Tag Archives: poster

Ideas from Soylent Green: Crowd-control bulldozers

Look at that poster! At least FOUR riot-control bulldozers — with cow-catchers! — in this crazy future world. Didn’t they think we’d invent pepper spray?

Man, the far-future world of Soylent Green in just over a decade away. That’ll be an interesting viewing experience come 2022.

Poster, by the way, from the very excellent Film on Paper site. You should definitely check that out.

Manual kerning, the poster

I was absolutely entranced by this post on Quad Royal – a Vintage Poster Blog, taking a look at something they found rolled up in an old tube.

They found two posters — one white, one black; one full of an upper-case alphabet, the other, lower-case. What were they? As it turned out, instructions — spacing rules, to be exact. Or, kerning.

[T]hese instructions are by the great graphic designer Jock Kinneir. He’s best known for designing the template and typeface for Britain’s road signage along with Margaret Calvert (the Design museum have written an interesting piece about it if you want to know more). But in 1964 they also designed Rail Alphabet, as part of the Design Research Unit‘s rebranding of British Railways.

So that’s what I think this is, particularly as the posters came as part of an assorted lot from the Malcolm Guest sale. I imagine that, given their battered and used state, they were up on the walls of a design office somewhere in the British Railways system.

Now of course rendered obsolete by the computer. But a rather a fascinating bit of graphic design history nonetheless.

What I’ve also discovered in the course of writing this post is that Rail Alphabet wasn’t just used by British Railways, but also by Gatwick Airport and the NHS too, right up until the mid 1990s.  So it’s more than just a typeface, it’s the written identity of the post-war British state.

So, not just a really cool-looking poster (click over to the full post, where they’ve got photos of the full things), but also an important historical artifact. The blog says they will be donated to a museum.

I would love to have them re-printed.

(via @Coudal)

Freelancing appears to have street cred

Everybody’s favourite bounty hunter is a pretty good role model for those of you trying to make a go of it in this post-corporate world! Aspire to greatness, even if it means you have to put up with some shit from clients every now and again (whaddya mean, no disintegrations!) and even if it means your “retirement” is likely to feel a lot like being slowly digested for a thousand years.

(photo by Scott Beale / Laughing Squid, poster apparently by Solvate, a freelander-finder)

And now, a little perspective

Plus, even atoms are mostly empty space.

What has always seemed cool to me about this concept is that the sensation of solidity, of touch, is really the byproduct of the chemical bonds that hold atoms floating in stasis near to each other. If you think about how much of your skin is actually empty space — and how much of that table is also empty space — it’s near-miraculous that you can reach out and touch it, not pass right through it.

Those chemical bonds, when you think about it on an atomic level? They’re basically force fields.


(From Les Yeux, via @Coudal)

A typography anatomy lesson

Yes, I am aware that I am a bit of a typographile. But I can’t help slightly drooling over this letterpressed poster of full-on awesome. They call it a typography anatomy lesson, and it truly is — breaking out every piece of every letter with its proper name.

Here’s a look at the full poster:

They were — were! — on sale for $75 apiece, signed and wax-sealed, but they are sadly, sold out. I hope they do a new run, although I would definitely settle for a print rather than a signed original.

I love the detail, as cited on Ligature, Loop & Stem, where you could have bought one:

Typographers refer to elements of a letterform using a variety of terms that align naturally to architecture or the human body—eye, ear, foot, arm, lobe, leg—and we’ve captured many of them in this modernist-style limited edition print.

Each individually numbered 12″ × 16″ print is reproduced in Toronto by Neil Wismayer at Lunar Caustic Press on 130lb Strathmore Natural White wool finish stock in black and PMS187 red inks. Prints are hand stamped with an official red LL&S wax seal.

There are a number of close-ups (poster porn?) at Flickr, where one of the creators, Grant Hutchinson, has a small photostream.

Web-based promotions for “lost” World’s Fairs

The concept of a World’s Fair seems somehow anachronistic to me, like the byproduct of a more optimistic era.

That said, I love the idea of a World’s Fair. But apparently the Olympics have kind of won out the battle for international event of note.

So it was kind of nice to see promotions for World’s Fairs that never were. To experiment with some of the new typography possibilities with online open fonts, the Friends Of Mighty have created online “posters” of sorts for Atlantis (1962), El Dorado (1924) and the Moon (2040).

They’re fun to scroll through — but work best (actually might work only) in a modern browser. So if you’re stuck at work on IE6, I’m very, very sorry.

I particularly like scrolling all the way down to Atlantis, and watching the little man in the elevator tube come too. But, at the Moon, it was neat to actually stretch out your browser window, left and right, to see an astronaut appear and disappear.

Cool stuff!

See them all here.

How to meet people and create friends

Now this is street level networking:

According to The Daily What, these posters have been pasted up all over NYC, but it’s the kind of thing that just inspired imitation and (probably) satire. There are at least two, because here’s the picture that the Daily What posted:

… But if you follow the link-trail, it dead-ends at this Tumblr account.

The first picture I posted came up when I Googled “Living Exercises” and came across a post on According To G, which is a blog devoted to music and art in NYC.

I would love to know more about “Living Exercise” — sounds like there might be a series of these posters, each with different instructions, perhaps, that are dedicated to making life a little bit better, a little more human?

If you click on the top picture to see it full-size (it’s huge) you’ll see that the little mark after “Living Exercises” at the bottom doesn’t appear to be a copyright symbol — it’s almost like a swirl.

What does it mean?

The periodic table of imaginary elements

So, you’re a sci-fi or comic-book or some other kind of geek? And you like actual real-life science, too? Then this periodic table style poster of imaginary elements might just be right for your dorm room or parents’ basement:

(click to see double-size)

It’s $25 to get it poster size, from Russell Walks. It includes some doozies, like phlogiston, kryptonite, latinum … I have to say, it would be pretty cool in the right environment.

(via Gizmodo … via Urlesque, Neatorama, and Kotaku)