Friday, September 6, 2013

Touch Typing Goes Hollywood

A recent visit to Portland Oregon, turned up this 1961 boxed set from Smith Corona which includes an instruction booklet and five recordings for a crash course in touch typing. The most visually interesting part of this package is the sixties display type on the front cover with the variable size letters and the elongated horizontal arms and stems. This lettering style can be directly traced to the influential work of Saul Bass (1920-1996) and his groundbreaking 1955 film poster for The Man With the Golden Arm. According to former Saul Bass & Associates production artist, Jill Bell, the credits for the hand-lettering of the logo go out to Harold Adler (1912-2002), with likely contributions by lettering artist Maury Nemoy (1912-1984). The version of this sixties lettering style seen above appears to be a commercially produced font, but I love it all the same.


  1. In 1951 I purchased the "correspondent's" typewriter made by S-C. It was similar to the Olivetti but cheaper. And it was accompanied by a booklet which ten years later was apparently converted to 78 records. Within a week I was touch-typing like a pro and so proud of myself. Seeing the print-outs here brought back wonderful memories of my high school English classes and typing my senior topic.

  2. What an amazing find! I love old typewriter manuals, but I've never come across one as stylish as this one. I describe one I found in my blog post here, fyi:

  3. I still type with 2 fingers and now that we have texting we have moved on to thumbs and index finger.. Oh how I hated typing class..


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