STILL MORE OUT-OF-THE-BOX CONCEPTS AND DESIGNS
33 EAST 47 TH STREET
NEW YORK CITY
Above, you know those classic dark, bent-
wood café chairs with the caned seats?
Those were originated by Thonet in France
(later of New York). Although less expertly
executed than their chairs, the Thonet
Brothers lettering has some unique and
unexpected touches, like the uncial-style H
and serifed Greekesque 0.
The Forest Craft Guild lettering, being
utterly inconsistent, is not technically any
good. But the designer has devised some
wonderfully unorthodox letterforms, such
as E, F,Sh the top row, and R, A, G at bot¬
tom. I look at something like this and ask
myself, "Wouldn't such characters look
great lettered better?' (In other words, if I
ripped them off to make a font.) This is
also a perfect example of "accommoda¬
tion," as the designer has fit f-0 together
on top, exaggerated the bowl of R, below,
to fill the gap left by slanting A, lowered F
into the hollow of Z below, and—prepos¬
terously—swung the right side of G into
the middle of U. I love that!
It has always amused me how some artists of the
period could never quite "get" the angular Art
Deco style when it exploded full strength in
America by 1929. Though well executed, this off-
target ziggurat book title design is some of the
most preposterous lettering I've seen.
Right, a classic example of newspaper movie-ad brush
lettering, circa 1930. I've placed it here to point out the
unusual flourish hanging off the first R in the word
Warner. Obviously, it was done—and elegantly so—to
fill the visual hole between A and R. Then the designer
added a second flourish to the leg of the last R to bal¬
ance and rationally justify the placing of the first one.
fiian Hughes's eye-confound¬
ing font, Lusta, example left,
is "based on an idea that
started with the lowercase
s—a kind of 'inline/outline'
hybrid," Hughes says. "The
variants derive from
applied to the basic font."
ft JOE E.
The screen's greatest comedian in
nub GINGER ROGERS • PRESTON
S. FOSTER« SHEILATERRY* FARINA