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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Cool title screens: The Master Cleanse

Some clever title screen lettering by Erik Marinovich perfectly captures the mood of this short film.

Friends of Type recently reported on Erik Marinovich’s process in designing the title screens for a short film entitled The Master Cleanse.

I really like the way the bright yellow and white smeared lettering creates a perfect visual paradox: clean yet grimy. As the days go by and the relationship of the main characters becomes strained, the build-up of tension is reflected in the lettering – another clever touch by Erik:

The Master Cleanse title screens

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Stranger Than Fiction title sequence

Stranger Than Fiction title sequence

I remember watching this unusual (for him) Will Ferrell film back in 2006 and being spellbound by the title sequence. If you enjoy the combination of movies and nice typography, there is little doubt that you would have checked out Art of the Titlea compendium and leading web resource of film and television title design from around the world.

The opening titles for Stranger Than Fiction were designed by Kansas City based MK12.

If the video below does not load, see the Stranger Than Fiction title sequence here.

The return of brush script lettering

Is it just me or is the brush script lettering style making a comeback?

Is it just me or is the brush script lettering style making a comeback? Originally popularised by the advertising of the 1940s and 50s, brush script lost its appeal when the rational grid based Swiss Style emerged in the 1960s.

While brush script is often avoided due to its tendency to look, well, kind of corny, I am noticing many designers reclaiming its place in more thoughtful solutions. Brush lettering adds a sense of fun and irreverence, especially when coupled with more formal typefaces.

Here are a few examples I found today:

1. Brand New Conference 2011

The concept of the materials stems from the hand-drawn, brush lettering that was originally inspired by small grocery stores, bodegas, and buying things on sale by the pound. So we extended the idea of blowout sale prices to the t-shirt, tote bag, and sketchbook by just listing the production price on the front.

Brand New Conference 2011

Brand New Conference 2011

Brand New Conference 2011

Brand New Conference 2011

Brand New Conference 2011

Brand New Conference 2011

2. “Golden Tree” music video

A professional display of 50 No Handed Bike Moves performed to “Golden Tree” by Martin Brooks. Video by Ninian Doff.


3. Suti font by Mika Melvas

Suti Font

4. Sweet Skateboard decks

Deck designs by Albin Holmqvist for a Swedish skateboard company called Sweet Skateboards.

Sweet Skateboards

Sweet Skateboards

Sweet Skateboards

5. Fonts for AnOther Magazine

Aspic and Asphalt fonts designed by AnOther Magazine’s creative director Gareth Hague.

AnOther Magazine

AnOther Magazine

Just a fad or is brush script back for good? Any other noteworthy examples you can think of?

The typography of Water for Elephants

A fascinating example of how graphic design plays a vital role in movie production, yet goes virtually unnoticed amidst the drama!

My wife finally dragged me kicking and screaming to sit down and watch Water for Elephants with her on DVD. A tearjerking romantic drama was not at the top of my list of fun ways to spend a Saturday night, but I must admit it wasn’t that bad.

Throughout the film I was impressed by the attention to detail in the set design. It was clear that a lot of work went into the graphic design and the vintage circus typography.

Realising that I am probably not the only one whose attention was caught, I Googled the subject to see what others have said. I instantly hit gold – a write-up from Karen TenEyck, the graphic designer responsible! I recommend reading the article as it contains a lot of fascinating behind-the-scenes insight. Download it here a a PDF:

ADG Perspective Magazine Jun/Jul 2011, pages 34 – 41 (1.6MB).

Working with production designer Jack Fisk, art director David Crank and set decorator Jim Erickson, Karen produced a mammoth collection of posters, banners, signs, branding and packaging used to give the film that convincing 1930s atmosphere.

Another challenge for period films is that fonts made for the computer do not do justice to the hand-crafted look of the time, even if they are based on old styles. They are simply too perfect. Yet with the current trend of less and less prep time, I needed to find ways to shortcut the process and get the same effects. One of the ways I have been able to do this is by creating my own fonts based on the fifty-plus period lettering and advertising books I own. I am able to give these fonts the imperfect look of hand-drawn letters done with a lettering brush. Because they are turned into fonts that I can type with, it speeds up the process considerably down the line as decisions are made closer to filming. – Karen TenEyck

Take a look at some of Karen’s work in action:

Water for Elephants graphic design by Karen TenEyck

Water for Elephants graphic design by Karen TenEyck

Water for Elephants graphic design by Karen TenEyck

Water for Elephants graphic design by Karen TenEyck

Water for Elephants graphic design by Karen TenEyck

Finally, the film also has a very nice end title screen which was not designed by Karen, but by a Los Angeles studio called River Road Creative:

Water for Elephants end title

Linotype: The Film

Doug Wilson of I Love Typography is directing a feature-length film which aims to uncover the surprising and passionate stories of the people behind the forgotten art of Linotype printing.

Doug Wilson of I Love Typography fame is directing a feature-length film about the Linotype type casting machine. Invented by Ottmar Mergenthaler in 1886, the Linotype revolutionized printing, but newer technologies rendered these complex machines obsolete by the mid 1900s. Linotype: The Film aims to uncover the surprising and passionate stories of the people behind this forgotten art.

Doug and his crew have now launched a second Kickstarter project to fund the final push to cover post-production expenses. They are hoping for the film to premiere early 2012.

Bring it to Cape Town, Doug! I’m sure Design Indaba would love to screen it.

“Linotype: The Film” Official Trailer from Linotype: The Film on Vimeo.

Via: I Love Typography