January 30, by squirrelbasket. I still treasure a Letraset catalogue from And I never could get it lined up straight. The catalogue begins: For designers, graphic artists, draughtsmen, typographers, in fact anyone connected with graphic art, the name Letraset is synonymous with high quality graphic art materials. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times… Can you believe it? We worked on paper!
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Read about their choices, from Sunshine to Frankfurter, Clarendon to Compacta, below. Paula Scher, Pentagram My favourite Letraset typeface was Helvetica Medium, which seemed to be the only one they had at the Tyler School of Art art supply store, where I sometimes worked. Since I could never rub down the type without it cracking, I used to draw little serifs on it and decorate it in other ways by adding dots and curlicues with a Rapidograph pen. My life long hatred of Helvetica began with Letraset.
They spoke volumes about process and the period to me. Erik Spiekermann When I was doing the layout for our school magazine in Berlin in , a friend told me about this amazing new stuff which was supposed to make setting headlines easy. I used to set headlines in hot metal type in Akzidenz Grotesk, of course at the press where I did my apprenticeship and paste them into the layout.
My friend sent me a sheet of Letraset. So, I learnt to rub down headlines in Clarendon and for the next two years I kept buying sheets of that same face. On those days when school was closed, or if I had to go to work at the weekend with my Dad, I would be given the Letraset catalogue to keep me amused.
It was always those sunny display faces of the seventies that I would seek out. And some 40 years or so on they still make me smile. As I often use Letraset to build type illustrations its broad and uniquely-shaped letter forms have given me great elements to build from.
I like it! Looks like a hard one to rub-down perfectly. All those hard straight edges were a gift. And I also like it because it is by a female designer — and a very good one, too. Sourced from my catalogue, wire-o-bound with a red cover. Block Up , designed by Sally-Ann Grover is not the most elegant face, but it has a funky 3D geometric quality that makes it irresistible although, back when I used Letraset typefaces regularly, I never used this one. Domenic Lippa, Pentagram Shatter , designed by Vic Carless is an onomatopoeia typeface that delights in its fun and playfulness.
In my view they appeared amateur, appealing to designers with little interest in serious typography. Consequently I equated in-house type design at Letraset not with playful irreverence as intended, but with a certain lack of authority.
For me, Letraset had been simply a convenient and accessible way to produce headlines or logos that looked professional, and retained an unquestionable sophistication. It was with genuine surprise then that I discovered only a couple of years ago that Compacta , designed by Fred Lambert , the font I had used prominently in my first work with Buzzcocks and which I still return to , was itself designed specifically for Letraset.
My earlier prejudice belatedly undone! My copy of the Letraset book is so well-worn and tattered, and evidences the central and liberating role it played for me at college, and consequently the studio.
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Letraset: The DIY Typography Revolution
Various labels were quickly made from Letraset rub-down lettering. Letraset was founded in the UK in , and their dry-transfer lettering, invented in , became a world-wide standard for commercial artists. Letraset also designed many popular fonts. They even produced transfers for children from , named "Action Transfers" from ; two Space: sets were produced in
Download the Fontek Font Catalogue PDF pages - Letraset