Confession: we once used a chop suey typeface

Chop suey typeface on open/closed sign

Back in 2000, the owner of a popular Vietnamese restaurant in San Diego that we frequented asked us to create a customized open/closed sign for his entrance. He was a droll young fellow, so we came up with an absurdly conventional old-chestnut-of-a-design using a chop suey typeface and presented a proof to him in jest. Hot Chef (as he was called by admirers) loved it, and to our surprise, we produced it for him.

Bifur: A.M. Cassandre’s great Art Deco typeface

Bifur a duochrome (two color) art deco typeface.

We picked up a copy of Continental Type’s 1930 type specimen book, a lovely two-color catalog of metal type exclusively  available from foundries in England, France, Spain, Germany, Holland and Italy. It features the great poster artist, Adolphe Mouron Cassande’s bold, iconic 1929 Art Deco typeface read more…

Email signatures: best practices

business email signatures best practices

Guidelines for email signatures:

  • Text only is predictable and consistent
  • Avoid logos, social media image-links, photographs, etc
  • Avoid HTML formatting—some recipients may only see text
  • Quotations are not necessary and may look unprofessional

read more…

Ed Benguiat (October 1927– October 2020)

Ed Benguiat

Ed Benguiat may be best known to the general public for his eponymous typeface, but he designed many typefaces. While working for Photo-Lettering, Inc (known as PLINC), and for ITC (International Typeface Corporation) Benguiat designed Barcelona, Bookman, Caslon No. 224, ITC Century Handtooled, ITC Edwardian Script, Souvenir, Tiffany and other popular faces. He was a teacher and a mentor. He inspired a collection of typefaces by House Industries. read more…

Benjamin Franklin’s waggish defense of John Baskerville’s type

Caslon specimen sheet, detail

In 1760, the American printer, Benjamin Franklin wrote to John Baskerville and paid him a visit.

Baskerville’s reputation, and even his eponymous typeface, had been maligned by “gentlemen” who may have been jealous of Baskerville’s talent, nonconformism, and increasing success. Baskerville used excerpts from one of Franklin’s letters as an “unsolicited testimonial“ in advertisements, but typographers will appreciate how clever Franklin was in his support of Baskerville: read more…

Lasting ephemera: Samuel Johnson’s “The Rambler”

Masthead, Samuel Johnson's The Rambler, 12 June 1750


The Rambler was a twopenny* sheet issued twice weekly in London between 1750 and 1752, each issue was a single anonymous essay. 208 periodical essays appeared, all but four written by Samuel Johnson. Dr. Johnson’s incentive was to pay the bills (“No man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money”) while he was at work on his great Dictionary. read more…

See-through perforated window signs

perforated window sign

Turn windows into signage with see-through perforated window vinyl signs.

Perforated window vinyl has an image/graphic that is printed directly onto perforated, adhesive vinyl material, allowing people to see outside from within. The only thing visible from outside during daylight hours is your message.

This is made possible by puncturing 50% of the vinyl with holes holes small enough for the decal to maintain a high-quality image on one side yet be see-through on the other side.

One Way See-Thru Window Film:
• See out and let light in, while advertising to the outside
• Good for indoor and outdoor use
• Business/storefront advertising and product promotion
• Branding or decoration
• Diffuse sunlight, provide shade and privacy