Font Sampler from the Ukraine in 1930

Font Sampler from the Ukraine in 1930

I was exploring the listings on eBay recently and stumbled onto a listing for a book of sample type designs from the Ukraine, published in 1930. The images on eBay were not that informative, but I was intrigued, so I ordered it. It took quite a while for the book to get here from the Ukraine, but when it arrived …


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Eastlake at the Texas Capitol

I recently had an opportunity to visit the Texas Capitol building. It was very busy because the legislature was in session, lobbyists were skulking in the halls and student tours were everywhere. Despite the distractions I had an opportunity to observe and photograph some very impressive antique door hardware. The Capitol was built in the 1880s, designed by Elijah E. …


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Flatstock 48 at SXSW

For the fifth year in a row the SXSW festival in Austin has featured the Flatstock poster show with some of the best original gig posters from around the world on display and for sale. I’ve attended each of these and filed a report: 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014. In previous years I went with the intention of providing a broad …


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Austin Poster Scene

Austin is a great center for the arts, not only music and film and other performing arts, but visual arts and all sorts of crafts. All these events and shows have to be advertised and the traditional method of getting the word out is through posters distributed all over town wherever people gather. I like to go around town collecting …


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Classic Font: Vasilisa

Vasilisa is based on Russian folk art lettering from the pre-revolutionary period. It is included in our original Russian Fonts and Art package. It is very readable in English but also includes elements of Cyrillic lettering. It is evocative of rural Russian life and fits well with the hand crafted peasant wood work of that period. This new version is …


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Flatstock 43 in Austin

It’s South by Southwest time in Austin and for me that means it’s time for my annual visit to the Flatstock poster show. As always, the show was great, but every year it seems harder to get to than the year before as SXSW spreads out over more and more of Austin with ever more ridiculous numbers of bearded hipsters …


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Art of the Pinball Playfield

I often find myself being surprised by art which I run into in unexpected places, or in contexts where I don’t think about art as art because of its utilitarian application. I stumbled into a good example this weekend when I took my 11 year old daughter to our local video and pinball arcade, Pinballz in Austin. There aren’t as …


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A Visit to the Museum of the Weird

Many Austinites have adopted the unofficial slogan “Keep Austin Weird”, found on bumper stickers and t-shirts, a tribute to Austin’s tradition as a hippie refuge and its current status as a hipster haven, with more tattoo parlors per capita than anywhere but Bangkok and nightclubs on every corner. It’s not surprising that Austin’s sixth-street nightclub district has become home to …


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Austin Poster Scene

I didn’t get to go to the Flatstock Poster Show this Spring because I was out of town, but Austin is always a great town for show posters and I regularly come across interesting examples of local design, as happened today when I was out shopping for Easter trinkets at ToyJoy and noticed a couple of interesting posters from shows …


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More Pulp Art at Pulpcovers.com

Last year we featured an overview article on pulp novel cover design, and since then we’ve continued to look for other resources on mass market book and magazine cover design from the 30s, 40s and 50s. In a recent search I stumbled on pulpcovers.com, a site which features hundreds of covers, tending towards the more risque and unusual, including vintage …


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Optical Illusion Skull Images

Sometimes we stumble on strange backwaters of graphic arts history. One of those is the artistic tradition of creating images which appear normal, but also create a secondary image of a skull, an artistic optical illusion which was very popular it he late 19th and early 20th century, especially in France. The most famous of these images is C. A. …


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WWI Propaganda Posters

I hope readers don’t find it tedious, but my mind tends to run in certain courses and right now everything seems to be coming up propaganda posters, particularly from the World War I era. After the recent pieces on the work of Alexander Rodchenko and the early soviet constructivists, my mind – which is sort of like an organic version …


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