Archive for August, 2008
It’s no secret that for inspiration I look at a lot of American ephemera. I collect some, but I am also constantly on the lookout for good books to have on hand to refer to for a quick jolt of brilliance. I’ve got books on neon and cigarette packs, enamelled signs and billboards, wheel charts and travel brochures, and on and on. One recent purchase really stands out in my mind—so much so that I felt I needed to mention it here: “Striking Images” – Edited and Designed by Monte Beauchamp. It’s a book of vintage matchbook cover art. There have been other books on the subject, but this one stands out in my mind as having the best, the most unusual, and the most colorful selection of this genre I have ever seen. But what really stands out in my mind is that many of the images are blown up to either full page size—or larger. Monte is also well known as the man behind “Blab!” magazine, a publication that anyone interested in what is current in the Fine Art and Illustration worlds cannot afford to be without. Also worthy of mentioning is that if any of you are going to be in the vicinity of Manhattan (Kansas that is) between the months of August and October you should definitely take in the Blab! Retrospective being held at the Beach Museum of Art.
I was asked by Moira Deakin, Creative Projects Manager at Serino Coyne Advertising, to design a title treatment for the Broadway musical adaptation of the John Waters film “Cry-Baby”. I did seven design solutions including the four you see below. The producers of the show selected the one at the bottom. For reasons unclear to me this design was eventually adapted and changed slightly, but still remained fairly faithful to my original intent. Unfortnately the show closed recently after only 45 previews and 68 performances.
I was quite proud of all the work I had done on this title treatment. I’ve put together a Case Study PDF of the steps I followed from start to finish on this project, which can be downloaded from my page of downloads.
My most recent Alphabet Soup release is a re-creation of Morris Fuller Benton’s classic Bank Gothic. I felt that adding a set of lower case characters that felt completely consistent with the original design would greatly enhance the usability of this beautiful workhorse font.
Designing a lowercase that had never existed before for Bank Gothic—and have the new characters feel as if they were there from the beginning—wasn’t as easy a task as I first believed it would be. Trying to second guess how Mr. Benton would have designed this lower case was at times perplexing, so this project (which I initially thought I’d complete in about three or four months) actually took almost five years to complete. But I believe that in the end I finally got it right, and hope that Mr. Benton would have approved!
In addition to creating a set of lowercase characters, I also created a new set of shortcaps for those instances where the classic Bank Gothic “caps and shortcaps” look is preferable. Plus, I created a Condensed version of the font, also with new lowercase and standard shortcaps. The Bank Gothic AS family is available at Alphabet Soup Type Founders. A Bank Gothic AS Manual (PDF) containing more background and a complete character set can be downloaded from my downloads page at Illoz.