History of Lettering

Modern graphics – well, modern that is in 1969

If you read a recent post about space age technology read on. (If not please click here.) This title page is from one of those wonderful Studio Vista paperbacks, popular particularly in the late 60s and 70s (maybe 80s too). The typography is characteristic again of that time, that particular time when space travel was real and humankind knew no obstacles to progress. No wonder it looks so dated. Is there anything comparable for the 70s to the 2-tens? Please let me know.


alphabet Elements of Lettering History of Lettering Thoughts on lettering

Letraset – or sticky-on lettering

A recent post about space-age typography made me wonder about the fate of Letraset, that rub-on lettering  highly popular in the 1970s and 1980s, maybe a bit longer. Computer typography has made the process obsolete, as Letraset made hand-drawing of lettering obsolete. I remember using it and cursing when it failed to peel off from the backing plastic. It was a pain but when it did work it was quick.

Here are some of the fonts, taken at random, from a catalogue dated 1980 that I have in my collection.

Thoughts on lettering typography

Space-age typography – computer fonts

The typography shown here is from a book called Eagle on the Moon: the incredible space journey of Apollo 11. Published by Paul Hamlyn Pty Ltd Special Projects and the Sydney Morning Herald in 1969, it celebrates the first man on the moon. (It cost me $2 from a second-hand store.) The typography is similar to that of  Data 70 designed by Bob Newman of Letraset fame. There is a good article here about that font. This one is variously called Computer!

lettering Thoughts on lettering

Just for friends of Helvetica

An image from the magazine baseline, spring 1991 [Volume 18 no. 1].

[Note: baseline was published quarterly by Esselte Letraset ‘the leading world supplier of type and graphic art material products.]