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.

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

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

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…

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.

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.