Vintage travel posters

Russell Johnston and Megan Jones have been collecting vintage Travel and Ski posters since 1979. The collection was started by Russell’s father Robert W Johnston, a Royal Air Force navigator after the Second World War…

Russell Johnston, a lawyer from Essex, and his partner Megan Jones have been collecting vintage Travel and Ski posters since 1979. The collection was started by Russell’s father Robert W Johnston, a Royal Air Force navigator after the Second World War. Russell and Megan are now building an online catalog of these posters by photographing each to museum-reference digital standard. Some of these are being revealed for the first time in over 50 years and as you can imagine, many of them have become a rather valuable investment as collector’s items. Here are a few examples:

Vintage Travel Posters

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The flipside of old New York Times photos

The New York Times recently launched a Tumblr to share old pictures from their newsroom archive. More exciting than the photos themselves, is the history recorded on the back of each picture.

The New York Times recently launched The Lively Morgue; a Tumblr to share old pictures from their newsroom archive (nicknamed “The Morgue”).

The photos are intriguing enough and certainly provide excellent fodder for reblogging and pinning enthusiasts, but what really makes this project worth a closer look is that each photo can be “flipped over” to inspect the back. What could possibly be of interest on the back of a photo you ask? Well, you would be surprised!

Layer upon layer of stamps, scribbled annotations and clippings offer a haphazard roadmap to the photo’s history. Things to look out for include subject codes, what the photographer was paid, details of when and how many times the photo was published and of course the accompanying captions.

Call me strange, but I find these way more exciting than the photos themselves:

Back of picture from NY Times's archive

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Vintage punk rock flyers get swissted

Hey, remember when Jack Black and Mos Def sweded VHS movies in Be Kind Rewind? Well, Swissted is kind of like that, only with punk gig flyers…

Hey, remember when Jack Black and Mos Def sweded VHS movies in Be Kind Rewind (2008)? Well, swissted, an ongoing project by NYC based designer Mike Joyce, is kind of like that…

Only, instead of recreating feature films in a low-fi fashion, he recreates punk rock gig flyers as Swiss style posters. So basically he is taking the punk out of punk, and what could possibly be more punk than that! Odd, but brilliant. (As a loyal supporter of both punk rock and typography, this is right up my alley.)

The number of flyers Mike has swissted is nothing short of astounding – at the time of writing this there are over 200 examples in the gallery! Of course he also has some rules: all posters are 35.5 inches wide by 50 inches high, all set in berthold akzidenz grotesk medium, all lowercase and all the shows actually happened.

Here are but a few examples:

Swissted

Swissted

Swissted

Swissted

Swissted

Swissted

Swissted

Swissted

Swissted

Swissted

Swissted

Swissted

Swissted

Swissted

Swissted

Swissted

Swissted

Swissted

Swissted

Swissted

Swissted

Swissted

Swissted

Swissted

Swissted

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

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.