Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Calligraphy: Homage to the Bag


Homage to the Bag” was an exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Crafts in New York City from October 10, 1975 through January 4, 1976. (Below: detail of catalog cover.) The exhibition traveled and a stop was scheduled in Arizona at the Scottsdale Center for the Arts.


The Center contacted the Graphic Design Workshop for a poster design. Tom Hall assigned the project to me. After a number of sketches and discussions, Hall suggested Spencerian script on a paper bag. Below is a detail of the comp lettering on a paper bag which was shown to the Center for approval.



With the Center’s approval of the poster concept, I proceeded to refine the lettering. Below is a photostat enlargement of a tight sketch, my first attempt at Spencerian script.


A sheet of vellum was placed over the photostat. A variety of French curves and ellipse templates were used to do the inking. Corrections were made with white gouache. The artwork measures 9.875 by 9.375 inches / 25 by 23.8 centimeters. The image below was scanned twice and stitched together; the alignment is slightly off on the right side of “The”.


The metal plate used to foil stamp the paper bag.


ITC Souvenir was used for the two lines of copy. Below is a detail of the bag with the debossed image in gold foil. The bag measures 12 by 16.75 inches / 30.5 by 42.5 centimeters.


Hall entered several workshop posters in AIGA’s 1978 poster show. His postcard, below, said “Homage to the Bag” poster was the only one accepted.


I designed an invitation with the font ITC Kabel. A comp was made for the printer to follow. Tracing paper was adhered to the bag. The letterpress-printed bag measured 4.625 by 8.5 inches / 11.75 by 21.6 centimeters. 



The Poster Show 1978 (cover detail), American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA). Jurors: Lidia Ferrara, B. Martin Pedersen, James Miho. Catalog design: B. Martin Pedersencatalog is 10 inches / 25.4 centimeters square.


 (Next post on Monday: Herb Lubalin, Part 8)

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