Surf video lettering

Some laid back surfing and hand drawn lettering, a perfect combination.

I came across these two unrelated videos. Well, I guess they’re not completely unrelated because both feature some laid back surfing and hand drawn lettering, a perfect combination.

T.C.S.S. Presents: A Doc-umentary

Graphics by Chris Nixon, animated by Zander Van Oldenborgh.
Click here to watch on Vimeo
.

TWOTHIRDS in Fall Winter

Edit and lettering by Emil Kozak.
Click here to watch on Vimeo
.

But, in case you don’t have six minutes to watch the videos, here are a couple of screen shots:

Surf video lettering

Surf video lettering

Surf video lettering

Surf video lettering

Surf video lettering

Surf video lettering

Surf video lettering

Surf video lettering

Surf video lettering

Calligraphic inspiration and upside down Ns

Two calligraphy blogs to inspire your hand lettering and the strange phenomenon of the upside down N…

1. Calligraphica

If you’re into hand lettering and particularly calligraphy, there’s a new Tumblr you might like. It’s called calligraphi.ca. Go and take a look, in most cases the materials used are documented below the picture which makes it quite useful.

Calligraphi.ca

Calligraphi.ca

Calligraphi.ca

Calligraphi.ca

Calligraphi.ca

Calligraphi.ca

2. Calligraffiti

In the same vein, another blog of interest is Calligraffiti.nl documenting the work of Amsterdam based Niels Shoe Meulman.

Calligraffiti by Niels Shoe Meulman

Calligraffiti by Niels Shoe Meulman

Calligraffiti by Niels Shoe Meulman

Calligraffiti by Niels Shoe Meulman

Calligraffiti by Niels Shoe Meulman

Calligraffiti by Niels Shoe Meulman

3. Upside down N

And lastly something quirky: Meulman (mentioned above) has been documenting the incorrect use of serif Ns in signage around the world. In his own words:

From an early age on, I’ve noticed signs where an N with serif is placed upside down. This awareness is the first thing that triggered me to become a graphic artist.

To spot upside down N’s you must travel. Upside down serif N’s are everywhere. And nowhere.

For more examples of this phenomenon, check out upsidedownn.com, you are even invited to submit your own finds.

Upside down N

Upside down N

Upside down N

Upside down N

Upside down N

Upside down N

Modern hand lettering of India

Two interesting type-related snippets came across my desk this week, both from India: hand drawn movie posters from Bangalore and digital fonts created from the lettering of street painters in Delhi…

Two interesting typographic snippets came across my desk this week, both from India:

1. HandpaintedType

The initiative of Delhi based designer Hanif Kureshi, HandpaintedType is a collaborative project aimed at capturing the rapidly-disappearing lettering styles of street painters across India.

The idea is to document the particular typographic style of individual sign painters. Each artist pruduces a character set on canvas, which is redrawn digitally and eventually released as a commercially available font. Apparently 50% of the proceeds from every font sale goes to the painter and the other half is invested in the continuation of the project.

Here’s an example of an original character set, hand painted in Old Delhi by an artist called Kafeel:

Hand painted lettering from India

Hand painted lettering from India

Due to the multicoloured nature of the Indian street typography, once digitised, each font consists of different layers; a base shape with shadows and highlights. These can then be used in different colour combinations to create the full effect:

Hand painted lettering from India

Hand painted lettering from India

Hand painted lettering from India

Find out more from handpaintedtype.com.

2. Hand drawn movie posters

“Dean Pickles” of Asia Obscura came across a factory north of Bangalore, where a man called Ramachandraiah prints movie posters for a living, using a lithographic press from 1901.

His [posters] are five-color, hand-drawn, and measure just 20 inches by 30 inches. They’re printed on thin paper, and illegally slapped up on building sites and highway overpasses late at night. They cost pennies to print. And they’re absolutely gorgeous.

The artist, Raju, speedily draws these posters at a  small desk on the sidewalk – about one artwork every three hours!

Raju drawing movie posters

These are the result:

Hand drawn movie posters from India

Hand drawn movie posters from India

Hand drawn movie posters from India

Hand drawn movie posters from India

Hand drawn movie posters from India

Hand drawn movie posters from India

Hand drawn movie posters from India

Hand drawn movie posters from India

Amazing, aren’t they? For more on the subject, see part one and part two of the story on Asia Obscura.

