Reno’s Antique Miscellany
5 May, 2018

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The Letterform Archive!
17 May, 2017

We FINALLY made it to visit the Letterform Archive this last January. I’ve been hoping to see this in person for years now, and meet the founder of it Rob Saunders. Unfortunately Rob was away on a business trip to see about acquiring some huge collection of materials to add to the Archive.

We only had an afternoon here, and that’s certainly not nearly enough time. Next visit I’ll spend a week there for sure :)

These few images give a glimpse of what the place is like and just how much material they have to go through. This is only the surface and only a fraction of the inspiring and significant items they have.

I’d also like to say a thank you to their librarian Amelia who generously offered a lot of advice for us regarding our own collection. Our Mota Italic library is a similar concept as the Letterform Archive, but still in the infant stage. Being in India, we have some additional book preservation issues due to the climate and Amelia was able to give some good suggestions to help preserve everything.

Keep up the great work Letterform Archive, and I look forward to visiting you again!


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Letters from a few great days in San Francisco
17 May, 2017

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SF House Numbers
7 May, 2017

Not so many to share, but I did pass by a few notable numbers on my San Francisco wanderings.


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Vintage Wine, Beer, & Spirits Label Exhibition in SF
5 May, 2017

Like some sorta typographic-acid flashback, the last few days have brought many random flashbacks of my awesome time in San Francisco last January. I been remembering a lot of my visit to Kadam, Tânia, and Frank, and finally getting to see the Bay Area. Most of the time was spent buried in books or cocktails – both at Frank & Tânia’s library & kitchen, or many of the cities book shops and bars. Books and drinking, that was pretty much the theme of the visit.

So over the next few posts I’ll be sharing photos of misc SF finds.

First up was a great exhibition at the California Historical Society on Vintage Wine Beer & Spirit Labels. Sadly I’m posting this after the closing date (it ran December 8th 2016 – April 16th, 2017), so hopefully you caught it while it was up if you are nearby. The collection of labels was produced by the Lehmann Printing and Lithographic Company of San Francisco. The exhibition stated:

Designed during the terrible privation and unrest of the Great Depression, Lehmann’s labels graced hundreds of thousands of bottles of mass manufactured, highly alcoholic wines and liquors, invoking deliciously unrealistic fantasies of peace, plenty, and the high-class life. Marrying design with consumer ideology, the Lehmann oeuvre represents a forgotten high point of American commercial art.

Founded in 1911 by Adolph Lehmann with an initial investment of $190, the firm expanded into a major industrial printing operation valued at $600,000 by 1935. A dazzled correspondent for the Inland Printer dubbed Lehmann “the printer who hasn’t heard about the depression.” The company employed one hundred people, including a permanent staff of anonymous artists who designed each custom label with skillful care. To meet an ever-increasing demand for labels, Lehmann also pioneered a stock label service in the mid-1930s, creating catalogs of generic labels with stock vignettes that could be applied to a wide variety of products.

From a typographic standpoint I of course enjoyed many of the labels on display. There were numerous great examples, only a few of which are shown here. My only complaint would be that the lighting made photography extremely difficult. The exhibition was very both well organized and beautiful with its differently colored thematic rooms and archival photos, stories, and other ephemera along side the labels to put things in context and explain the lithographic process and business side of things in more detail.


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Stenso Lettering Guide
10 January, 2017

Late 1940s or early 1950s Stenso Lettering Guide...

Picked up this late 1940s or early 1950s Stenso Lettering Guide for $1 from a Reno antique shop.

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Lafayette Cemetery №1
19 April, 2016

This is the only new cemetery I had the chance to visit on my December ’15 trip, but it’s full of nice lettering samples. Still so many more N.O. cemeteries to see! I need to go back…


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Legendary Letters from the Rock & Soul Museum
18 April, 2016

Vintage type from a great museum. Highly recommended if you are passing through Memphis.

www.memphisrocknsoul.org


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Vintage type from Graceland
28 March, 2016

Some vintage type from the home of the King. There was everything from interesting kitchen appliance logos, to album art, awards, movie posters, blueprints, original advertising artwork, and chromeography from his pink Cadillac.


