Tag Archives: lettering

Akio Matsumoto, commercial artist

Manzanar Sign Follow-Up

After I posted my article about the Manzanar War Relocation Center’s entrance sign, I received this email: Josh: I ran across your Dec 24 entry regarding the Manzanar relocation sign. My father, who was interned there, painted the sign.  He passed away four years ago but was a graphic artist who did a lot calligraphic […]

Manzanar sign, photo by Ansel Adams

What’s in a Font—The Manzanar War Relocation Center Sign

Update (January 5, 2010): After posting this article, I received an email from Mark Matsumoto, whose father, Akio Matsumoto, was a commercial artist interned at Manzanar during the War. According to Mark, Akio Matsumoto was the person who painted the sign. Needless to say, this information drastically affects my original theories about the sign’s lettering! […]

More vintage matchbooks

After the last treasure trove of matchbooks I came across, the idea of starting a collection of my own has been on my radar. I found a few on eBay that were from Torrance, California, the current location of three steps ahead and a subject of particular interest to me. The same seller had a […]

Original photographs that became our silhouettes (Photo by Sakura Koontz)

Josh & Alyssa Wedding “Save the Date” Postcard

My fiancée Alyssa and I are not typical when it comes to our wedding planning. For one thing, we’re getting married at an unconventional venue, the Los Angeles Natural History Museum. Moreover, we both work in design, and there’s no chance in heck that we’d buy any prepackaged save-the-dates or invitations. No sir. So we’ve […]

The SCROC Industrial Technology building

Metal architectural lettering

One of my favorite aspects of living in Southern California is the local architecture and its accompanying signage. Many of the schools in my area were built in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s, and lots of them utilize gorgeous, low x-height, geometric titling faces like the ones on which Neutraface is based. The Southern California […]

Barton Bee Line Legs Box

I just love packaging from the ’60s. This one may have been printed later (it says “Series ’76”), but I’m pretty sure it had to have been designed in the 1960s and used a few years beyond its intended shelf life.

The Heritage Club—gorgeous book design

I’m a sucker for well-designed books—the paper, the printing, the typography, the illustration, the binding. Yum. Unfortunately, well-designed, well-printed, well-typeset books are the exception nowadays, not the rule. I learned by watching the Antiques Roadshow that it became common practice in previous centuries for publishers of expensive books to sell them by subscription or in […]