Monday, June 22, 2015

Vernacular OldType in Grand Marais

Bally’s Blacksmith Shop (built ca.1911), Grand Marais, Minnesota.
This close-up photo features the early signage (perhaps original) on the side of the building. The structure is undergoing renovation as a historical site. Photograph by versluis ©2015.

Perhaps the letterforms in this particular sign were generated by a self-taught sign painter, but the type fitting, letter spacing and classic layout on clapboards is especially interesting. The sign painter expresses ingenuity through the combination of condensed with regular and extended type styles in order to copy-fit the text within the space.

Writer Meredith Davis in her book Graphic Design Theory mentions that:

The often hand-generated and "crudely" designed vernacular faces were in stark contrast to the typographic precision and refinement of late modernism. They recalled the history of communication, distinctions of social class and settings, and associations with how and for whom they were produced. (1)
  1. Davis, Meredith. Graphic Design Theory. New York: Thames & Hudson Inc., 2012. 120-21. Print.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the editor has approved them.