Fonts in Use is a public online archive of typography, indexed by “industries, formats, and typefaces.” It’s stated intent is to document and examine graphic design with the goal of improving typographic literacy and appreciation.
Show above is a tiny sampling of the thousands of examples (spanning many decades) one can view here.
(Thanks to J Ray for the link).
Like most graphic designers, I love posters. Like many others, I’m also somewhat of a collector (stamps, books, publications, ephemera, 100s of posters)…
This week I had the chance to unroll and look at some 30 or so posters I have from the Kunstgewerbemuseum in Zürich, acquired during a visit there in 1986. Beautifully designed and printed (many are silk-screened), these large A0-sized pieces (841 mm x 1189 mm) are truly a joy to view.
Shown above is a small selection — enjoy.
I’m not sure Leyendecker’s illustrated ad would make the cut today…
“Ivory Soap had a good many unusual experiences during the war, and was found in many strange bath-tubs… ‘We all had a bath in a large canvas arranged for the purpose a few days ago, about 25 being under the hose at one time. Best of all, we had Ivory Soap. It certainly seemed like home to rub in the mild Ivory lather from head to foot and then feel the delightful exhilaration following a brisk rub down.’”
A Proctor & Gamble advert in The Geographic, 1919 (source).
Some nice racing posters from the 1950s… (source).
—Marcus Aurelius (121 AD-180 AD)
“Created between 1958-1963—when the U.S.S.R. was well ahead of the U.S. in the space race—these posters are wonderful examples of mid-century Soviet art.”
Rendered unflinchingly in the style that came to be known as Socialist Realism, the posters sport headlines such as, “We were born to make the fairy tale come true!,” “Socialism is our launching pad,” and “Glory to the workers of Soviet science and technology!” See more examples, including translations, here.
(Thanks to Chris Pointon for the link.)
Truth is indeed stranger than fiction. It has now been confirmed that the Central Intelligence Agency used American modern art — including the works of such artists as Jackson Pollock, Robert Motherwell, Willem de Kooning and Mark Rothko — as a weapon in the Cold War, beginning in 1947.
“In the manner of a Renaissance prince (except that it acted secretly) the CIA fostered and promoted American Abstract Expressionism around the world for more than 20 years.”
Why did the CIA support these artists? “Because in the propaganda war with the Soviet Union, this new artistic movement could be held up as proof of the creativity, the intellectual freedom, and the cultural power of the US. Russian art, strapped into the communist ideological straitjacket, could not compete.”
Read the full article, entitled “Modern art was CIA ‘weapon,’” from The Independent, here.
The world has been abuzz this week at the discovery/authentication of a painting by Vincent van Gogh that had long languished in a Norwegian attic (top image). Entitled ‘Sunset at Montmajour,’ the piece was painted near Arles in the South of France in 1888, during the time many consider to be the famous Dutch Impressionist’s most productive period.
Earlier this summer I came across a great link… The Google Art Project is a collaboration with museums large and small, classic and modern, world-renowned and community-based from over 40 countries. Together they have contributed more than 40,000 high-resolution images of works ranging from oil on canvas to sculpture and furniture. Some paintings (like The Starry Night) are available in ‘gigapixel’ format, allowing you to zoom in at brushstroke level to examine and appreciate the incredible detail of these masterpieces. In addition to the high-resolution images, each artwork also features expertly-narrated videos, audio guides, viewing notes, detailed information, maps and more. It’s a remarkable online resource and one that’s worth exploring, here.