The British Rail Alphabet & Styleguide

 

"Rail Alphabet is a typeface designed by Jock Kinneir and Margaret Calvert for British Railways. First used by them in signing tests at London's Liverpool Street Station, it was then adopted by the Design Research Unit (DRU) as part of their comprehensive 1965 rebranding of the company. Rail Alphabet is similar, but not identical, to a bold weight of Helvetica (and, not quite as similar, Akzidenz Grotesk or Arial). Akzidenz Grotesk had earlier also provided the same designers the broad inspiration for the Transport typeface used for all road signs in the United Kingdom." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rail_Alphabet

Virtual Letterpress on Your iPad | Kickstarter

I love this iPad app, & so do 933 (and counting) other backers on Kickstarter too. What's not to love, they're keeping the art of letterpress alive in the digital medium. It's already got more than enough pledges and good luck to John Bonadies and team with this gem of a design project.

"Experience the Art and Craft of Letterpress Printing on your iPad
LetterMpress™ will be a virtual letterpress environment—released first on the iPad—that will allow anyone to create authentic-looking letterpress designs and prints.  The design process is the same as the letterpress process—you place and arrange type and cuts on a press bed, lock the type, ink the type, and print. You will be able to create unlimited designs, with multiple colors, using authentic vintage wood type and art cuts. And you can print your design directly from LetterMpress or save it as an image for import it into other applications." http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/821242145/lettermpress-a-virtual-letterpr...

Vintage Variety Theatre Posters

Inspired by 'The Story of Variety with Michael Grade' on BBC4, I've collated a pack of original Variety Theatre Posters all with the crowded typographic aesthethic of eye-catching headlines, status lead billing hierarchy and bold display fonts much emulated today. Interestingly, the smaller the font the further away from the stage the acts dressing room was, so font size directly reflected status and salary!

More info about the show: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00z7hj3
Posters from http://www.arthurlloyd.co.uk/Posters/index.htm and http://www.vaudeville-postcards.com/index.html

Graphic Design of Fred Troller 1930-2002

Simple and timeless...

Fred Troller 1930 – 2002 was a distinguished American graphic designer and educator who emigrated from Switzerland. He was born in Zurich in 1930 and graduated from the Zurich School of Design in 1950. He worked for Geigy Chemical Corporation and later established his own design studio in New York working for clients such as Exxon, General Electric, IBM and American Airlines among others. He also designed book jackets for Doubleday. As Steven Heller writes, "Troller helped popularized Swiss New Typography... the Swiss approach, influenced by the Bauhaus school of the 20's, relied on stark photographic imagery, bold sans-serif typefaces and primary colors in unfettered compositions. The object was to communicate logically, vividly and without ambiguity... Mr. Troller's personal variant of the style was characterized by the manipulation of geometric forms, jarring juxtapositions of large and small types and visual puns formed from the fonts themselves." Fred Troller was also a design educator and taught or lectured at Cooper Union, the School of the Visual Arts, and Rhode Island School of Design. He also served as chair of the division of design at Alfred University. The Troller Archive was donated by Beatrice Troller in 2005 and includes a vast amount of material ranging from sketches, mock-ups and proofs along with final printed projects including book jackets, promotional materials, packaging and posters. Heller, Steven." 

http://library.rit.edu/gda/designer/fred-troller

http://www.nytimes.com/2002/10/24/arts/fred-troller-71-champion-of-bold-graph...
http://montagueprojectsblog.blogspot.com/2009/04/daily-book-graphics-46-fred-...
http://grainedit.com/2009/04/06/corporate-diversity-swiss-graphic-design-by-g...

Once upon a time designers used Letraset®

When I was a little girl in the 70's I used to steal Dad's Letraset type transfers to make my drawings/walls/dollshouse walls look like 'real' magazines and posters (well that was the idea anyway!) - Letraset was messy, inaccurate, nerve-wracking, you always ran out of the letters you wanted...and I loved it! Here's a few Letraset bits I've found, see more in my 'Letraset Love' Gallery on flickr - http://www.flickr.com/photos/kathykavan/galleries/72157623910954053/#photo_21...

More links: 

Project Letraset - loads of pictogram sheets http://www.flickr.com/photos/casi_famoso/sets/72157600170310844/

A treasure trove of Letraset transfers - http://www.flickr.com/photos/toby___/sets/72157606830886448/

Letraset catalogue, Berlintypes collection blog post - http://jetstreamprojector.wordpress.com/2009/08/02/berlintypes-collection/

A Time before Mac blog post - http://oddsandendsblog.com/2009/04/02/a-time-before-mac/

Fontastic - http://paigeandmodern.com/2009/04/17/fontastic/

Letraset wiki page - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Letraset

Eclectic 'Effenaar' venue branding

 

Really love the eclectic branding of the Effenaar Venue in Eindhoven by Dutch agency Fabrique (designers now at JongeMeesters). They've created a slice of controlled chaos that's really fresh with a heads up to the 80's. The edgy graphic compositions and bold typographic assortments allow every performance's promotional matter to feel individual but part of something bigger. Really fun, perfect for a young crowd and I bet the designers had a riot doing the designs.