The Penguin Poets redesign by Jan Tschichold (1948)

penguin-poets-comp

15/12/10 – Two early examples of titles from the Penguin Poets series: (left) John Overton’s [?] original design of 1946 and (right) Jan Tschichold’s reformed design of 1951. (more…)

A selection of Chicago architectural postcards (1941)

Navy Pier, Chicago [107]

12/12/10 – Small selection of Chicago architectural postcards printed by Curt Teich and Co. in 1941. All postcards have a ‘linen-finish’ and are marked: ‘C.T. Art Colortone’. (more…)

Czechoslovak aircraft stamp series by J. Lukavsky (1967)

Glider L-13

01/12/10 – Series of postage stamp designs by Jaroslav Lukavsky featuring Czechoslovak aircraft. Engraved by Josef Herčík in 1967. (more…)

Jan Tschichold’s design for Penguin Scores 1949

Penguin Scores no. 3: 1949

23/11/10 – A selection of examples from the Penguin Scores series designed by Jan Tschichold in 1949. The series used a horizontal version of Penguin’s larger B size with typography set in Garamond and background patterns by Stephen Russ, Elizabeth Friedlander, Barbara Lambourne, and many others. (more…)

1962 Czechoslovak Summer Spartakiad graphics

Summer Spartakiad of the Allied Armies 1962

11/11/10 – Set of Czechoslovak matchbox labels commemorating the 2nd Summer Spartakiad of Allied Armies in 1962. (more…)

The Penguin Classics redesign by Jan Tschichold 1949

The Penguin Classics: 1945 & 1949

25/10/10 – Two early examples of titles from the Penguin Classics series: (left) John Overton’s original design of 1945 and (right) Jan Tschichold’s reformed design of 1949. Both feature circular illustrations (roundels) by William Grimmond. (more…)

Jan Tschichold: Penguin composition rules (1947)

King Penguin standard (detail)

18/10/10 – One of the first tasks Jan Tschichold set upon himself after becoming head typographer for Penguin Books in 1947 was to create the Penguin composition rules, a document outlining the core typographic standards to be practiced across all Penguin publications. (more…)

Jan Tschichold’s redesign for Pelican Books 1949

pelican-compare2_500

11/10/10 – Two examples of early Pelican titles: (left) Edward Young’s original horizontal grid design of 1937 and (right) Jan Tschichold’s reformed design of 1949. (more…)

The Penguin Shakespeare redesign by Jan Tschichold 1949

The Penguin Shakespeare: 1947 & 1949

27/09/10 – The Penguin Shakespeare series: Edward Young’s [?] original design (1938) and Jan Tschichold’s revision (1949). (more…)

Max Bill: Form (1952)

Form: a balance sheet of mid-twentieth century trends in design (1952)
20/09/10 – Selections from Max Bill’s Form: a balance sheet of mid-twentieth century trends in design published in 1952 by Verlag Karl Werner, Basel. (more…)

Design in Scandinavia exhibition catalogue (1954)

Design in Scandinavia: an exhibition of objects for the home (1954)

13/09/10 – Exhibition catalogue for Design in Scandinavia: an exhibition of objects for the home (1954), the first major exhibition of Scandinavian design to travel to North America. The exhibition showcased ceramics, furniture, glassware, metalwork and textiles from Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden and was pivotal in introducing modern Scandinavian design to North America. (more…)

Penguin’s horizontal grid design and Tschichold’s reforms

Penguin Books: 1938 & 1958

31/08/10 – Two examples of early Penguin paperback covers: Edward Young’s horizontal grid of the 1930s and Jan Tschichold’s reformed design of the 1950s. (more…)

More Czech National Spartakiad competition graphics

Train with us

24/08/10 – Series of matchbox labels produced by the Solo match factory in Lipnik, Czechoslovakia, on the occasion of the 1960 National Spartakiad. The text, “Nacvicujte s nami,” roughly translates as: “Train with us.” (more…)

Czech National Spartakiad sports competition graphics

Spartakiad sports competitions

30/07/10 – National Spartakiad matchbox label designs from Czechoslovakia circa 1959. The Spartakiads were mass sporting competitions created by the Soviet Union originally meant as an alternative to the Olympic movement. Competitions took place both in the summer and winter months and brought together competitors on regional, national and international levels. (more…)

Kay Bojesen teak and limba wood monkey (1951)

Kay Bojesen Teak and Limba Wood Monkey

27/07/10 – Teak and limba wood toy monkey with articulated joints designed and produced by Kay Bojesen and his workshop in Denmark c. 1951. Available today complete with Henri Rousseau themed packaging through Rosendhal.

Czech stamp series designed by J. Lukavsky (1971-2)

Cottage, Turnov 9k

19/07/10 – Series of 13 postage stamps from Czechoslovakia designed by Jaroslav Lukavsky featuring traditional Czech and Slovak folk motifs and architecture. (more…)

Czechoslovak Red Cross matchbox label series (1959)

Pecujte o cistotu pracovist

16/07/10 – Matchbox label series from 1959 for the Czechoslovak Red Cross. Messages include such wise adages as: “Alcoholism ruins society.” “Play safe!” “Keep your town clean.” and “Respiratory exams catch TB early.” (more…)

Aldo Rossi’s La conica e altre caffettiere (1984)

'La conica' e altre caffettiere (1984)

12/07/10 – Illustration by Aldo Rossi from the exhibition ‘La conica’ e altre caffettiere held September 8-11, 1984 in Milan. (more…)

Czech stamp series designed by Ivan Strnad (1972)

Ceskoslovensko 6k stamp (1972)
5/07/10 – Series of twelve stamps with floral motifs issued in 1972 in Czechoslovakia. Original artwork by Ivan Strnad translated into postage stamp format by well known engravers Josef Hercik and Miloš Ondráček. (more…)

Arizona desert postcards of the 1930s & 1940s

The painted desert, Arizona [P.D. 29]
18/06/10 – Small selection of desert-themed postcards from the 1930s and 1940s. All feature the Arizona desert, have a ‘linen-finish’ and are marked: ‘C.T. Art Colortone’. Postcard pictured above entitled: The Painted Desert, Arizona [P.D. 29] (more…)

Oliver Tomas

  • Design historian and archivist based in Vancouver, Canada.
  • info[at]olivertomas[dot]com