Categories
alphabet lettering lettering, typography, alphabets, stonework stone Typographic ephemera

Alphabet – when it’s needed

I have never carved an alphabet from A-Z. The pandemic and lockdown made me re-assess many things, including this omission. I have used this exercise to inform some short instructional videos for those starting out, and for those who have been following [also here] here’s the completed piece. It is far from ‘perfect’ but life is not about ‘perfection’ – it is about doing. [By the way, the slate was split from a single fragment, hence the mirror-like quality – look at base pattern.]

An alphabet in slate
60cm x c15cm – recycled slate from the UK

 

Categories
Thoughts on lettering Typographic ephemera

In honour of a decade: number 4

Ian Hamilton Finlay. I first wrote about this wordsmith/polymath in December 2010. You can read it here. To add to this, I now show two pieces that have been in my collection for decades. First:

evening will come
Evening will come…Ian Hamilton Finlay

This is printed on card [75mmx220mm] and somewhere I also have a lapel badge. The second item is perhaps much rarer – a screen printed poster [450mmx590mm], with the inscription: Ian Hamilton Finlay / Designer: Jim Nicholson / Wild Hawthorn Press 1967.

Sails
Ian Hamilton Finlay / Jim Nicholson
Categories
Thoughts on lettering typographers Typographic ephemera typography

Nonhuman Books. Really?

Check out first this short [3m] video about a project that produces ‘nonhuman books’ – books that have not been touched by any form of human interference.

Hello again. What I see is not ‘poetry’, as is a claim, but random words ‘selected’ by a non-thinking, non-sentient, algorithm. These are no more books than Father Christmas lives at the North Pole.

In the interest of fairness those readers who wish to know more can visit http://www.atomicactivity.com/books/

and, when there, purchase a copy of A Nonhuman Reading of The New Typography by Jan Tschichold.

[Perhaps I will.]

UPDATE [21/3/2020] – And I did and the book arrived yesterday. Along with a balloon, which bore a text most apposite in today’s troubled times.

Atomic_detailAtomic_front

Original and non-human
The same page from the human and non human versions of the New Typography.

Atomic balloon

 

 

Categories
Elements of Lettering lettering Typographic ephemera

It’s 40, can’t you read?

Lettering comes in many forms, none more important surely than street signage that direct people. And within street signage comes texts literally written on to the road to advise motorists of, well, in this case speed.

Forty please
Don’t speed here – keep to 40kmph.

I do not doubt that the Australian Government has a code on street typography. Do they have one on legibility? Notice how this sign is being eroded by nature.

And see this earlier post as it looks as if the piece was given a paint job.

Categories
History of Lettering Newspapers printing presses Typographic ephemera

In honour of a decade: number 2

It was back in late 2014 that I finally arrived in Dorrigo in NSW, Australia, and went to speak with the owner and printer of the last Australian newspaper printed letterpress – The Don Dorrigo Gazette and Guy Fawkes Advocate. 

Some five years later and the paper continues under the remarkable stewardship of Michael English and his wife Jade.

I still receive the paper weekly by mail. Read their story here. DDG Michael

Note: there are three parts to the post: click on part two and part three.

Categories
Thoughts on lettering Typographic ephemera

Travelling Penguin

This is the time of year people travel. Over here in Australia distances are vast and travelling can take days not hours. Nevertheless, we all need to take clothing with us, though these days rarely a rifle. This illustration comes from a Penguin of 1939 (fourth impression) so I guess may be excused.

20_01_01_Penguin travelling
Penguin goes travelling in 1939

If you liked this post do have a look at my archive for more on Penguin and advertising. Such as this from 2012 Advertising and Penguin books.

Categories
alphabet Typographic ephemera

A Modern Alphabet [vintage 1987]

This cartoon by the famed Guardian artist, Polly Simmonds, came to light as I searched through my Journal for 1987. Tucked away in a sleeve at the rear of the volume the newsprint is a little worn, a touch brown in parts, yet the humour is as fresh as ever.

Polly simmonds 1987
Polly Simmonds 1987

I notice that U stands for UB40. No, not the band. This was the Unemployment Benefit Attendance card handed out to the jobless, including me that year. This is mine:

UB40 card 1987

Categories
alphabet lettering Thoughts on lettering Typographic ephemera

The difference a sign makes

Street signage is all about readability, about ensuring the viewer/motorist understands the pictogram. When UK road signs were being redesigned in the 1960s by Calvert and Kinnier there was a clear imperative to ensure there was no ambiguity. However, some 50 plus years later in Australia I encounter these, minus hands and feet:

How much more satisfying is this, with both hands and feet – anatomically perfect!

Road sign with feet
Children about: fully armed and legged.

 

Categories
lettering Thoughts on lettering Typographic ephemera

Never too late on the street

Piece of street typography taken from a train parked at Ashfield, Sydney, Australia. I present it as a record only since in a few years, who knows, this building may have been demolished or new ownership may have erased the lettering.

never-too-late
Never too late: street lettering from Australia
Categories
Elements of Lettering lettering lettering, typography, alphabets, stonework printing Typographic ephemera

Something Rampant for the weekend

Looking through my collection of typography today I came across these images, included in Portfolio Three by The Rampant Lions Press, Cambridge, England, dated 1982. I have written about Will and Sebastian Carter many times throughout the life of this blog so please hit the search key to find out more, or send me an email. Enjoy your weekend. (This was a regular feature of the blog – the last entry can be found here.)

Franklin typeface
Franklin typeface
Rampant Lions Press prospectus
Rampant Lions Press prospectus