swisscheeseandbullets (in 2010, site now offline):
There’s a nice bunch of images tracing the evolution of the Braun logo over at Logo Design Love. I absolutely love the geometric simplicity of the current incarnation, although their actual product and packaging design leaves a lot to be desired. [Come back Dieter!]
That Braun schematic is a very satisfying image, and it’s a great logo, but don’t you go thinking type is purely geometric, kids!
This style of lettering was known to American sign painters as “gas-pipe” and it was used often in the 1920s–50s as a quick way to get clean, simple letters up on a board or wall. The shapes are easy to make. And, just as importantly, they are easy to space because of their flat sides.
This modular technique is just the sort of thing that is ideal for FontStruct, and I used the app in 2008 to make WPA Gothic, a half-baked attempt to fonticize the lettering commonly found on WPA posters of the 1930s.
WPA Gothic is free to use for personal projects. (Contact me for commercial use.) But there are far more professional gas-pipe fonts. The two I recommend most often are Mark Simonson’s Refrigerator Deluxe and Mark van Bronkhorst’s MVB Solano Gothic. These typefaces have a slew of alternate glyphs that can mimic many of the variations on the gas-pipe style. And they are made by legit type designers who understand the drawing adjustments necessary to built a complete type family that’s practical for wide-ranging use.
Slapdashing posted this by simply copy/pasting text but without a link. It took me 5 seconds to find the original artist and site:
Virginie Morgand: Proposition d’affiche pour le concours des fêtes de Bayonne 2014 - non retenue
Experimental typography, one mile of thread on cardboard (45x32cm). By unwinding the thread while applying seperate layers you can create distortions.
A lot of the ornamental typefaces from the Victorian era were pretty wild, but I’ve never seen anything quite like Vassar, found in the specimens of Farmer, Little & Co. back to about 1886. Nick Curtis digitized the face and released it as Foxcroft NF in 2005. It’s certainly not a complete revival, as its missing stuff like the alternate ‘S’ seen in “VASSAR” at 36pt in the first specimen above.
Stigmatypie: 19th-Century Dot Matrix Printing
Tonight I found an odd bitmappy portrait of Gutenburg (top) in a fold-out spread of Harpel’s Typograph, a type specimen from 1870. “What is a stigmatypie?”, I wondered. Some cursory research reveals it was a pioneering, but seldom used, technique for producing halftone images with very small type. It was developed around 1867 by Carl Fasol of Vienna.
Stigmatypie is described in the American Encyclopaedia of Printing (1871):
Pictures made with tiny periods of metal type! Not only was this a Victorian precursor to dot matrix printing, but also (in a way) ASCII art.
Two Coopers: lettering examples by Oswald (“Oz”) Cooper, of Cooper Black fame, and Frederick G. Cooper, who inspired Oz and many other lettering artists and cartoonists of the early 1900s. Leslie Cabarga, who wrote the book on F. G. Cooper, is selling a massive archive of his work.
Images found in Lettering (1916), by Thomas Wood Stevens