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While I was researching post-war reconstruction in the British magazine Architectural Review I’ve found the following articles by Nicolete Gray.
I thought I post the references (and the first lines) here in case someone is looking for them but has no time to go through all editions like I did. I hope you find it both useful and enjoyable. Gorgeous photos accompany the articles and I think it’s worth having a look if this is your cup of tea. I could only take photocopies ( no scans) but let me know if you need further details and I shall oblige.
1953 November / vol.114 / number 683
THEORY OF CLASSICAL: Much of that heritage comes to us from the last century, when sign-writers and publicists, driven forward by the inexorable pressures of Victorian commerce, broke into new fields and devised new and original forms.
Not found yet.
1954 June / vol.115 / number 690
EGYPTIANS: Their suitability to contemporary architecture. Undoubtedly, the Egyptian is the best architectural letter that has so far been invented. And, indeed, it was probably invented as an architectural letter. J.Callingham, the author of some of the first signwriters’ manuals, writing in 1871, mentions it originated by signwriters at the end of the 18th century, and later copied by typographers.
Not found yet.
Not found yet.
1955 April / vol.117 / number 700
MODERN FACE AND FAT FACE [sorry didn’t find the article yet]
1955 December / vol.118/ number 708
LETTERING: MINUSCULE. Lower case, little letters or minuscule-what shall we call them? For undoubtedly they are important in public lettering, not for monumental purposes, but as a possible and suitable alternative for a multitude of ephemeral and unpretentious uses.
1956 August / vol. 120 / number 715
ALPHABET: If we have rejected the theory that an alphabet based on the Trajan column lettering is the end-all of monumental lettering, if beyond that we have decided that the theory of classical lettering formulated at the Renaissance covers a part only of the possibilities of lettering as an art, what then is the nature of that art? By what criteria can we judge it? How can we tell what is good and what bad, what legitimate and what, if anything, illegitimate, or when indeed a letter is a letter?
1957 April / vol.121 / number 725
STREET LETTERING: Without doubt the first consideration in the designing of street lettering should be to insure that it fulfils its purpose; that it should be immediately legible. But, since it is a necessary adjunct to every town street-and indeed most streets are insufficiently labelled-it is also of importance that it should be an ornament to its locality, a pleasure to the inhabitant as well as a convenience to strangers.
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1958 July / vol.124 / number 738
MATERIAL AND DESIGN: Until the invention of printing, the dominating factors in letter-design were the tool employed and the surface on which it worked. The trail of brush on papyrus, the slant of the quill on vellum, the bite of stylus or chisel in wax or stone, these circumscribed the forms and indicated the directions of experiment. Lead type and paper extended the range, but the manual skill of the punch cutter was limited by the slowly-improving quality of type-metal, and cultural snobbery, however high-minded its motivation, retained the forms of humanistic minuscule, Trajanic capitals, Fraktur and chancery script in the alien materials of print.
1959 April / vol.125/ number 747
EXPRESSIONISM IN LETTERING: A piece of lettering is not just an abstract design. The design is conditioned not only by the material from which it is made, and the purpose for which it is made, but also by the idea in the mind of the designer, which can never be purely formal because he must be aware at least of the meaning of the words which he is inscribing.
1959 May /vol.125/ number 748
THE MODERN MOVEMENT: We have in previous articles surveyed many different sorts of lettering, different types and different ideas and uses, but the problem which arose in the very beginning still remains to be answered; which of the traditional styles of lettering are best adapted to the modern style in architecture or does it demand a new or exclusive letter of its own?