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Memphis!
15 December, 2015

Memphis!

Memphis!

Photo taken at: Sun Studio

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TypeCon NYC 2005
13 August, 2015

Somehow I never got around to posting my photos and summary from this TypeCon. So now 10 years later (and during TypeCon 2015 that I’m sadly missing) it seems like the perfect time to finally post a bit of the memories.

This was a major event for me. Not only was it my first type conference, but I was participating with a solo exhibition of my ceramic sculptures, and it was held in my favorite city! Honestly I can’t recall so many of the talks, but do I remember meeting many great people that would soon become good friends.

First and foremost, I met Dan Reynolds in person – I had known of him online from his prodigious amount of comments on Typophile and for being “the Linotype Guy”. (I learned several years later that during TypeCon he had only just began his Linotype internship!) He did soon become a legit Linotype Guy tho, and he was the reason that I ended up at Linotype for a year myself – and that in turn lead me to start Mota Italic and stay in Germany for six more years, AND Dan is responsible for Kimya and I meeting… (so I owe quite a lot to meeting Dan!). Dan’s no longer a Linotype Guy; he has moved on to be part freelance type designer and part educator. I hope he can channel some of his former self-marketing prowess to make it big on his own. Go checkout his freshly updated website, and hire him to do something for you!

I was also fortunate to get to meet with Gerry Leonidas. I spoke with him about the possibility of attending Reading’s MATD program the following year (he actually tried to deter me from it)(he later said he uses that technique to get more hardcore applicants). I did end up at Reading University from 2006-2007 and it was an incredible, life-changing experience.

Yves Peters was another Typophile star that I still clearly remember meeting. We didn’t speak so much then, but I did say enough clearly demonstrate I was a silly American. The first conversation started something like: ME: (spoken with a sense of awe) “Oh, hi, you are Why-Ves!” YVES: “Hi, yeah I’m Yves.” (actually pronounced Eves (don’t be ignorant like me)). He is a wonderful friend that I am lucky to gotten to know better in the last decade.

I didn’t actually meet Dan Rhatigan during the conference, but I did get to see him topless and hear a lot about him during a presentation about typographic tattoos. Little did I know then that we would be roommates for the next year in Reading! He’s a great guy – even though he works at Monotype.

For much of the conference I was occupied with an exhibition of some of my ceramic sculptures. Once I heard the conference theme was “Alphabet City” I immediately contacted SOTA about the possibility of showing some of my work. I created a series of sculptures called “Alphabet Cityscapes” made of pixel typefaces extruded into 3D, city-like structures. The show was a lot of fun to do and I am still honored that they invited me to participate. Thank you again to Tamye and Shu for all the help in making this happen!

I have been lucky to attend six TypeCons in the last ten years – and hopefully I’ll get to see many more still! If you are ever considering going, I can highly recommend it. There are so many great people there and you never know who you will meet there or what may become of the friendships. That is true of anywhere of course, but TypeCon has an especially fun and inspiring atmosphere that you certainly won’t ever regret being a part of.


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Silver Terrace Cemetery near Virginia City, NV
5 August, 2015

There is an incredible collection beautiful inscriptions at the Silver Terrace Cemetery just outside Virginia City, Nevada, near Reno. Most of the tombstones are from the mid to late 1800s and are in various states of preservation. Every (older) cemetery is unique and this one is exceptional due to its bold typographic treatments and variety of letter styles. Also unique is that many of the people have reference to where they have came from – I can only assume they were newly immigrated to the US. And while I am generally only ever focusing on the letters in my cemetery photos, it’s hard to not notice and be moved by the high number of children’s graves. Of course child mortality used to be much higher (and in the ‘Wild West’ no less), but it’s still sad to see so many memorials from grieving parents.


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