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Thoughts on lettering Typographic ephemera

Pictured in type

Making pictures from type goes back a long way – how long I can’t answer and I haven’t done the research but believe me it is a long time.

On the occasion of the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Pictures from Type_0002Frances (as she was then) on 29 July 1981 I and a colleague put together this offering – the additional inscription The only safe fast breeder is a Royal (in Times New Roman, letterpress) added when the pregnancy was announced in 1982 (Prince William was born on 21 June 1982) and alludes to concerns over nuclear reactors – 1982 was also the year the UK went to war with Argentina over the Falklands.

Now McDonald’s have caught on.

Though Pictures from Type_0001they may show promise – and are clearly done on computer – compare and contrast (as my English teacher at secondary school used to say to us)  this 1953 effort by Dennis Collins of Queen Elizabeth II.

It comes from Typewriter Art, 1975, London Magazine Editions (another item to be added to your ever Pictures from Typelengthening Christmas wish list). This piece was done on a typewriter and Collins notes: ‘The Queen’s portrait … [was] done on an old portable on which spaces could not be finely adjusted – this accounts for the horizontal white strips across the face…’ (For an earlier post on typewriter art see here.)Pictures from Type_0003

Collins (born 1912) was a notable cartoonist who did ‘The Perishers’ comic strip for the Daily Mirror from 1958 to 1983. If you know more about Collins please let me know.

Note – the lettering on the Charles and Diana card was done with Letraset.

Categories
lettering Typographic ephemera

Typewriter art

The typewriter was invented in the 1870s and flourished during the mid-2oth century. When I first started in journalism everything was typed, in duplicate, and then retyped on the Linotype or Monotype. Now you can adapt an old typewriter as a keyboard for your iPad.

The typewriter’s letters are uniform in width. This led to experiment with the machine as an object to produce art. Concrete poetry used the typewriter extensively, as demonstrated by Alan Riddell’s book Typewriter Art (1975, London Magazine editions). From that volume come these illustrations. The first by Richard Kostelanetz (1970), called Mullions. 

 

The next by Timm Ulrichs (1962) called Typotexture. 

Finally Alan Riddell’s Two Flags (1968).