Tuesday, September 9, 2014

A catalog of over 1500 basic alphabets + variations

This catalog from Photo-Lettering, inc. was printed in New York and released in 1950. Photo-Lettering was the major figure in United States for providing a wide range of original alphabet designs using phototypesetting technique. It is one of their earliest catalog and appeared ten years before the publication of their famous Alphabet Thesaurus Nine Thousand. The main difference between the two is this one displays types under in-use specimens form but the alphabet thesauruses only show one line specimens of the faces, without any use of other graphics than letters. 

Credit goes to Alex Steinweiss for the cover design and general format; to the individual letterers for the special display pages of their alphabets; to Liam Dunne for help on the ornate alphabet section; to the staff of Photo-Lettering; and to Wright Photo-Offset for the printing. 

I learned from an article on the House Industries website that the PLINC bowtie logo (below - designed by Alex Steinweiss) was first seen on this catalog and then lasted for all next issues and corporate identity of the firm. It's bowtie-shaped, yes, but what does it really represent ? Any ideas ?

Contributing letterers for this issue include : Josef Albers, Alexey Brodovitch, J. Albert Cavanagh, Joseph Binder, Edward P. Diehl, Harold Hite, Harry Winters, Albert E. Nolan, Albert Soroka, Charles J. Freericks, George Suman, Herbert Feuerhake, Pete Dom, Gustav V. Meidel, William H. Millstein, Emil A. Schaedler, M. M. Davison, Tommy Thomson, C. E. Coryn, Tony Stan, George F. Trenholm, Sol I. Immerman, Oscar Ogg, Edwin W. Shaar, Garnett Megee, Herman Spinadel, Hollis Holland, Saul Haupt, Denis A. Edridge, Sidney Lisson, Sol Nodel, J. J. Karle, James D. Brooks, Victor Lamkay, Nasri Khattar, Alfred R. Bosco, John A. Karafa, Milton Crown, L’Harl Copeland, David B. Hills, Milton K. Zudeck, Melvin M. Tuch, M. R. Kaufmann, Maximilian R. Kerr, S. E. Norton, Frederick Blakeslee, Arthur Ohlman, George Piscitelle, Rodolfo Wallenberg, John S. Allen.

178 pages. 220 × 280 mm.