• Nowadays, this typesetting would come out of Illustrator or Photoshop. How was it done in 1961? Is it done by a separate calligrapher, going uncredited, or some other way? - r8r


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Woman's Day magazine
Illustrated by Howard Terpning
October 1961

willmurai, brianmooredraws, j brush, and 10 other people added this photo to their favorites.

  1. leifpeng 33 months ago | reply

    r8r; When I began in the ad business in the mid-80s, there were still hand lettering artists who worked at type houses (where everyone sent out for all their typographic/typesetting needs). Hand lettering artists did headline type and worked in "quiet room" settings, since their work was so exacting. They were generally always uncredited - their skills were considered mostly technical and not artistic in those days - like sign painters, except for print.

  2. r8r 33 months ago | reply

    When I compared the various letters in the title above, I realized that all the lettering was made by hand. It was surprising to me that such lovely work went uncredited. Perhaps that's a field of study that requires some research!
    And of course there are plenty of talented calligraphers around today. I've met several who work in my area (animated commercials), but they're not invisible at all; they self-promote the way any talented illustrator would.

  3. leifpeng 33 months ago | reply

    Being known for specializing in hand lettering wasn't unheard of back in the day, but self-promotion became more common (if you can use the word 'common' in association with such an esoteric specialty) after the advent of the Mac in the graphic arts business. For the most part hand letters did headlines for ads - a lot of retail ads especially! It was not considered glamorous work, that's for sure. Now it's like black-smithing: something once so common and done without anyone really paying attention - except to acknowledge it was an admirably skilled trade - now so rare it's looked upon with a degree of awe - "Look - HAND lettering!" - unheard of in a digital age. Sadly, in the graphic design business (and I'm hearing this from other instructors and industry partners across the continent) designers simply being able to draw is becoming similarly revered as something rare and special. Many students enter and leave graphic design programs never putting pencil to paper - and actually manage get jobs in the industry with that astonishing handicap.

  4. r8r 33 months ago | reply

    What I'm seeing among students today is a resurgence of interest in hand work - drawing, printmaking, painting in gouache and acrylic - as it relates to illustration, personal film, and character work. The designers, by contrast, seem to be all about the digital tools. Even the letterers and typeface people are digital, which I think is a function of how minutely the edges can be massaged.

  5. leifpeng 33 months ago | reply

    Yup, that's what I see as well. We have a unique program at my college in that it's a graphic design program that allows student to choose a 'creative' or 'digital' stream - focusing more on hand-drawing/painting/conceptualizing or on technical/computer skills for print and web. The students who take the creative stream (my students) want exactly what you describe. It's heartening... though confounding that many of them are starting at square one. Where I (and most of my peers in the industry) began in grade school, my students are beginning in post-secondary!

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