New Year’s resolutions

To Resolve Project is a good looking collection of New Year’s resolutions by various artists and designers in the form of downloadable wallpapers.

To Resolve Project is a good looking collection of New Year’s resolutions by various artists and designers. Should you find one you wish to make your own, you’re in luck, because and they come in the form of downloadable wallpapers. Curator Chris Streger is inviting everyone to contribute a design to the project and he even has some templates to get you started.

Here are a few of my favourites so far:

To Resolve Project

To Resolve Project

To Resolve Project

To Resolve Project

To Resolve Project

To Resolve Project

To Resolve Project

To Resolve Project

To Resolve Project

100th post and 2011 sign-off

This is Typedeck’s 100th post since launching in June this year – a great milestone and a good time to sign off for 2011. Thanks for all the support and positive feedback so far!

Hello friends. This is Typedeck’s 100th post since launching in June this year – a great milestone and a good time to sign off for 2011.

Typedeck has given me the opportunity to explore typography in a new and more intensive way than ever before. I have learned a lot in the past few months and best of all is I am applying this learning to my own design work.

Thanks for all the support and positive feedback so far! Have a fantastic festive season and a blessed Christmas.

Here’s to resuming Typedeck in 2012 with new vigour.

– Imar

To end off the year I have just thrown together a few random bits and pieces of interest. Click on the images to visit the source:

A free font based on the style of lettering seen on Cassandre posters:

Typedeck 100th post

Lettering by Astronaut Design:

Typedeck 100th post

From pilllpat’s Flickr photostream:

Typedeck 100th post

Two items from the Flickr photostream of junkyard.dogs:

Typedeck 100th post

Typedeck 100th post

Type specimen poster from a series featuring Changethethought studio’s  favorite typefaces:

Typedeck 100th post

Mattel Electronics Football from Corey Holms’s Flickr photostream:

Typedeck 100th post

Some smokey lettering by Pablo Alfieri:

Typedeck 100th post

Explore Fontdeck’s typographic advent calendar:

Typedeck 100th post

Hot lettering by Studio Muti:

Typedeck 100th post

Editorial illustration by Telegramme Studio via Black Harbour:

Typedeck 100th post

Poster from Evajuliet’s Etsy store:

Typedeck 100th post

LetterMPress app for Mac and iPad:

Typedeck 100th post

Cover design for The New York Times Magazine Photographs:

Typedeck 100th post

Detail from Old Faithful Shop identity design by Ptarmak:

Typedeck 100th post

Time lapse video of Daniel Cassaro’s (Young Jerks) mural for the Ace Hotel in New York via Xheight LA:

Typedeck 100th post

MailChimp’s Voice & Tone styleguide site via Co. Design:

Typedeck 100th post

Detail from the Tom, Dick & Harry identity by Mike McQuade:

Typedeck 100th post

From Kyle Read’s inspiration Tumblr:

Typedeck 100th post

And finally, is there a new Tumblr logo in the works?

Screenshot of their maintenance page:

Typedeck 100th post

Friday find: Jaunā Gaita magazine covers

Jaunā Gaita is a Latvian language magazine which has been published since the 1950s. Here are a few of their beautiful experimental covers from the past.

Jaunā Gaita is a Latvian language magazine based in Canada. It was first published after the second world war when many Latvian people were relocated to other countries across the world. Writers and other creatives were influenced by the process of change and their new surroundings. Jaunā Gaita is a result of this turmoil and the title translates as “The New Course”. The magazine is still in publication today and they have an online archive of their beautiful experimental covers. Here are a few samples:

Jaunā Gaita magazine covers

Jaunā Gaita magazine covers

Jaunā Gaita magazine covers

Jaunā Gaita magazine covers

Jaunā Gaita magazine covers

Jaunā Gaita magazine covers

Jaunā Gaita magazine covers

Jaunā Gaita magazine covers

Jaunā Gaita magazine covers

Jaunā Gaita magazine covers

Jaunā Gaita magazine covers

Jaunā Gaita magazine covers

Jaunā Gaita magazine covers

Found via junkyard.dogs’ flickr. Images from Jaunā Gaita’s cover archive. More info from ISO50 and Grain Edit.

Free fonts from Fontfabric

Fontfabric has some really nice fonts on offer and many of them are available free of charge! Here are a few you might be interested in adding to your collection…

Independent Bulgarian type foundry Fontfabric has some really nice fonts on offer and many of them are available free of charge! Here are a few you might be interested in adding to your collection:

Fontfabric

Fontfabric

Fontfabric

Fontfabric

Fontfabric

Fontfabric

Fontfabric

Fontfabric

Fontfabric

Vintage matchboxes from around the world

A look at the matchboxes of old, adorned with images of battle and grandeur. Oh and some toothpick boxes too.

