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 Polish packaging

Ok, this is about as random as it gets, but here are a few examples of vintage Polish packaging in the following categories: chocolate and soap…

Ok, this is about as random as it gets, but here are a few examples of vintage Polish packaging in the following categories: chocolate and soap. Just for the sake of typographic curiosity and colour palette inspiration you know…

Chocolate

Vintage Polish chocolate packaging

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Friday find: The Grapho-Scope and other forgotten art supplies

Whether you are old enough to have used a Grapho-Scope, or whether your first introduction to design was Adobe CS5, check out the online Museum of Forgotten Art Supplies curated by Lou Brooks…

American designer and illustrator Lou Brooks (born 1944 in Pennsylvania) has been in the game longer than most. You know the little Monopoly guy in the top hat? Lou drew that. He witnessed the entire digital revolution and as such, remembers using tools and materials most of us spring chickens have never even heard of.

Whether you are old enough to have used a Grapho-Scope, Shading Film, Non-Repro Blue Pencils and Letraset, or whether your first introduction to design was Adobe CS5, check out the online Museum of Forgotten Art Supplies curated by Lou himself. It will either fill you with nostalgia or puzzlement!

A few examples from the museum’s Artifacts Gallery:

Forgotten Art Supplies

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Vintage Kodak packaging

Last night I saw an awesome movie called Super 8 which inspired me to find this old film and camera packaging.

Last night I rented an awesome 2011 movie called Super 8. I’m not sure how I completely missed it on the circuit, but I had never heard of it. I guess my brain switched off every time I heard someone mention “super something-or-other”, assuming it was yet another superhero movie…

Turns out I was just uneducated. The title refers to a motion picture film format introduced by Kodak Eastman in 1965. Following it’s 8mm predecessor, this bad boy featured smaller perforations allowing for a larger exposure area, hence the superness.

History lesson aside, during the movie (set in 1979) I noticed the unmistakeable yellow Kodak film packs and it inspired me to look for some more film and camera packaging examples from that period. Fortunately I came across a nice little collection at The Medium Control’s inspiration blog, have a look:

Vintage Kodak packaging

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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

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Friday find: Book cover graphics

Julian Montague of Buffalo, New York started documenting interesting book covers from his collection in February 2009. Three years later (and over 1000 covers later) he is still at it…

Julian Montague of Buffalo, New York started documenting interesting book covers from his collection in February 2009. Three years later (and over 1000 covers later) he is still at it!

Here are a few, but this is only scratching the surface:

Daily Book Graphics

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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

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