A friend from London, UK, writes: “I noticed Station number X had a pair of dice (the Romans were gambling for Christ’s clothes) but that Gill did not have the correct configuration of the numbers on the die. Gill did not know that the opposite sides of the dice always add up to seven. Five is opposite to two, six is opposite to one, and four is opposite three. Ooops. The curse of the sub-editor strikes again.”
In his Signs and Symbols he writes of the value of ‘interior and intermediary space’. Designers take especial note. ‘The beauty of a sign,’ he writes, ‘is often the result of a struggle between the resistance of the material and its conquest by the instrument…By contrast, the Oriental way of thought and expression…puts the creative act more into the mastery of a gesture with which the brush lays the sign on paper’. [Studio Editions, London, 1989, p.101.)
I did not know of Frutiger’s personal life so as a mental health social worker I find he lost two daughters to suicide prompting him and his partner to establish a foundation
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.)
Graham Greene (1904-1991) was a novelist, critic and Catholic. I read much of his work when I was younger, though not now.
I came across this volume The Lost Childhood and other essays (Eyre & Spottiswoode, London, 1951, 2nd impression) at a bookshop the other week. Pulling it from among its companions I flicked through quickly and was astonished to find an essay Greene had written on Gill. The essay is not dated or sourced (though I guess it may have first appeared in The Tablet as this is one of the periodicals noted in Acknowledgements).
You can read the entire essay (it covers but two and a bit pages) for yourself as I am reproducing it below.
Greene is dismissive of Gill, calling him ‘an artist not of the first rank’ and refers to his ‘fervent little articles on sex’. Greene may have had no idea of Gill’s perversities though he writes: ‘Eric Gill, with his beard and his biretta, his enormous outspokenness, his amorous gusto, trailing his family across the breadth of England with his chickens, cats, dogs, goats, ducks, and geese, belonged only distantly to this untraditional tradition [‘a carefully arranged disregard of conformity to national ways of thought and behaviour’]; he was an intruder – a disturbing intruder among the eccentrics’.
Maybe, after all, Greene had a whiff of the real Gill.
Images from my week. These were taken in Brisbane, Australia. The first at a train station – a nice display of cast letters (heavily covered in paint – be great to see that taken away and the true letters revealed once more) representing Queensland Rail and used as a brace for a seat; the second a metal plate in the road covering services – lovely use of the cross bar in the capital A as a functional element for inserting the rod that will remove the cover for inspection; the third some quirky figures (‘biffo man’) at pedestrian crossing. Great to see such inventiveness.
In Brisbane, Australia, last weekend. Having parked the car in an underground park on the South Bank (this information strictly for those who know Brisbane – a wonderful city with a thriving arts culture – so definitely worth a visit when you are over this way [this is not a paid for advert by the way] ) I notice this sculpture.
I am drawn, of course, by the lettering cut into the surface I assume by a welding torch. The piece is tucked away in this location and really does need to breathe in the open air – this would also assist with trying to read the inscription, which, as you can see, is long.
I made out the words printing press. Thank you Mr Snape. But no thanks to the municipal authorities or whoever for, having presumably commissioned such a piece, gave it the insult of this subterranean setting. For more on Michael Snape click Michael Snape
Hello again. It has been a while since the last post for which I offer no explanation except for life getting in the way of blogging. I thank all readers, regular and irregular, for continuing to step by on their way through the swamp that is the internet.
Recently, while at a local cafe, I came across this record sleeve (undated) among bric-a-brac for sale in a back room. I think it terrific. See how many typefaces you can identify. (Note – I have yet to play the record on my new Sherwood PM-9805 turntable.)
A reader recently identified the typeface I commented upon in this post as being Ashley Crawford, and not Neuland as I had then speculated. Thank you Marvin.
The face was designed by Ashley Havinden, a noted designer of that period and produced by Monotype as Series 238 and 279 (the later for the plain font). Image from Encyclopaedia of Typefaces, Blandford Press, 1953 as in my copy of Specimens of the Type Faces, Borders, Ornaments, Rules and Other Material cast on ‘Monotype’ Type Composing and Casting Machines, The Monotype Corporation, n.d it is not included, although ‘single specimen sheets…may be obtained on application’.
This is another of his works for the London store Simpson, taken from Modern Publicity 1942-48, The Studio Publications.
To correct the earlier misinterpretation here is Neuland used in another ad (taken from The Typography of Newspaper Advertisements, Meynell, F, 1929).
Two images leapt out at me today while browsing typography now, the next wave (North Light Books, 1994 pbk edition). The first one of machine-generated stone carving (naturally, being a stone carver); the second a font called Prototype, this because the illustration stated it was an amalgam of other typefaces including Perpetua and Bembo.
At the time I did not note the connection and it was only a few moments ago when reading Brnbrook’s entry in Typography, when who how (Konemann, 1998) that I came to realise he was behind both.
Thanks Jonathan and merry christmas /happy new year (if you celebrate that is).
From my archive. This from the Museum of Modern Art, NY, 1992. Designed by Richard Arango, Silver Joy. [Closed size: 190mm by 125mm. Open: 415mm by 125mm.] Note – Here in Australia this week has been less than joyous.