Mankind’s command of fire is arguably what separates us from the animals on a most basic level. The ability to package that kind of power in a tiny cardboard box and put it in your pocket is nothing short of awe inspiring. No wonder the matchboxes of old used to be adorned with images of battle and grandeur. The bleed and misregistered printing only adds to the appeal. Oh, there are also a few toothpick boxes in the mix. I mean of course reigning supreme over God’s creation with something in your teeth would be simply disgraceful…

Vintage matchboxes

Note to Australian gingers: please remember to wear the correct protective mask when using safety matches.

Vintage matchboxes

Vintage matchboxes

Vintage matchboxes

Vintage matchboxes

Vintage matchboxes

Vintage matchboxes

Vintage matchboxes

From a Livejournal post by valaamov_osel and a Flickr set by Shailesh Chavda.

Friday find: Gig flyer

Gig flyers have always been a playground for design experimentation, but they are usually not very representative of great typography. I think this one is a step up and I’ll tell you why…

I found this flyer for the Cape Town Folk ‘n Acoustic Music Festival at a coffee shop on my way to work this morning:

The Cape Town Folk 'n Acoustic Music Festival flyer

Gig flyers have always been a playground for design experimentation, but due to their low-fi tradition and the fact that they are probably often created by musicians rather than designers, they are usually not very representative of great typography.

I think this one is a step up and I’ll tell you why:

  1. The informal and somewhat zany geometric display type used for Folk ‘n Acoustic is anchored nicely by the graphic elements (banners, shapes, icons) around it.
  2. The visual hierarchy of information is presented well by the size and weight of the type; first what, then when and where, followed by who, and lastly the sponsors.
  3. The list of artists’ names vary in size and colour, yet the typographic colour (overall density) has been well preserved.
  4. The strong horisontal structure remains unbroken throughout.
  5. Sticking to just two colours (black and red) was a good choice, especially since the background is textured.
  6. Although it is quite text-heavy, there is enough white space for the design to breathe.

Looking at it a little more critically:

  1. I like the fact that designers are breaking free of the old use-no-more-than-two-fonts-per-design mantra, because it does work in many cases, but I have to question whether using five different fonts on the front of the flyer (plus two more on the back!) is necessary? Perhaps exploring a few different weights of a single typeface instead of using different font families would offer a more consistent result.
  2. I’m probably being pedantic here, but the misregistered effect used on music festival is redundent in context of the treatment across the rest of the layout.

The typographic allure of analogue control panels

In this age of touch screen interaction I think our senses are left underwhelmed by tapping and swiping and we often experience a yearning for the tactile response of dials buttons and gauges…

In this age of touch screen interaction I think our senses are left underwhelmed by tapping and swiping and we often experience a yearning for the tactile response of dials buttons and gauges. This is evident in the contemporary application of retro design aesthetics, for example BERG’s Little Printer and Jonas Eriksson’s 76 Synthesizer iPad app. Typography plays an understated but indispensable role in any analogue interface.

I came across this intriguing Flickr Group Pool entitled Control Panel. Here are a few delicious samples to fuel your nostalgia:

The typography of analogue control panels

The typography of analogue control panels

The typography of analogue control panels

The typography of analogue control panels

The typography of analogue control panels

The typography of analogue control panels

The typography of analogue control panels

The typography of analogue control panels

The typography of analogue control panels

The typography of analogue control panels

The typography of analogue control panels

The typography of analogue control panels

The typography of analogue control panels

The typography of analogue control panels

The typography of analogue control panels

The typography of analogue control panels

Little Printer – your personal mini newspaper machine!

You remember a while back I wrote about how London based design agency BERG redesigned the common sales receipt? Well, guess what, that was really just a sneak preview of what BERG has really been working on for the past year…

Wow, this has got me all excited, because it’s not often that an invention comes along which just seems way too cool to be real.

You remember a while back I wrote about how London based design agency BERG redesigned the common sales receipt? Everyone thought it was a cool idea and all, but that it could probably never be implemented in real life… Well, guess what, that was really just a sneak preview of what BERG has really been working on for the past year – they call it Little Printer:

Berg London announces Little Printer and Berg Cloud

If you can’t see the video below, click here to watch it on Vimeo.

Just when you thought print was dead, this wicked little device emerges to combine retro technology with cloud computing.

Little Printer lives in your front room and scours the Web on your behalf, assembling the content you care about into designed deliveries a couple of times a day.

Little Printer holds a compact, inkless, thermal printer. Its zero-configuration wireless connection to the Web lets you place it wherever you have a power outlet.

Graphic design is at the heart of everything Little Printer delivers, making the most of connectivity and print combined. Rendered in crisp black and white these tactile publications take visual cues from traditional halftone lithography and modern pixel art.

Berg London announces Little Printer and Berg Cloud

Berg London announces Little Printer and Berg Cloud

Berg London announces Little Printer and Berg Cloud

Berg London announces Little Printer and Berg Cloud

You subscribe to the “publications” you wish to receive from your iPhone or Android smartphone. BERG has already partnered with influential content providers like Google, FourSquare, Nike, The Guardian and more.

