Monday, April 17, 2023

Lettering: Tony Stan, Photo-Lettering Inc. and ITC

Tony Stan was born Antonio L. Stanziola on August 23, 1917, in Brooklyn, New York, according to the New York, New York Birth Index at Stan’s Social Security application said his middle name was Louis and parents were Patsy Stanziola and Frances Speranza, both Italian emigrants. The 1925 New York state census had his father’s name as Pasquale which Stan would use for a type family. 

The 1920 United States Census said Stan was the third of four children. He had an older sister and brother, and a younger brother. The family resided in Brooklyn at 201 Prospect Street. His father worked in shoe factory. In 1925 their address was 203 Prospect Street.

In the 1930 census the Stanziolas lived in Brooklyn at 1450 42nd Street. 

According to the 1940 census, Stan was an artist who earned $772 in 1939. His highest level of education was the fourth year of high school. Stan lived with his parents and siblings at 1458 Thirty-eighth Street in Brooklyn. 

On October 16, 1940, Stan signed his World War II draft card. He lived with his parents in Brooklyn at 1312 42nd Street. His employer was Lawrence Studios, 18 East 48th Street in Manhattan. Stan was described as six feet two inches, 180 pounds with brown eyes and black hair. Later his draft card was updated with a current address, 551 10th Street, Brooklyn. 

Stan enlisted in the Army on November 13, 1942. His occupation was commercial artist who had one year of college. 

In Life with Letters—as They Turned Photogenic (1981), Edward Rondthaler said
Tony Stan, on the other hand, had an entirely different experience. Early in 1942 an omnipotent finger beckoned him from the drawing board to Fort Dix [New Jersey]. That ended his lettering career for the duration.” During his induction Tony insisted to the admitting sergeant that he was a letterer, not a mere sign painter, and for that expression of loyalty to his art the no-nonsense sergeant dumped him into the 11th Armored Division, a tank corps, where he saw the grimmest of action relieved by only one opportunity to use his lettering talent—painting a sign that read “OFFICERS’ LATRINE.” He was in the thick of action in France, Belgium, and even in the notorious Battle of the Bulge. … 
Stan (Private Anthony Stanziola) was in the 745th Tank Battalion, Company D. The History of the 745th Tank Battalion, August 1942 to June 1945, said Stan was in the Third Platoon (see pages 26 and 27). 

Thunderbolt: Eleventh Armored Division, “A Natural” was published in 1944. Stan (Private First Class Anthony Stanziola) was credited for the cover and illustrations. The title page illustration was signed Stanziola. Most of the sixteen spots illustrations were initialed AS. The brush lettering may have been Stan’s handiwork (just a few samples below). 

The Department of Veterans Affairs BIRLS Death File, at, said Stan served from March 20, 1942 to January 8, 1946. 

On October 4, 1943, Stan and Sophie Drabicki obtained a marriage license in Brooklyn. They married the following day. 

The 1948 New York City directory listed Stan as an artist at 366 Madison Avenue. 

Stan and his wife sailed from New York City on September 3, 1948. Their destination was Havana, Cuba. 

The 1950 census recorded Stan and his wife in Brooklyn at 551 10th Street, apartment three. He was a freelance artist. Stan’s in-laws were in apartment two. 

The Inland Pinter, October 1952, said 
In The Alphabet Gallery, New York City, October 8 through December, will be an exhibition of hand lettering by Tony Stan, self-taught letterer who serves New York advertising agencies.
A 1972 issue of Advertising & Sales Promotion said 
Another poster, “The Last of the Red Hot Letterers” has logos, heading and text designed and hand lettered by Tony Stan. Copies of the posters are available from Photo-Lettering Inc., 216 E. 45th St., New York 10017.
U&lc., 1974

1975,  ITC American Typewriter Bold specimen book
ITC American Typewriter: designed by Joel Kaden in the two lighter weights, and in the bold by Tony Stan. ...

1977, ITC Garamond specimen book
... if Claude Garamond were designing his illustrious type for photographic and electronic typesetting machines, he would not simply duplicate the face he cut in metal over four centuries ago. It would have contemporary overtones. To this end, Tony Stan has, in effect, rephrased the famous Garamond flavor in late 20th century terms. The niceties, the taste, the details, the fit, the larger x-height, and the weight graduations of ITC Garamond measure up to today’s new typographic standards, yet nowhere has Stan deviated from the genial flow of line so characteristic of this distinguished letter. ...

1978, ITC Cheltenham specimen book
... Tony Stan was commissioned to develop this special typeface family. The series was introduced in 1975 and consisted of an ultra and book weight with corresponding italics for each. They featured larger x-heights and more subtle letter fitting compared with their metal predecessors. 

Now, with the addition of a light and bold weight with italics to match, ITC offers a full Cheltenham series with four weights in regular roman and italic. ...

Stan appeared in a Kodak advertisement published in Graphic Arts Monthly, July 1978. 

1980, ITC Century specimen book
...Tony Stan, designer of ITC Garamond and ITC Cheltenham, was commissioned to develop the ITC Century family. Two styles of this series were introduced in 1975 and consisted of an Ultra and Book weight with corresponding italics for each. The ITC Century series features larger lowercase “x” heights and more subtle letterfitting when compared with its metal predecessors. In addition, the lowercase ascenders have been slightly shortened and certain serifs on the insides of the lowercase letters h, m and n have been been selectively eliminated. ...

1983, ITC Berkeley Oldstyle specimen book
... Special attention was paid to determining the correct family weight relationships for ITC Berkeley Oldstyle. This is best explained by Tony Stan, the designer of this typeface: “The four weights were carefully designed to create one harmonious family. The weight relationship between the Book and Medium designs was especially important. The Book could not be too light; this would require disproportionately heavying up the thin strokes for small point size resolution. The Medium is the foundation for text composition; thus, there is less contrast between these two weights as in other typestyles. The Bold takes a bigger jump to add emphasis; and the Black is as heavy as this design can go without suffering in small point sizes.” ...

Gutenberg & Family, January 1985, published samples of Stan’s work. 

U&lc., March 1977

Stan passed away on October 6, 1987, in New York. The Social Security Death Index said his last known residence was East Norwich, Nassau County, New York. 

Further Reading and Viewing
Mark Simonson, Industrial Art Methods, December 1972
Communication Arts, Keepin’ It Casual 
U&lc., February 1986, ITC American Typewriter
U&lc., May 1986, ITC Garamond and ITC Century
U&lc., August 1986, ITC Berkeley Oldstyle
U&lc., November 1986, ITC Cheltenham

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