Tag Archive: print making

The Print Area is Indicated on This Page

Just a quick one today folks. I went back to uni last week to help sort out the studios for the start of the academic year, and as an entire room has been taken away from the course, we had to go through massive piles of stuff that’s been accumulating over the last 30 years or so. Most of it was rusty tool-box junk, useless admin forms and old cardboard, but amidst all the fail I found an old Letraset catalogue which, being the typography and design aficionado that I am, couldn’t help but really dig. During some down time I snapped a few photos on my phone, annoyingly I didn’t note what year it came out, but I’m guessing early to mid 80s.

Much like the stuff I found ‘From the Store Room’ and the ‘BS 5261C’ form, this is a cool relic from a time when the design industry was very different. Letraset is probably the best example of how things ‘used to be’, in particular their type transfer sheets that illustrate just how drastically things have changed. The typefaces, symbols and all the other various print-related stuff you could order has been arranged and set quite nicely, almost reminiscent of the modern infographic craze that has been sweeping the design world. With any luck there are loads of these catalogues still around somewhere, as this stuff needs to preserved, it’s just too cool to let disappear.


From the Store Room

Comin’ at ya’ with some more old school print and design-related relics from times gone by. I found these things in the store room at the back of our studio (above) when we were moving stuff around for the exhibition. As well as what looks like a giant robot arm made of tin foil, there was a ton of old books, typeface specimens (which I will showcase once I get around to scanning them in) and stuff of that ilk which seem to have been forgotten about over the last decade or so. Most of the stuff kinda deserves to be slung in a back room, but not these interesting and funky paper stock brochures I found:

I assume these were like sample brochures for anyone who wanted or would be interested in ordering paper in bulk. Whatever the reason for their existence, they have the same rigid, retro, businessy look as that British Standards Institute guide I found a few weeks back (here). Boring to most, cool to me, in an old-office, cassette-tape kinda way. Plus these can also be used as paper textures (win). Next up is the same sort of thing from a different paper manufacturer, Yates Duxbury:

Superfine‘ in my head is something more suited for a female blacksploitation character (“Pam Grier is SUPERFINE!”), but I guess paper can also be fine but in a very different way. These ones remind me more of those carpet sample books you get, with each one having a unique feel and style. The same is true of these paper stocks, but the differences between each one are significantly less and most normal people couldn’t give two shits about what their paper feels like.

These last two are ones that just had nice covers. I can’t actually remember what ‘Action‘ had inside, but the 70s sci-fi looking type stood out as it looks so dated. Something I’d most likely expect to see on those giant floppy discs they had before they made floppy discs the small size. Modern and futuristic at the time, garish and dare I say, boring today. The Eric Chambers book on the other hand, I think looks wonderful. If anything it’s kinda the opposite of ‘Action’: Boring and plain when it was first made, wonderfully retro and jazzy today. It just goes to show that if you’re a cooky designer there’s a wealth of old junk just waiting to be discovered and appreciated. Examples of when the industry was simpler, and very, very different, which I think is kinda nice.