Right on time Little Printer gathers everything it needs to prepare a neat little personalised package, printed as soon as you press the button.

Berg London announces Little Printer and Berg Cloud

Berg London announces Little Printer and Berg Cloud

A second and equally important announcement is BERG Cloud, the online technology which will compile your personalised mini newspaper and wirelessly communicate it to Little Printer through a “bridge unit”.

The announcement of Little Printer is accompanied by a beautifully designed website where you can find out more and sign up for updates on the project.

Pre-orders for Little Printer will open in 2012, when it launches as in ‘beta’. Added to the wishlist!

Lucha Libre letterpress posters from Mexico City

Hans Gremmen of Amsterdam procured this great set of Lucha Libre posters from a letterpress print shop in Mexico City in 2009. Hard to believe that an outdated printing technique can trump the efficiency of digital production in the 21st century. Here’s the proof…

Hans Gremmen of Amsterdam procured this great set of Lucha Libre posters from a letterpress print shop in Mexico City in 2009. I find the following account from Hans truly amazing:

The frequency of these fights is high, which means that new posters are made nonstop. The process of making these posters is therefore very efficient. The technique (letterpress) can provide this efficiency. There is no digital process, no plates, no pre-press. All the fonts, illustrations, sponsor logo’s, lines are already available in the workshop; they only have to be placed in the right order. The printer compiles the posters on the press himself, using these prefab materials. The colours (mostly rainbow-print) are also mixed on the press.

Hard to believe that an outdated printing technique can trump the efficiency of digital production in the 21st century. Here’s the proof:

The posters:

Lucha Libre letterpress posters from Mexico City

Lucha Libre letterpress posters from Mexico City

Lucha Libre letterpress posters from Mexico City

Lucha Libre letterpress posters from Mexico City

Lucha Libre letterpress posters from Mexico City

Lucha Libre letterpress posters from Mexico City

Lucha Libre letterpress posters from Mexico City

Lucha Libre letterpress posters from Mexico City

Lucha Libre letterpress posters from Mexico City

Lucha Libre letterpress posters from Mexico City

Lucha Libre letterpress posters from Mexico City

Lucha Libre letterpress posters from Mexico City

Lucha Libre letterpress posters from Mexico City

Lucha Libre letterpress posters from Mexico City

Lucha Libre letterpress posters from Mexico City

The setup:

Lucha Libre letterpress posters from Mexico City

The metal pieces are placed in position on the press.

Lucha Libre letterpress posters from Mexico City

A large selection of luchador masks ready to be placed in the composition on the press.

Lucha Libre letterpress posters from Mexico City

The ink is mixed and printing is a go!

Lucha Libre letterpress posters from Mexico City

Done. Maravilloso!

Trent Walton pushes the boundaries of web type

I like Trent Walton’s blog. He is clearly a thinker, but more importantly, he is also a doer. Based in Texas, Trent designs a unique look for each of his blog posts and demonstrates the exciting possibilities of what can be achieved in web typography through a combination of CSS and Javascript. And yes, of course the layout is responsive!

Here are some screen shots of his latest entries, but to experience all the little surprise details first hand you will have to go to trentwalton.com and snoop around. For the richest experience, use a Webkit based browser like Chrome or Safari.

Trent Walton

Trent Walton

Trent Walton

Trent Walton

As an aside, take a look at the cool folding effect Russ Maschmeyer put together on Typekit based on the above post.

Trent Walton

For more of Trent Walton’s work, take a look at his web design agency Paravel. Besides client projects, they create some awesome and useful Javascript tools for web typography like Lettering.js for down-to-the-letter control and Fittext.js for scalable headlines that fill the width of a parent element.

Friday find: Racing decals from the 1970s

I have always been a sucker for stickers, so it’s no surprise that these caught my attention…

I have always been a sucker for stickers, so it’s no surprise that amongst sarcoptiform’s eclectic Flickr collection including art, tea tags, found photographs and magazine covers, these are what caught my attention:

Vintage 1970s Racing Decals

Vintage 1970s Racing Decals

Vintage 1970s Racing Decals

Vintage 1970s Racing Decals

Vintage 1970s Racing Decals

Vintage 1970s Racing Decals

Vintage 1970s Racing Decals

And finally, here is a goggle-wearing owl emerging from a cloud of smoke inside a big X. Your argument is invalid.

Vintage 1970s Racing Decals

Vintage French type specimen books

A few beautiful pages from old French type specimen books.

I found these in pilllpat (agence eureka)’s Flickr photostream. She has a huge collection of high res scans from old publications, well worth a look.

Album du peintre en batîment (1882):

Interesting to note the missing W from these earlier specimens as it was very rarely used in French.

