Monday, October 29, 2012

Lettering: The New Superadventure Colorforms Set

When I was at Continuity Associates, Neal Adams had the Colorforms account. In the early 1980s, he gave “The New Superadventure Colorforms Set” lettering and production work to me. The lettering, four figures of Superman, Wonder Woman, Robin and Batman, and the background were drawn separately; a photostat of each was made. The photostats of lettering and art were moved around to make the final composition, which was photostatted and delivered to Colorforms. Below is the final production art for the toy box; the border measures 10.25 by 13.25 inches / 26 by 33.7 centimeters.

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(Next post on Monday: The Little Box of Horse Laughs)

Monday, October 22, 2012

Anatomy of a Logo: Ironwolf

Around 10 o’clock in the morning on March 23, 1992, DC designer Robbin Brosterman called and offered the Ironwolf graphic novel logo to me. I accepted. The next day a two-page fax arrived. The first page was her cover layout and the second was an ad for the book with an Ironwolf logo by Todd Klein from 1987. (The book collected the three Ironwolf stories from the 1972 Weird Worlds issues 8, 9, and 10.) I called Robbin and we discussed the logo design. She wanted the logo to match the width of the box for the art. The lettering should be tall and condensed, and perhaps similar to black letter or with elements from Klein’s logo. On the fax, I made a note that sketches were due April 3.

On March 31, I began work on the logo. For one design I used Gothic Tuscan Pointed from Rob Roy Kelly’s 100 Wood Type Alphabets published by Dover. In place of the “W” I inverted the letter “M”, so almost all the vertical strokes were parallel. 

On tracing paper, I outlined the Gothic Tuscan font without the points on the baseline. The second sketch used the pointed elements of the logo in the ad. On the bottom sketch I stripped away most of the serifs and made the letters angular. Then I refined the sketches.

On April 2, a photocopy of the designs were faxed to Robbin. She called back and wanted to use design number two with some modifications: taller letters, new design for the “I” and more space at the top angled stroke of the “W”.

Later that day I made two photocopies of the design. I trimmed one of them and pasted it over the other; you can see where by the yellow rubber cement stains. I changed the ”I” and adjusted the height of the strokes in the “R” and “F”.

This design was faxed to Robbin and she approved it.

On April 9, I enlarged the design and carefully measured the the width and angle of the letter strokes in red.

I placed tracing paper over it and made more modifications. The width of the logo was constant with a significant change to the design of the “W”, minor changes to the “O”, “L”, and letterspacing adjustments.

I positioned the tracing on a light box then a sheet of LetraMax was placed over it. The inking was quick and easy.

Ironwolf: Fires of the Revolution was published August 1992. Robbin did a superb book and jacket design. The paperback edition was released April 1993.

At this year’s New York Comic Con, I saw Howard and returned some artwork I had misplaced. On the topic of digital tablets and smartphones he doesn’t care for them as a way to read comics. He said he’s a “page layout guy” and these digital devices obviate his skillset. A couple of days later, I recalled Norma Desmond’s line, “I am big, it’s the pictures that got small!”, from Sunset Boulevard: “Comics are big. It’s the screen that got small.” Of course, you could substitute movies, magazines, etc. for comics.

(Next post Saturday: Ed Benguiat)

Monday, October 15, 2012

Creator: Paul Standard

May 19, 1896 - January 1, 1992

1910 United States Federal Census
Name: Paul Standard
Age in 1910: 14
Birth Year: 1896
Birthplace: Russia
Home in 1910: Manhattan Ward 17, New York, New York [540 Fifth Street]
Race: White
Gender: Male
Immigration Year: 1903
Relation to Head of House: Son
Marital Status: Single
Father's Name: Jacob Standard
Father's Birthplace: Russia
Mother's Name: Esther Standard
Mother's Birthplace: Russia
Household Members:
Name / Age
Jacob Standard 52 [Macher/Cap Factory]
Esther Standard 47
Morris Standard 26
Max Standard 24
Tillie Standard 21
Rose Standard 19
Dora Standard 17
Paul Standard 14
Samuel Standar 12
Fanny Standard 28

1915 New York State Census
Name: Paul Standard
Birth Year: abt 1896
Birth Place: Russia
Age: 19
Gender: Male
Residence Place: Wawarsing, Ulster
Relationship: Son
Color or Race: White
Number of Years in US: 12
Assembly District: 02
House Number: 378
Line Number: 12
Page Number: 12
Household Members:
Name / Age
Jacob Standard 58 [Farmer]
Esther Standard 53
Morris Standard 32
Max Standard 30
Doritha Standard 22
Paul Standard 19 [Student]
Samuel Standard 17

