady Schick, I think) ad was apparently done by the advertising firm of Ren & Stimpy.
A great example of how hand lettering can make a piece of typography click as a cohesive design within the larger design. Were this done with a typeface, I don’t think it’d look anywhere near as nice as it does here.
Finally! More scannin’, less rantin’.
What is there to say about this amazing thing? It’s just plain amazing. I almost always hate it when graphic designers talk about themselves as artists. But this is art. Surreal, amazingly crafted, perfect typography.
And it’s for cardboard boxes.*
I dig the speedy scriptalic Casket there. But what is it about capitalists that makes ’em such a ripe target for death-related ads? I wonder.
According to the ad “Today there are at least eighty-five different things that a funeral director may be asked to do.” What those eighty-five things are, exactly, is left to the imagination.
Couldn’t find much info on NCC, but there’s more than you’d ever want to know about the industry over at the Casket and Funeral Supply Association‘s website.
Apart from the horrible spacing, I love them gigantic dots on the script i. And the Ludlum kind of rocks.
The below appeared as a single line of text, stacked here for enlargement. Having just done a script o, I have to wonder what the guy was thinking in having such an open (and kind of bad) o here. Curious.
And they ain’t kidding about that Pioneers bit – Bessemer steel has only been around since 1855. Still around, too. Merged, but only once (I think).
Ahhh… now this is what I think about when I think about Fortune magazine. Liveried drivers, cops respectfully guarding the wealthy, tophats, double-decker buses (?) in the background. Nice.
Not much to see here, but again, nice restraint. The only strangeness is the body copy about ranchers in Wyoming tooling around in these V12 beasties. Now there’s an image for you.
It came in 23 standard and custom body types – here’s one, just for kicks.
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).