Album du peintre en batîment 01

Album du peintre en batîment 02

Album du peintre en batîment 03

Album du peintre en batîment 04

100 Alphabets Publicitaires (1946):

Alphabets Publicitaires 01

Alphabets Publicitaires 02

Alphabets Publicitaires 03

Alphabets Publicitaires 04

La Lettre (1957):

La Lettre 01

La Lettre 02

La Lettre 03

La Lettre 04

Traditional sign painting

You remember those hand painted signs from the good old days when quality was still non-negotiable and honest men made a living from the skill of their hands and the sweat of their brow? Well, before you get too nostalgic, here’s some good news: sign painting is alive and well thanks to a handful of diehards who refuse to let the traditional ways fade away.

One such man is Dan Madsen from Minneapolis, Minnesota who practices his craft under the moniker Dusty Signs. He is the third generation sign painter in his family. According to Xheight LA, it all started when Dan inherited his grandfather’s collection of drawings and photographs, and his great grandfather’s sign painting books. He went on to receive training in his home town as well as in California by influential sign painters such as, Derek McDonald and Tina Vines.

Take a look at this short video of Dan doing his thing:

If you can’t see the video, click here to view it on Vimeo.

Here are a few more examples from the portfolio of Dusty Signs:

Traditional Sign Painting by Dan Madsen

Traditional Sign Painting by Dan Madsen

Traditional Sign Painting by Dan Madsen

Traditional Sign Painting by Dan Madsen

Traditional Sign Painting by Dan Madsen

Traditional Sign Painting by Dan Madsen

Traditional Sign Painting by Dan Madsen

Traditional Sign Painting by Dan Madsen

Traditional Sign Painting by Dan Madsen

Traditional Sign Painting by Dan Madsen

Traditional Sign Painting by Dan Madsen

Traditional Sign Painting by Dan Madsen

See more on Flickr.

In related news, a documentary called The Sign Painter Movie is currently in production.

Directors Faythe Levine & Sam Macon are traveling around the United States to gather stories from the American Sign Painter. We are interviewing those who have and still continue to work in the industry and have shaped the way our urban landscape looks with their hand lettering and painting skills on walls, windows, cars, building, menus, etc. around us.

I look forward to seeing this film when it gets released, but I think focusing on the USA alone will offer a limited window on the subject. Although sign painting is somewhat of a novelty in advanced countries, it is still the standard in many developing parts of the world, so comparing approaches to this craft across vastly different economical environments could be even more fascinating! Maybe part two?

An unusual font from Bulgaria

Lemniscate is an intriguing font designed by Rositsa Gorolova of Sofia, Bulgaria. It is available as a free download.

Lemniscate is an intriguing font designed by Rositsa Gorolova of Sofia, Bulgaria. The complexity of the characters and the fact that the font includes only capitals, numerals and a few punctuation marks certainly limits its use to display purposes such as posters or headlines. I would love to know more about the design process and the intent of the project, but unfortunately I found very little info on this.

You can download Lemniscate for free in TrueType format for personal and commercial use.

Lemniscate font by Rositsa Gorolova

Lemniscate font by Rositsa Gorolova

Lemniscate font by Rositsa Gorolova

Lemniscate font by Rositsa Gorolova

Lemniscate font by Rositsa Gorolova

Lemniscate font by Rositsa Gorolova

Amazing vintage cigarette pack designs from around the world

Smoking or non-smoking, be sure to take a look at these fantastic cigarette pack designs from yesteryear, collected from different countries around the world…

Christian Kranich of Vienna, Austria has a mammoth collection of cigarette packs representative of over 150 countries and spanning several decades. I have never smoked a cigarette in my life, so for me to sit drooling over their packaging is unusual to say the least. Believe it or not, there are some typographic gems amongst them and I have just spent way too much time exploring his online database not to share a few of my favourites, well 160 of them to be precise!

Cigarette packs from around the world

Cigarette packs from around the world

Cigarette packs from around the world

Cigarette packs from around the world

Cigarette packs from around the world

Cigarette packs from around the world

Cigarette packs from around the world

Cigarette packs from around the world

Cigarette packs from around the world

Cigarette packs from around the world

Cigarette packs from around the world

Cigarette packs from around the world

Cigarette packs from around the world

Cigarette packs from around the world

Cigarette packs from around the world

Cigarette packs from around the world

Cigarette packs from around the world

Cigarette packs from around the world

Cigarette packs from around the world

Cigarette packs from around the world

Find loads more information about the individual packs on Zigsam – the Austrian cigarette collection. Although the packs are archived by brand and country, I must warn you that browsing is not an easy task…

Type is the new tuna

Inspired by the way metal type can be packed together in tight formations, Pavel Kulinsky decided to put 3D typographic characters in a can. Why? Well, why the heck not!

I think Russian designer Pavel Kulinsky is onto something with these wonderfully colourful TypoCans.