Mysterious calligraphic album from the 1620s

These beautifully ornate calligraphic letterforms form part of an album entitled “Kalligraphische Schriftvorlagen” (calligraphic writing styles) produced by Johann Hering of Bavaria, Germany in the 1620s. Were they intended for educational use or simply practice sheets from Hering’s personal collection?

According to BiblyOdyssey, there is not much information available online about Johann Hering or his work as scribe, but what we do know is the majority of this writing is in German (with occasional Latin) and many of the pages contain texts from The Bible.

Aren’t these amazing?

Calligraphic letterforms by Johann Hering, 1620s

Calligraphic letterforms by Johann Hering, 1620s

Calligraphic letterforms by Johann Hering, 1620s

Calligraphic letterforms by Johann Hering, 1620s

Calligraphic letterforms by Johann Hering, 1620s

Calligraphic letterforms by Johann Hering, 1620s

Find out more on BibliOdyssey.

IBM Film Ribbons by Paul Rand

A striking example of Paul Rand’s packaging design work for IBM from the 1960s.

Javier Garcia of San Francisco found this striking example of Paul Rand’s IBM packaging design tucked away in his dad’s office, still wrapped and unused. Javier points out the nice contrast of the white hand lettering against the bold slab-serifed IBM. I agree, it works super well.

Paul Rand IBM packaging

Paul Rand IBM packaging

Paul Rand IBM packaging

Paul Rand produced work for IBM from the 1950s to the late 1990s. The exact date of this particular design is unknown, but thanks to my eagle-eyed forensic analysis of the expiry date (12/6/71) in following picture, and based on the fact that the IBM Selectric Typewriters were only introduced in 1961, this box dates back to the mid 1960s.

Paul Rand IBM packaging

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

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?

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.

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.

Friday find: Vintage erasers

Lovely eraser branding and packaging from yesteryear… and a skateboard deck!

1940s Vintage Eberhard Faber Ruby Eraser Box via Swiss Miss:

Vintage eraser branding

Vintage erasers from Lisa Kongdon’s A Collection A Day:

Vintage eraser branding

And in sticking with the theme, a skate deck entitled “Big Mistake” hand painted by Jennifer Daniel for Bordo Bello Auction:

Pink Pearl eraser skate deck

Jon Contino

The super productive Jon Contino has just relaunched his portfolio stuffed with great typographical works and since I have been planning to post something about him, it is as good a time as ever to do so.

The super productive Jon Contino has just relaunched his portfolio stuffed with great typographical works and since I have been planning to post something about him, it is as good a time as ever to do so.

He calls himself an Alphastructaesthetitologist, but in my mind Contino is simply the king of NYC hand lettering. The raw old-world feel of his work certainly strikes a chord with me, and his impressive client list suggests I am not alone in my sentiments.

I have been trying my best at creating a time machine through lettering. – Jon Contino

If you were wondering where his talent stems from, Jon claims that his mom’s hand is consistently better than his own lettering and she always shows him up when it comes to holiday cards!

It’s hard to select a fair representation from his diverse portfolio, but below are a few examples of Jon Contino’s work. For plenty more check out his website, blog and his brand CXXVI.

The works of Jon Contino

The works of Jon Contino

The works of Jon Contino

The works of Jon Contino

The works of Jon Contino

The works of Jon Contino
I was lucky enough to snag one of these puppies from CXXVI before they sold out.

The works of Jon Contino

The works of Jon Contino

Figural Cameos

Cameo refers to type design in which the characters are reversed out of a black background. In figural cameos, the background typically depicts the product or service being advertised.

Cameo refers to type design in which the characters are reversed out of a dark background. In figural cameos, the background typically depicts the product or service being advertised. Judging by the dates on some of these vintage mail items, this form of branding reached it’s height in the 1800s, although I have seen quite a few contemporary designs referencing this unique artform.

Figural Cameo

Figural Cameo

Figural Cameo

Figural Cameo

Figural Cameo

Figural Cameo

Figural Cameo

Figural Cameo

I originally came across these images on Miss Moss and traced some more info on The Trade Card Place.