• BOOKS,  EPHEMERA

    GRAPHIQUE DE LA RUE

    All over the world, beautiful signage is being destroyed and replaced by homogenized signs that threaten to erase local culture and history. In Paris–where even public restroom signage is worthy of intricate and inventive mosaic detailing–that loss is devastating. Graphique de la Rue is Louise Fili’s Parisian follow up to last year’s typographic wander through Italy, Grafica della Strada. Fili’s collection of the Parisian letterscape beautifully captures and celebrates the forms that mark, illuminate, and symbolize the city’s boulevards and rues. Like a typographic madeleine through the streets of Paris, the signs documented in Graphique de la Rue are a powerful trigger of memory and evoke a strong sense of…

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  • BOOKS,  DESIGN RESEARCH,  EPHEMERA,  MAPS,  PHOTOS

    BROOKLYN HISTORICAL SOCIETY

    Last week, I made an appointment at the Brooklyn Historical Society to look through their manuscript collection and peruse the incredible typography and lettering. The building itself is pretty amazing (with some of the nicest doorknobs I’ve ever seen). It was built in 1881, designed by architect George B. Post specifically for the Long Island Historical Society (as the Society was then known). Books and magazines from the last several hundred years line the stacks of the library, and nearly all of them contain beautiful letterforms. I looked through boxes and boxes of club ephemera, certificates, and maps from the 19th and 20th centuries. Here are a few good ones:…

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  • BOOKS,  DESIGN RESEARCH,  EPHEMERA

    COMPOSITION BOOKS

    I’m mildly obsessed with composition notebooks. There’s something about that familiar black and white marble pattern that is incredibly appealing. In the past year alone, I’ve somehow amassed over 40 marble notebooks, each with a distinct cover. It’s interesting to see the same base pattern being used–and distorted–by different brands. While some companies create their own style of the pattern, others manipulate a particular version, first seen in the Roaring Spring books (they’ve been producing composition books since 1887), which early catalogues describe as “black agate marble with paper sides.” Their pattern has no copyright, and is considered public domain. Companies even use multiple patterns within their own product line…

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