A designer of Moscow department store window displays by day, he started playing with typographic compositions in his spare time, just for fun and to improve his skills. Inspired by the way metal type (used in letterpress printing) can be packed together in tight formations, the idea emerged to put 3D typographic characters in a can. Why? Well, why the heck not!

Kulinsky says this is not a commercial project, but if he ever decides to make them available I would definitely buy a can or two. Just to stock up, you know.

Pavel Kulinsky's TypoCans

Pavel Kulinsky's TypoCans

Pavel Kulinsky's TypoCans

Pavel Kulinsky's TypoCans

Pavel Kulinsky's TypoCans

Pavel Kulinsky's TypoCans

Pavel Kulinsky's TypoCans

Pavel Kulinsky's TypoCans

Funny letterpress posters stipulate new rules of work

Division of Labor based in Sausalito, California letterpressed these cool posters serving as a reminder of those little unwritten rules your colleagues may have forgotten about…

Division of Labor based in Sausalito, California letterpressed these cool posters serving as a reminder to your coworkers of those little unwritten rules they may have forgotten about…

New rules of work by Division of Labor

There are certainly a few people whom I would love to send this one to for Christmas:

New rules of work by Division of Labor

Via swissmiss.

The quest for an average font

The fascinating explorations in finding an average of all existing fonts has lead different people down different roads, here are some examples…

In September 2011 Viennese designer Moritz Resl published a typographic experiment called Average Font on his website. The project received widespread attention on the internet, drawing both criticism and praise. The idea is to show what a font would look like if it were made up of all the Typefaces on his system at the time. Resl achieved this by layering over 900 different fonts each with a low opacity, one on top of the other. The result is a blurry, yet recognisable rendition of each character:

Average Font by Moritz Resl

As Stephen Coles of Typographica points out, the quest to find an average font is not unexplored territory. In 2006 visualisation expert W. Bradford Paley from New York put together an exploration of Face Variations, layering the outlines of 166 fonts in different combinations. Paley notes that this stems from his fascination with finding the “perceptual boundaries” around objects such as letters:

Face Variations by W. Bradford Paley

Another approach comes in the form of The neutral typeface – the result of a 2005 graduation project by Dutch designer Kai Bernau entitled Neutrality. The measurements for the design of the typeface are derived from averages reached by comparing popular existing sans serif typefaces:

The neutral typeface by Kai Bernau

The latest arrival at the average font party is Avería, a font released in October 2011 by Dan Sayers combining 725 existing fonts. Sayers explored different methods, eventually opting for a programmatic approach to the task by splitting each letter perimeter into hundreds of equally-spaced points, then finding the average between the corresponding positions of each:

Avería by Dan Sayers

Avería by Dan Sayers

Also take a look at Font Path Viewer, a web app Sayers built in order to view the outlines and control points of fonts during his process.

Fonts come in an endless array of personalities and proportions, weights and styles. Maybe it is the sheer overwhelming variety, or maybe our inborn desire to simplify and reorganise, but whatever the reason may be, people seem to be captivated by the idea of finding a neutral average. The search continues.

MoMA’s in-house design studio

The Museum of Modern Art in New York City has a very productive in-house design team with a bulging portfolio of exhibition designs, advertising campaigns and other printed materials…

The Museum of Modern Art in New York City (MoMA) has an in-house design department very practically named The Department of Advertising and
Graphic Design
.

They are responsible for exhibition designs, advertising campaigns and any printed materials needed by the museum’s numerous departments including curatorial, education and visitor services.

If we learned anything from the career of Wim Crouwel it is that working for a museum provides fertile ground for typographic exploration. The MoMA team’s impressive portfolio suggests that this is indeed the case:

MoMA Department of Advertising and Graphic Design

MoMA Department of Advertising and Graphic Design

MoMA Department of Advertising and Graphic Design

MoMA Department of Advertising and Graphic Design

MoMA Department of Advertising and Graphic Design

MoMA Department of Advertising and Graphic Design

MoMA Department of Advertising and Graphic Design

MoMA Department of Advertising and Graphic Design

MoMA Department of Advertising and Graphic Design

MoMA Department of Advertising and Graphic Design

MoMA Department of Advertising and Graphic Design

MoMA Department of Advertising and Graphic Design

MoMA Department of Advertising and Graphic Design

MoMA Department of Advertising and Graphic Design

MoMA Department of Advertising and Graphic Design

MoMA Department of Advertising and Graphic Design

MoMA Department of Advertising and Graphic Design

MoMA Department of Advertising and Graphic Design

MoMA Department of Advertising and Graphic Design

MoMA Department of Advertising and Graphic Design

Friday find: Boxing posters

Check out these awesome boxing posters from the 1930s and 40s.

The style of vintage boxing posters is one that has surged in popularity in recent times and can be found applied to everything from websites to wedding invitations. As Matt Willey of Studio8 Design points out:

The arrangement of the type is a result, I presume, of a simple need to get all this information on the poster – nothing more fancy than that. They are probably more appealing now than they were considered at the time.

