Posts Tagged ‘typography’

Monogram Design

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010

Monogram design is not that evident in Ireland which is a pity because we feel it can create striking results that are timeless. A monogram is two or more letters that overlap to form a symbol. The end design depends on the letters available and the creativity of the designer but a monogram can lead to some really interesting results, especially for logos. Probably the most famous monogram is the New York Yankees symbol. Below are some examples of monograms we photographed as part of our research for a recent job.

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New York Subway Signage

Sunday, January 24th, 2010

The previous post about Valencia train station signage got me thinking about the 28th Street subway station New York. It too had cool old mosaic signage which was nicely complemented by the modern signage below in Helvetica. Mosaic designs really seem to produce interesting and charming typography.

28th Street Subway Station mosaic sign

28th Street Subway Station mosaic sign

The mosaic signage on the other side of the tracks

The mosaic signage on the other side of the tracks

28th Street Subway Station modern sign in helvetica

28th Street Subway Station modern sign in helvetica

Valencia Train Station

Sunday, January 24th, 2010

During a recent trip to Spain I had the pleasure of passing through Valencia train station. The train station may not be the biggest train station in the world but it is definitely one of the most charming stations I have ever traveled through. The impressive mosaic tiles and detailed typography in some of the signage really helped me kill time as I waited to board the train.

A wood craved ticket sales counter with mosaic tiles

A wood craved ticket sales counter with mosaic tiles

Impressive mosaics on the walls around the customer service office

Impressive mosaics on the walls around the customer service office

Cool typography craved into the wood spelling out 'Norte'

Cool typography craved into the wood spelling out 'Norte'

Another example of nice typography in mosaic, 'Pleasant Journey'

Another example of nice typography in mosaic, 'Pleasant Journey'

The detail within the clock face is impressive but the mosaic designs that frame it are even more impressive. Check out the mosaic ceiling top right also.

The detail within the clock face is impressive but the mosaic designs that frame it are even more impressive. Check out the mosaic ceiling top right also.

Christmas Shopping in the 19th Century

Wednesday, December 16th, 2009

As I unsuccessfully attempted to do my Christmas shopping at the weekend – I was confronted by a vast array of colourful packaging and it got me wondering what it must of been like to go Christmas shopping for my parents or grandparents years ago. So I dug out Label Design by Claude Humbert I bought a few years ago in a second hand book shop which has a diverse range of labels and packaging from the 19th century and the 20th century. As we were reading through the book in the office we thought it would be fun to put together a Christmas shopping list from the book. After work we got busy choosing and scanning the labels we thought we might find in a 19th century home during the festive season. Unfortunately all the labels are in black and white but the rich detail in the designs are still visible to be appreciated. Its amazing how detailed these labels are, the strength of the typography and how incredibly well they have aged. We are currently working on a brand for a food company that is inspired by these type of labels but with a modern twist. Later in the week we might do a 20th century collection of labels that you might find in a home during Christmas in the early 1900’s.

Label designs for British Columbian Salmon, Gingerbread and Damson Jam by Lawrence Joyce Liverpool

Label designs for British Columbian Salmon, Gingerbread and Damson Jam by Lawrence Joyce Liverpool

Beauty products and bathroom items label design      Epsom Salts and Beauty Cream products label design that could of been found in the 1800's bathroom

Beauty products and bathroom items label design Epsom Salts and Beauty Cream products label design that could of been found in the 1800's bathroom

Label design for knife polish and camping furniture that could been on Santa's List! Far right a disinfectant label probably used to clean up after the Christmas party

Label design for knife polish and camping furniture that could been on Santa's List! Far right a disinfectant label probably used to clean up after the Christmas party

Labels for soap from Lautz Bro's and Soapine that could of been a socking filler over the fireplace in the 1800's. Textile labels of clothing from F.S.Cleaver and Nulsson Skirt that could of been under the Christmas tree in the 19th century

Labels for soap from Lautz Bro's and Soapine that could of been a socking filler over the fireplace in the 1800's. Textile labels of clothing from F.S.Cleaver and Nilsson Skirt that could of been under the Christmas tree in the 19th century

What someone would need to buy in the 19th Century to send Christmas cards, pencils, paper, envelopes and postcards

What someone would need to buy in the 19th Century to send Christmas cards, pencils, paper, envelopes and postcards

Detailed labels designed in the 19th century for Royal biscuits, Sweet Chocolate, Dunn & Hewett Cocoa and Walter Williams Mountain Coffee designed in the 19th Century

Detailed labels designed in the 19th century for Royal biscuits, Sweet Chocolate, Dunn & Hewett Cocoa and Walter Williams Mountain Coffee designed in the 19th Century

Labels of liqueur for Elixir De Garus and mineral water designed in the 19th century

Labels of liqueur for Elixir De Garus and mineral water designed in the 19th century

Alcohol labels from Guinness, C.F. Berger Acouvet, Malaga wine and wine from A. Siegfried Merian in Basel designed in the 19th century that might of been in the Christmas shopping trolley

Alcohol labels from Guinness, C.F. Berger Acouvet, Malaga wine and wine from A. Siegfried Merian in Basel designed in the 19th century that might of been in the Christmas shopping trolley to celebrate the festive season

I wonder if you would find these labels for Fine Castor Oil and Bi-Carbonate Soda back in the 19th Century
Labels for Fine Castor Oil and Bi-Carbonate Soda with strong clear typography

Cork Signage

Thursday, November 26th, 2009

Recently I’ve started to really appreciate the old signage around Cork City and county. Much of the signage is made of stone which is why it has lasted so many generations. Old signage gives us the chance to look into the past and see how generations of Irish before us have read and communicated to one another. The photos below were captured during a walk through Sunday’s Well, Cork.

This ESB (Electricity Supply Board) limestone craved sign was bolted onto an old stone wall. Despite its small size it is a very impressive sign in its simplicity. The font has an industrial feel to it and reminded me of the Port Authority Bus Terminal signage in New York which inspired Hoefler & Frere-Jones to design the Gotham font famous for the Barack Obama Presidential election campaign. It got me thinking how similar the font craved out on the limestone ESB sign was to the font on the Port Authority Bus Terminal sign that inspired the Gotham font itself, (as seen in the Helvetica documentary). The geometric and clear lines of the ESB font show a type of font an engineer would design rather than a designer due to its pure functionality and simplicity. In the past engineers tended to design things to be produced easily which would explain the clean geometric lines of both fonts. Perhaps Obama saw the Gotham font as a typeface the working class could relate to. Judging by his unrivaled popularity and election win, it seems he may of been right.

This rendered sign for billboard and poster printers is really cool. It is partially damaged after someone plastered over it. Thankfully the most of the plaster has fallen off the sign. The font itself is similar enough to the ESB sign above but the “T’s” are slightly less uniform as are the “E’s & L’s”. The large 14 above in the serif font contrasts nicely with the sign. Despite the sign being virtually redundant in use, as the company has long since gone out of business, it is a fantastic visual link to the past.

The Waterworks building on the banks of the Lee is another nice sign. It has an interesting rendered border around the sign, the typography is once again very geometric and clear. The stone work of the of the building is fantastic, especially the borders around the windows and the roof edges.

This final stone sign I noticed is from 1644! Its a very simple font with thin lines and serifs to define the letters. The signage is obviously a religious sign craved into marble stone which was possibly the foundation stone of Sundays Well in Cork, which I think is pretty cool.

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