Monthly Archives: August 2012

I’ve always had an inner desire to make, especially things that are handcrafted. I saw this video shortly after finding David Smith (previous post), and it profiles people who simply ‘make’ some are part of a dying tradition which is quite saddening, but this I suppose is the evil side of technology.


Simply ‘StumbledUpon’ this fellow, David Smith is a sign writer and an exceptionally good one at that. Its something that really interest’s me – I suppose it stemmed from my love of typography and signage, but the Victorian/Edwardian meets contemporary feel to his work really engages the viewer. As well as its sheer ornate quality, the work has a real elegance which you just don’t see anymore. I was so inspired by his work I’ve officially bought my first typeface – John Mayer by David Smith.


With it being a very ornamented, semi slab serif font it only has a small margin for use, yet when used properly it looks amazing.



David A Smith – Sign Artist from Danny Cooke on Vimeo.

A short history of John Baskerville (28 January 1706 – 8 January 1775).

Baskervillle was born in the village of Wolverley, near Kidderminster in Worcestershire and was a printer in Birmingham, England. He was a member of the Royal Society of Arts, and an associate of some of the members of the Lunar Society. He directed his punchcutter, John Handy, in the design of many typefaces of broadly similar appearance.

John Baskerville printed works for the University of Cambridge in 1758 and, although an atheist, printed a splendid folio Bible in 1763. His typefaces were greatly admired by Benjamin Franklin, a printer and fellow member of the Royal Society of Arts, who took the designs back to the newly-created United States, where they were adopted for most federal government publishing. Baskerville’s work was criticized by jealous competitors and soon fell out of favour, but since the 1920s many new fonts have been released by Linotype, Monotype, and other type foundries – revivals of his work and mostly called ‘Baskerville’. Emigre released a popular revival of this typeface in 1996 called Mrs Eaves, named for Baskerville’s wife, Sarah Eaves. Baskerville’s most notable typeface Baskerville represents the peak of transitional type face and bridges the gap between Old Style and Modern type design.

Baskerville also was responsible for significant innovations in printing, paper and ink production. He developed a technique which produced a smoother whiter paper which showcased his strong black type. Baskerville also pioneered a completely new style of typography adding wide margins and leading between each line.

(courtesy of Wikipedia)


Capital B in Baskerville regular.

The ‘ology of collecting…. Beer mats! Yes beer mats, quite an unusual one I agree, but when I stumbled upon a box of 50/60’s original beer mats at a car boot sale, I saw how great they were for typographic reference and use of type. Here are just a few of my new, ever growing collection.





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Whilst having a wonder on Portobello market I found a leaflet for this wonderful little museum. Tucked away on a small residential street in Notting Hill, the museum houses all forms of British and International advertising for brands, so effectively lots of packaging design. It highlights the progression through branding and advertising from Victorian England to contemporary branding. Its interesting to see just how old some Brands are, Persil, Coca-Cola, Oxo and of course Cadburys (Bournville, 1905) all dating back to the turn of the 20th century.

Its a great way to see how technology and the birth of consumer culture in the 50’s saw a huge leap forward in the need for brands to take a more concise decision as to how their product was perceived by the public. The exhibition is £5 for students (with student card) and here is a link to the website for address, opening times and so on 8/10