1934:

Vintage boxing posters

1942:

Vintage boxing posters

Imagine the chilling experience of being pitted against someone called Dick Freezer (above).

1949:

Vintage boxing posters

Via Eye Magazine Blog.

Interactive type design game

Hey, remember that kerning game from a couple of weeks ago? Well there’s a new game which is a little more challenging: Shape Type.

Hey, remember that kerning game from a couple of weeks ago? Well there’s a new letter shaping game, also created for Method of Action by Mark Mackay.

What is the point of these games? Well, it’s not quite clear to me, but Method of Action claims to be launching a design course for programmers soon and their blog hints at the possibility that these games will be playing a role:

When Method of Action launches, you’re going to need at least 90/100 to pass this mission, so get practicing!

In my opinion shaping letters is a little more challenging than kerning. The characters are all from well known typefaces, so the result is much less subjective than that of the kerning game. Success depends heavily on your ability to recognise aesthetic correctness of a character’s curves, so give Shape Type a whirl and see how you fare. Oh, and don’t forget to Tweet your score!

Shape Type - a letter shaping game

Vintage record sleeves

Project Thirty Three is a blog by Seattle-based Jive Time Records, showcasing a fantastic collection of record sleeve designs, categorised by motif…

Project Thirty Three is a blog by Seattle-based Jive Time Records, showcasing a fantastic collection of record sleeve designs. The way they are categorised by motif (Circles and Dots, Squares and Rectangles, Lines and Stripes) makes for fun browsing. As far as I can tell, the sleeves are mainly from the 1950s, 60s and 70s.

The seemingly infinite number of vintage record jackets that convey their message with only simple shapes and typography never cease to amaze us.

Sometimes less really is more! Look at these fine specimens:

Project Thirty Three vintage record sleeves

Project Thirty Three vintage record sleeves

Project Thirty Three vintage record sleeves

Project Thirty Three vintage record sleeves

Project Thirty Three vintage record sleeves

Project Thirty Three vintage record sleeves

Project Thirty Three vintage record sleeves

Project Thirty Three vintage record sleeves

Project Thirty Three vintage record sleeves

Project Thirty Three vintage record sleeves

Project Thirty Three vintage record sleeves

Project Thirty Three vintage record sleeves

Project Thirty Three vintage record sleeves

Project Thirty Three vintage record sleeves

Project Thirty Three vintage record sleeves

Project Thirty Three vintage record sleeves

Project Thirty Three vintage record sleeves

Project Thirty Three vintage record sleeves

Project Thirty Three vintage record sleeves

Project Thirty Three vintage record sleeves

Found via Allan Peters.

Two nice display fonts by Leon Sloth

I just came across these fonts designed by Leon Sloth (cool name!) from Copenhagen, Denmark…

I just came across these fonts designed by Leon Sloth (cool name!) from Copenhagen, Denmark.

Paten – a headline font:

Font designed by Leon Sloth

Font designed by Leon Sloth

Font designed by Leon Sloth

Font designed by Leon Sloth

Font designed by Leon Sloth

Antiwar – a stencil font including a few alternate characters:

Font designed by Leon Sloth

Font designed by Leon Sloth

Font designed by Leon Sloth

I always enjoy seeing some behind-the-scenes process pictures:

Font designed by Leon Sloth

Font designed by Leon Sloth

Unfortunately I didn’t find any info on whether these have been released and are available. See more of Leon’s work on Behance.

Handwritten letters of note

There is just something about handwritten correspondence that connects you to the writer unlike any other medium. Take a look at these examples from well known personalities, spanning several centuries…

Shaun Usher, a freelance copywriter from Manchester, England, runs Letters of Notean attempt to gather and sort fascinating letters, postcards, telegrams, faxes, and memos. There are over 600 examples of this old fashioned correspondence in his growing online collection.

What I find myself most drawn to, are the handwritten artefacts, maybe because putting pen to paper is such a rarity in our digital world. Or maybe it is the way a handwritten note is able to connect us to a particular place and time in the writer’s life unlike any other medium.

Here are a few examples from well known personalities, spanning several centuries. Click the image to go to the relevant page on Letters of Note to read transcripts and find out more:

1973. Freddy Mercury to Jac Holzman, founder of their U.S. label, Elektra Records:

Letters of note: Freddie Mercury

1610. Galileo Galilei to Leonardo Donato, Prince of Venice:

Letters of note: Galileo Galilei

1995. Henry Rollins to a rude, disappointed fan:

Letters of note: Henry Rollins

1954. James Dean to on-off girlfriend Barbara Glenn:

Letters of note: James Dean

1817. Jane Austen to her eight-year-old niece (each word written backwards):

Letters of note: Jane Austen

Jimi Hendrix to a girlfriend:

