As promised, here I will continue with my series on Graphis Annuals of years past (previously: ‘59/60 parts 1, 2, 3 and ‘71/72). This time I’ll be presenting some material from the 1957-58 edition. It’s not my favorite year but it’s an interesting year because you can see the past and future jostling for position. Though much of it feels distinctly 50’s some of the 60’s advertising style that would soon overtake everything was already making inroads. Below I have culled 22 images for your perusal, so happy perusing.

02.18. filed under: design. history. 9

Watermarks

Though the terminology is misleading a “watermark” is not at all what it sounds like, and should never be confused with a mark actually made by water on the surface of a piece of paper! Spots like these were considered ghastly errors in the glory days of artisan-made paper and were thus referred to by the altogether more dramatic term “papermaker’s tears.” Confusing the two, say in a shadowy tavern, over a flagon of mead, could very well result in the dreaded “papermaker’s fists” impressing themselves into the pulp of your face.

01.25. filed under: design. history. 2

Long Duration Love Affair

That cylindrical object you see pictured above is a roughly school-bus sized structure which was deployed into space in 1984. It orbited the Earth for five and a half years with nothing expected of it other than to float there, getting battered about by whatever the great black yonder saw fit to throw at it. You see, every inch of its outside surface was covered with Science. 57 separate experiments, mounted in 86 trays, involving the participation of “more than 200 principal investigators from 33 private companies, 21 universities, seven NASA centers, nine Department of Defense laboratories and eight foreign countries.” Its purpose was to study the effects of space on a multitude of materials. Its name is the Long Duration Exposure Facility (LDEF) and I am deeply in love with it.

01.20. filed under: design. science. space. 13

Miscellaneous Characters

I was looking through a Linotype specimen book today from 1920, glancing at the faces, the advertising figures, some info on “the Rogers Tabular Matrix,” that sort of thing, when I came upon a page in the “miscellaneous characters” section which made me pause. It was a page titled “party emblems” and featured icons meant to represent 10 separate political parties. I thought, “In 1920, less than a single lifetime ago, there were 10 political parties in America taken seriously enough to warrant a logo?” My my, how times have changed.


A little something for all my NYC readers in tha house… For a year now I’ve been wondering when some enterprising “urban fashion” brand would seize upon the T-shirt design just staring them in the face every morning and night, on the subway and on the bus flanks, but it never, to my knowledge, materialized. So today, coming across a New York Times article revisiting the subject, I decided to just whip the damn thing up myself. And thus, I give you- “1,944 Snitches.” Perfect for that hustlin’ New Yorker keepin’ it really really real. Larger image here, and see the alternate version, with underscoring MF Doom quote, here. Hands-off Sean John.

01.08. filed under: design. play. 7

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