Monday, December 31, 2012

Ringing in The New Year

I'm not sure what beef extract has to do with fine printing or partying, but it seems to be the common thread for all of these trade cards featured here. The Fêtes Populaires series above are Belgian trade cards from 1899, advertising Cibils Beef Extract. The 3 cards below are from the more familiar chromolith series advertising beef extract from the Liebig company who invented it. (See my previously written post about a very popular series of 6 Liebig cards about chromolithography here). The Fêtes Populaires series of trade cards above are from cigcardpix and the wonderful series below is from janwillemsen's flickrstream. Both have extensive collections.

A Happy and Safe New Year to you!

Mixology From Letterology

Mix it up safely out there!
This and more food and drink delights at alsis35's flickerstream.

Got Party Plans?

I want to go to this party. 
::From B-Kay's Flickrstream
::From grickily
::From Tiki_kiliki

::From English Cookies 
::From Ephemera Studies
::From worldofmateo
::From sallycotton
::From worldofmateo

Friday, December 28, 2012

Steer Clear for A Great New Year

Just last week I came upon this new calendar printed by Norman McKnight of the Philoxenia Press in Berkeley, CA. Not only was the design and printing very beguiling, but the lovely 19th century vignettes with the handsome lettering on each page particularly appealed to me. I contacted McKnight to inquire if I might purchase the calendar, and he replied in kind by sending me one of his last remaining copies. The 7.5 x 9 inch calendar is handsomely printed on beautiful Rives Heavyweight paper, and sewn with a pamphlet stitch. McKnight printed it on his foolscap folio Albion hand press and writes an engaging account of the process on his Ephimeros tumblr. He explains the interior text is set in 24 point Rhapsodie for the days of the week and 24 point Bologna for the numerals. The copper blocks seen below are 19th C originals, and in very good shape I might add. During this era, many "monthly vignettes" of this nature were commonly used in almanacs and generally had a theme to them. I can't help finding delight in the theme of these illustrations which reveal a different calamity and mishap for each new month—as life is fraught with curve balls! However it can't be all so harsh—not when you have the winter months to anticipate some wonderful frozen letters and a Fall display of handsome rustic-lettered months. With much gratitude to Norman, for this nice calendar! And I wish all of you a very productive and rewarding new year!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Curwen Press Holiday Menus

1953 Boxing Day Menu for the Caledonian Hotel in Edinburgh, designed and printed by the renowned Curwen Press. Below is a menu Curwen produced for holiday festivities at the Zetland Hotel the same year. These and more can be seen at the Curwen Press online exhibit from the University of Alberta's Bruce Peel Special Collections Library.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Matchbook Greetings

This sloshed snowman on skis is about to get slushed.
::From MADsLucky13 Flickrstream 

This Snoboy brand trademark has been around since 1925. He was the second generation of Snoboys, and the first to wear red earmuffs. Born in 1960, he eventually retired—or melted in 1985—which curiously, was about the first time I heard the words "global warming" muttered. His successor pales in comparison and looks like he should be selling toilet paper.
::From the Letterology Archives

The DeJur Corporation from Connecticut, and later New York, was a manufacturer of photography equipment, which originally began in the 1920s. Both of these cover designs are from the 1940s. The image immediately below is the interior of the one here.
::From Roadsidepictures Flickrstream 

From the Old Bookbinder's Restaurant in Philadelphia, which first opened their doors in 1865 and had a very storied history until it filed for bankruptcy in 2009 and was forced to close. There is still a Bookbinder's Restaurant in Richmond, Virginia however.
::This, and all the covers below, are kindly shared from Neshachan's Flickrstream.   

Friday, December 21, 2012

Edward Bawden's Christmas Gift

I'm re-gifting the work of Edward Bawden this year. He designed five Christmas catalogues between 1955 and 1959 for one of London's oldest stores, Fortnum & Mason. I consider Edward Bawden (1903-1989), to be one of the greatest artists and illustrators of the 20th century. He could to it all, and had a remarkable hand and wit with the pen. His handlettering hit all the right notes. It could be regal or playful—yet always elegant. Above all, he was extremely versatile and prolific. Each of these catalogues had a theme I'm guessing, beginning with the 1995 catalogue featuring the arrival of St. Nick and a reindeer with a tree and two gas lanterns in his antlers; the 1956 cover design with the Santa and his reindeer breaking a cracker and a Christmas ball with cats and dogs in fancy dress; 1957 with a champagne toast for the 250th anniversary of the store; the 1958 CATalogue featuring a St. Nick cat with a sled and reindeer on his back and a festive cat feast on the back cover; and lastly, the 1959, with a die-cut oval on front creating a theater of sorts for the "Christmas Pantomine" theme. All equally brilliant I might add. Thanks goes out to TM114 for sharing all five of them on Flickr. It is a gift! 

I also found this close-up shot of the 1959 catalogue which shows a photograph through the die-cut window of orchids. This image on all the others below are from Kotomicreations Flickrstream and were part of a Edward Bawden exhibit at the Bedford Gallery in late 2009. 

This is a close-up llustration for the order form inside the 1958 F & M CATalogue. The work below appears to be a tri-fold brochure for F&M which is seen unfolded. This time I think Santa is traveling by land, air and sea in a hovercraft steered by his reindeer. Steer clear for Christmas cheer...