Letters of note: Jimi Hendrix

1997. Joe Strummer to Mark Hagen on Bruce Springsteen:

Letters of note: Joe Strummer

1996. John Lydon (Sex Pistols) to the U.S. Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on their inclusion:

Letters of note: John Lydon

Johnny Cash’s to-do list:

Letters of note: Johnny Cash

1993. Kurt Cobain to MTV (unsent):

Letters of note: Kurt Cobain

1916. Get-well-soon note from Pablo Picasso to Jean Cocteau:

Letters of note: Pablo Picasso

1983. Steven Spielberg to Forrest Ackerman:

Letters of note: Steven Spielberg

1924. Walt Disney to Ub Iwerks:

Letters of note: Walt Disney

1972. Bob Dylan to U. S. Immigration and Naturalization Service in support of John Lennon and Yoko Ono:

Letters of note: Bob Dylan

1745. Controversial letter from Benjamin Franklin to a friend regarding “older mistresses”:

Letters of note: Benjamin Franklin

1955. A seemingly sarcastic letter from Ernest Hemingway to “Mr. Lord” of Morgan Guaranty Trust Company:

Letters of note: Ernest Hemingway

Shaun is planning on turning this collection into a large coffee-table volume of 400 pages, with 200 letters, each with an introduction and a transcript of the text. Find out more and pledge your support for the project at Unbound Books.

Industrious coffee and condensed type at Yourstruly

Yourstruly, located on Long Street in the heart of Cape Town’s city centre, is one of my favourite lunch time spots. One thing I enjoy about it is the DIY ethic…

Yourstruly, located on Long Street in the heart of Cape Town’s city centre, is one of my favourite lunch time spots.

One thing I enjoy about it is the DIY ethic: on any given day you can find owner Daniel Holland enthusiastically serving coffee and sandwiches through the hatch, but that’s not all – he also took care of all the graphic design himself, and his dad did the carpentry!

The graphic identity of Yourstruly is quite appropriately anchored by Trade Gothic, which Jason Santa Maria describes as an honest, dependable and industrious typeface with little flourish or fuss.

Next time you’re in Cape Town and find yourself in need of some good coffee and a strong dose of typography, you know where to go.

Yourstruly Cafe, Long Street, Cape Town

Yourstruly Cafe, Long Street, Cape Town

Yourstruly Cafe, Long Street, Cape Town

Yourstruly Cafe, Long Street, Cape Town

Yourstruly Cafe, Long Street, Cape Town

Yourstruly Cafe, Long Street, Cape Town

Yourstruly Cafe, Long Street, Cape Town

Find out a little more about Yourstruly and Daniel on Ilovecoffee.co.za.

Lovely posters letterpressed by Typoretum

Letterpress is essentially the very earliest method of printing text, invented by Gutenberg in the 1400s. Print shops like Typoretum are reviving this old fashioned art…

Typoretum is a print shop located in the small town of Coggeshall in Essex, England. They specialise in the old fashioned art of letterpress printing.

Letterpress is essentially the very earliest method of printing text, invented by Gutenberg in the 1400s. A print is created by inking reversed movable metal or wood type and then pressing it onto paper using a wonderfully complex machine.

Part of the novelty of letterpress prints are their tactile nature – the “bite” of the raised letters leaves a slightly embossed impression, and due to the manual work involved no two prints are exactly alike. These qualities have caused a recent resurgence in the popularity of this archaic printing technique.

Take a look at these nice letterpress posters for sale from Typoretum, and the snapshots of the process behind them:

Letterpress posters from Typoretum

Letterpress posters from Typoretum

Letterpress posters from Typoretum

Letterpress posters from Typoretum

Letterpress posters from Typoretum

Letterpress posters from Typoretum

Letterpress posters from Typoretum

Letterpress posters from Typoretum

Letterpress posters from Typoretum

Letterpress posters from Typoretum

Letterpress posters from Typoretum

Letterpress posters from Typoretum

Like Minded Studio

Like Minded Studio was founded in 2002 by Luca Ionescu from Sydney, Australia. Their mammoth portfolio includes some impressive typographic work ranging from strikingly simple to ridiculously ornate…

Like Minded Studio was founded in 2002 by Luca Ionescu from Sydney, Australia. Their mammoth portfolio includes some impressive typographic work ranging from strikingly simple to ridiculously ornate, 3D and motion graphics. It’s probably a personal preference, but the designs that stand out most to me are the monochrome / duotone pieces.

The typographic work of Like Minded Studio

The typographic work of Like Minded Studio

The typographic work of Like Minded Studio

The typographic work of Like Minded Studio

The typographic work of Like Minded Studio

The typographic work of Like Minded Studio

The typographic work of Like Minded Studio

The typographic work of Like Minded Studio

The typographic work of Like Minded Studio

The typographic work of Like Minded Studio

The typographic work of Like Minded Studio

Luca Ionescu designed the type for this AMP (an Australian financial corporation) commercial:

Take a look at Like Minded Studio’s website, Behance and Flickr galleries for more.

