Helvetica will be 50 next year. To coincide with this significant anniversary producer/director Gary Hustwit is making a film about the font. An uncharacteristic entry for Ace Jet perhaps but well worth a mention and a look at the website.
I found this facsimile copy of El Lissitzky's suprematist tale of Two Squares in Oxford's Museum of Modern Art while there on a Typography conference in 1990.
First thing to mention: A three day typography conference! My idea of heaven! With talks by the big names of the day: Brody, Why Not Associates, Phil Baines; the always entertaining Eric Spiekermann; the great Ed Benguiat; the amazing Adrian Frutiger; and even the late Stanley Morrison (actually played by an actor). Happy days.
Second thing: Lissitzky was a monumentally important artist, particularly for the graphic design industry, so this iconic book was a great find. Each page has a trace overlay showing the english translation.
Just look at the mechanism on that! Never has the cliche "they don't make them like they used to" been more appropriate. It may be just a rubber date stamp but those cogs are so well engineered and stand out from the green metallic casing so well. They're almost sculptural when you scrutinise them closely. Don't get me wrong; I'm not actually droolling over them (well, not quite) but it really is a quite special object to hold.
There's nothing like a set of drawing instruments to get me excited. I found this set in New York's China Town. Each item has something going for it; the logo embossed into the compass hinge, the letterpress printed card insert, the milky white plastic ruler with it's black and red print, and not least the tin itself with it's very badly drawn type. It's bad but good. How proud; the student weilding this mighty set.
I found this cigar box with a very neat sliding lid and set myself the task of filling it with 100 small pieces of Dutch Grey Board, each carrying an interesting piece of print (it took a while). It includes: A fragment of a letterpress printed betting slips (still used today at most horse and dog race track, in England at least); A flattended mini milk carton from a flight to Sweden; A ticket from the Gosport to Portsmouth ferry; Pieces of maps; Air mail marks; and 95 other oddments.
Now this was quite a find: My French is hopless but I think this is a certificate issued to Mr Cull by Air France to commemorate an historic flight involving the North Pole and the date line. Isn't that a meridian line? I mention that because I think the typeface used is Adrian Frutiger's Meridien. Anyway, it was the illustration that attracted me to it when I saw it on a stall at the Porte de Clignancourt flea market in Paris.
Another in the irregular series of "acquired" espresso cups. Unfortunately, I can't remember where it came from; clearly an Italian brand but I have a feeling it found it's way into my clutches in Greece.