Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Two alphabets from the Sixties

Here are two alphabets that I’ve kept for years.  The first was used by the Saturday Evening Post circulation and marketing folk in 1960.  I only ever saw it used by the Post for house ads in the weekly and mailing shots and as it is only the basic alphabet (instead of over a hundred characters in a complete one) I think its use was exclusive to the Post.   As a typeface it’s nothing special, just look at the caps and numerals but what intrigued me at the time was the rather unusual lowercase.  Because it has quite short ascenders and desenders (just like the McDonald's logo) it can be stacked in a multi-decked headline quite tightly, look at: the All-American brands spectacular. Like most display faces it really doesn’t work for text setting as you can see in the text blocks below.  I wonder if it was loosely based on Fiedler Gothic designed by Hal Fiedler for Photo-Lettering, New York in the late Fifties. 
     The other alphabet is one I designed in 1967 and was based on the idea of making all the cap letters as near as possible square.  Sort of a hopeless idea, especially for the I and M.  I convinced Paul Bailey, the owner of Lettergraphics in Los Angeles, to add it to their photosetting collection (the page is from their type book) and he had the lower case, numbers and punctuation designed.  It’s none too readable though it could work for a logo using two or three letters.  The only time I saw it used was a headline in Playboy.  

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