Fantastic, strange, incredible, super, amazing comic book mastheads!

John Hilgart calls himself a curator of lost items. Among his assortment of finds, is SUPERTYPE! – a collection of high res vintage comic book mastheads to marvel at…

John Hilgart calls himself a curator of lost items. Among his assortment of finds, is  SUPERTYPE! – a collection of high res vintage comic book mastheads to marvel at. Most of these date back to the 1960s and 1970s, aka the Silver Age of comics. Here are a few examples:

SUPERTYPE! Comic Book Mastheads

SUPERTYPE! Comic Book Mastheads

SUPERTYPE! Comic Book Mastheads

SUPERTYPE! Comic Book Mastheads

SUPERTYPE! Comic Book Mastheads

SUPERTYPE! Comic Book Mastheads

SUPERTYPE! Comic Book Mastheads

SUPERTYPE! Comic Book Mastheads

SUPERTYPE! Comic Book Mastheads

SUPERTYPE! Comic Book Mastheads

SUPERTYPE! Comic Book Mastheads

SUPERTYPE! Comic Book Mastheads

SUPERTYPE! Comic Book Mastheads

SUPERTYPE! Comic Book Mastheads

SUPERTYPE! Comic Book Mastheads

SUPERTYPE! Comic Book Mastheads

Friday find: Typewriter ribbon tins

Janine Vangool from Calgary, Canada has a great collection of vintage typewriter ribbon tins. How cool!

Janine Vangool from Calgary, Canada has a great collection of vintage typewriter ribbon tins. How cool:

Janine Vangool's typewriter ribbon tin collection

Janine Vangool's typewriter ribbon tin collection

Janine Vangool's typewriter ribbon tin collection

Janine Vangool's typewriter ribbon tin collection

Janine Vangool's typewriter ribbon tin collection

Janine Vangool's typewriter ribbon tin collection

Janine Vangool's typewriter ribbon tin collection

Janine Vangool's typewriter ribbon tin collection

Janine Vangool's typewriter ribbon tin collection

Janine Vangool's typewriter ribbon tin collection

This last one is my personal favourite:

Janine Vangool's typewriter ribbon tin collection

See more in Janine’s Flicker set and read an interview with her about the collection on Poppytalk.

Jack Daniel’s label update – part two

About four months ago I mentioned that the Jack Daniel’s label design was being updated. Well, here’s the latest on the subject…

Remember about four months ago I mentioned that the iconic Jack Daniel’s label design was being updated?

Jack Daniel's label redesign by Cue

Well, Cue, the agency responsible for this daunting task, updated their website earlier this week with a case study and details of Jack’s new look. Here are a couple of their thoughts on the redesign:

The brand’s values are timeless, but like every great brand, it needed to evolve to maintain its strength and affirm its authenticity. We evaluated the equity of the brand elements, then edited carefully to clarify their meaning. The new label maintains a balance of filigree, iconography, and special typographic elements, in black and white with a touch of silver.

New Jack Daniel’s label:

Jack Daniel's label redesign by Cue

A closer look at details of the packaging applied to the new chiseled bottle shape :

Jack Daniel's label redesign by Cue

Jack Daniel's label redesign by Cue

Jack Daniel's label redesign by Cue

Jack Daniel's label redesign by Cue

Elements of the updated identity system:

Jack Daniel's label redesign by Cue

Jack Daniel's label redesign by Cue

An important accompaniment to the new design – The Jack Daniel’s brand guide:

Jack Daniel's booklet by Cue

New Jack Daniel’s is also introducing a new product, Tennessee Honey, which features a unique design incorporating the traditional brand elements :

Jack Daniel's Honey label design by Cue

Jack Daniel's Honey label design by Cue

Found via Allan Peters.

Hand drawn skate deck lettering

Looks like we’ll be sticking to the themes of “New York” and “hand lettering” today! The coffee-loving Simon Ålander has been at it again, this time putting pen to skateboard deck…

Looks like we’ll be sticking to the themes of New York and hand lettering today! The coffee-loving Simon Ålander has been at it again, this time putting pen to skateboard deck:

Skateboard deck by Simon Ålander

Skateboard deck by Simon Ålander

Skateboard deck by Simon Ålander

Skateboard deck by Simon Ålander

See the full story on coffeemademedoit.com.

Hand painted wooden wedding signs

These nice wedding signs were hand painted on rugged wooden planks by Brooklyn based agency Mélangerie Inc.

These nice wedding signs were hand painted on rugged wooden planks by Brooklyn based agency Mélangerie Inc.

Hand painted signs by Mélangerie Inc.

Hand painted signs by Mélangerie Inc.

Hand painted signs by Mélangerie Inc.

Hand painted signs by Mélangerie Inc.

Hand painted signs by Mélangerie Inc.

See more of their work Mélangerie Inc.’s Flickr. Found via Art of the Menu.