World War I draft card, June 5, 1917

1920 United States Federal Census
Name: Paul Standard
Age: 23
Birth Year: abt 1897
Birthplace: Kief Russia
Home in 1920: Bronx Assembly District 4, Bronx, New York [636 East 170 Street]
Race: White
Gender: Male
Immigration Year: 1903 [Naturalized 1919?]
Relation to Head of House: Brother
Marital Status: Single
Father's Birthplace: Kief Russia
Mother's Birthplace: Kief Russia
Able to read: Yes
Able to Write: Yes
Household Members:
Name / Age
Charles Standard 46
Fanny Standard 40
Teresa Standard 05
Esther Standard 59
Jacob Standard 63
Paul Standard 23 [College/NYU; counted twice]
Sam Standard 21

1920 United States Federal Census
Name: Paul Standard
Age: 23
Birth Year: abt 1897
Birthplace: Russia
Home in 1920: Brooklyn Assembly District 23, Kings, New York [1501 Eastern Parkway]
Race: White
Gender: Male
Immigration Year: 1902
Relation to Head of House: Brother-in-law
Marital Status: Single
Father's Birthplace: Russia
Mother's Birthplace: Russia
Able to read: Yes
Able to Write: Yes
Household Members:
Name / Age
Nathan D Wolf 26
Dorothy Wolf 25
Howard I Wolf 01
Paul Standard 23 [sister Dorothy; counted twice]

New York, State Census, 1925
Name: Paul Standard
Birth Date: abt 1893
Birth Place: United States
Age: 32
Gender: Male
Residence Place: New York, New York [436 Madison Avenue]
Relationship: Head
Color or Race: White
Assembly District: 15
House Number: 436
Line Number: 26
Page Number: 24
Household Members:
Name / Age
Paul Standard 32 [Reporter]

Brooklyn Daily Eagle, February 12, 1928

1930 United States Federal Census
Name: Paul Standard
Gender: Male
Birth Year: abt 1898
Birthplace: New York
Race: White
Home in 1930: Manhattan, New York, New York [445 65th Street]
Marital Status: Married
Relation to Head of House: Head
Spouse's Name: Stella Standard
Father's Birthplace: Romania
Mother's Birthplace: Romania
Occupation: Certified Publicist/Office
Military Service: No
Rent/home value: $67
Age at first marriage: 26
Household Members:
Name / Age
Paul Standard 32
Stella Standard 30

Paul Standard letters, 1935

Brooklyn Daily Eagle, December 13, 1936

Brooklyn Daily Eagle, June 13, 1937

Brooklyn Daily Eagle, January 30, 1938

Schenectady Gazette (New York), February 9, 1938

Brooklyn Daily Eagle, January 22, 1939

1940 United States Federal Census
Name: Paul Standard
Age: 42
Estimated Birth Year: abt 1898
Gender: Male
Race: White
Birthplace: New York
Marital Status: Married
Relation to Head of House: Head
Home in 1940: New York, New York, New York
Street: East 65th Street
House Number: 445
Farm: No
Inferred Residence in 1935: New York, New York, New York
Residence in 1935: Same Place
Sheet Number: 62A
Number of Household in Order of Visitation: 438
Household Members:
Name / Age
Paul Standard 42 [Press Representative/Railway]
Stella Standard 40

World War II draft card, April 25, 1942

Calligraphy’s Flowering, Decay and Restoration
Society of Typographic Arts, 1947
Pentalic, 1978 reprint

Woman’s Day, December 1947
“Our Handwriting” (photocopy)

The New York Times Magazine
September 5, 1948
Farewell to ‘Penmanship’ (excerpt)

The New York Times Magazine
September 26, 1948

In your “Farewell to Penmanship” you show a specimen of the brave new (?) hand called “manuscript” which, you claim “is the natural way for kids to write.” No scribal authority in either hemisphere would see anything “natural” about it. It brings to mind the British divine of old, whose faith in the Hebrew Scriptures convinced him that all uncorrupted savages “naturally spoke in purest Hebrew.”

No, the specimen you show is unnatural, and is unworthy of any board’s approval; nor does such approval constitute the “revolution” you see in it. Manuscript writing is nothing new; it is rigid, stuffy and pretentious, having no form worthy the name, no inner consistency, no fluency whatever and hence no place in any public school curriculum.

Paul Standard
New York

Whole Grain Cookery
Stella Standard
Jacket by Paul Standard and Fritz Kredel
John Day Company, 1951

The Knickerbocker News (Albany, New York), February 17, 1963

Social Security Death Index
Name: Paul Standard
SSN: 706-03-4826
Last Residence: 12561  New Paltz, Ulster, New York, United States of America
Born: 19 May 1896
Died: 1 Jan 1992
State (Year) SSN issued: Railroad Board (Issued Through) (Before 1951)

Alphabet Stories: A Chronicle of Technical Developments
Calligraphic Salutations: Hermann Zapf's Letterheadings to Paul Standard
Encyclopedia of Library and Information Science
(Next Monday, Anatomy of a Logo: Ironwolf)