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For Lovers of Visual Junk

Posts Tagged ‘graphic design’

Seeing is Believing: Seed Catalog Covers and the Search for the Perfect Vegetable

May

30

2014

A rotating exhibit at the Lillian Goldman Visitor Center of the Seed Savers Exchange highlights some beautiful seed catalog covers from days gone by.  I’m nowhere near Decorah, IA, but if you aren’t either, don’t fret. They’re updating this Facebook photo album with samples from the exhibit. Hopefully they’ll be adding more as this is merely the inaugural selection. When you’re done, you should also check out another album of “Early 1900′s Seed Catalog Tin Signs & Magnets,” which they’ve re-issued as tin replicas that you can buy in their online store.

Recently Collected Graphical Ephemera

Apr

12

2013

For your viewing pleasure:

The Lustigs: A Cover Story – Exhibition at AIGA National Design Center

Dec

11

2012

If ever I yearned to be in New York City in the winter it was now. On display now through February 15 the AIGA National Design Center in New York hosts The Lustigs: A Cover Story,  described by AIGA as “an encyclopedic exhibition of the Lustigs’ design work.” Lovers of visual junk already know I’m a fan of the Lustigs’ work and so my excitement about this should come as no surprise. Their individual graphical styles seemed to complement each other’s, which one might expect in a husband and wife dynamic. However, both Elaine’s and Alvin’s work stand strongly as individual bodies in and of themselves.

What makes this particular exhibition shine is that many of the works are presented in final form — meaning that, in addition to the usual framed, precious-objects-behind-glass, many works appear as vintage printed books mounted to the walls (see inset). Such a presentation makes a world of difference; like seeing the actual Mona Lisa rather than a picture in a book — no matter how beautifully it was reproduced. See you in New York!

New Bock Beer Labels – Cult of the Goat

Nov

13

2012

Fort Pitt BockI’ve just added some new label scans to the Cult of the Goat bock beer labels gallery. It’s now up to 74 gruesome, goofy, and plain old weird looking goat-adorned labels from American breweries—like the one here from Fort Pitt Brewery, which resembles something out of a ’70s Salem witch trials movie. Enjoy!

Alex Steinweiss Cover Art – Morton Gould for Columbia Records

Nov

7

2012

Here’s a beauty that came to me via a friend and fellow 45 collector—an Alex Steinweiss cover for a box of Morton Gould 7-inch records on Columbia. Here’s the wonderful Steinweiss script we’ve come to love contrasted against some microscopic Futura type amid some rather basic geometric line art. Simple and beautiful and a great example of Steinweiss’ thin-line, slightly jittery, script lettering. Enjoy!

Alex Steinweiss Album Covers (in the wild)

Oct

22

2012

I found these two Alex Steinweiss-designed and illustrated album covers gathering dust in a St. Vincent de Paul thrift store in South Austin. None of his beautiful, signature, curly script, but still fun nonetheless. They’re still there, so go grab ‘em!

Austin Music Posters in the Wild [an online photo gallery]

Jul

9

2012

Austin Music PostersI’ve occasionally collected band/concert posters that I’ve managed to un-secure from walls and poles around the various cities I’ve lived in and visited, but they’ve always ended up rather mangled due to whatever packing tape, wheat paste or staples were keeping them in place. Not to mention have taken up a lot of space, what with their average 12″ x 18″ dimensions. And, no, I don’t remove posters before they’re “old,” so as to ensure they’ve lived out their intended purpose. Well, I’ve recently decided that I don’t need to own every piece of graphical ephemera I come across—mostly because I’ve mainly collected these posters as design inspiration rather than whatever precious little objects I or anyone else might believe them to be. So, here’s my online photo gallery of Austin Music Posters in the Wild. I’ll add new ones as I see/snap them. Sorry if the quality of some seem fuzzy. They are in the wild, after all. Please feel free to comment if you like and/or know the designers of any. Credit where credit is due.

Bell Records Pocket Books 45 RPM Records

Jun

28

2012

bell-records-pocket-books-covers-tequilaBehold this recently acquired stash of Bell Records 45 RPM and 78 RPM 7-inch vinyl records, which were distributed by Pocket Books and featured cover versions or “sound-alike” versions of popular tunes of the time. Sound-alike versions were cheap to produce and, beyond the flat rate the musicians were paid, cost the record company only publishing royalties on top of manufacturing and distribution. A nickel and dime game perhaps, but there was certainly profit to be made if enough unsuspecting customers bought the sound-alikes instead of the real McCoys.  Some of the songs featured in this collection are Jackie Wilson’s That’s Why, here performed by otherwise-lost-to-history act, “The Muses” and the Kingston Trio’s hit, Tom Dooley, performed by the equally anonymous “The Four Dreams.” (more…)

Letterheady – Vintage & Not-So-Vintage Letterhead Designs

Jul

29

2011

LetterheadyClick on over to Letterheady, a one-page scroller featuring letterhead designs for such notable figures as Nikola Tesla and Adolph Hitler to obscure companies like the Liverpool-based Robot Salesmen Ltd. They appear to be legit, with sources linking to other sites from which the examples were culled. Some seem to have been Photoshopped to give them an empty, unused state. Who cares. They’re fun to browse and fit right in here with my love of Visual Junk.

MoMA Collects Lustig (Alvin, that is) via The Daily Heller

Apr

28

2011

Steven Heller posted this piece on Elaine Lustig Cohen’s recent talk at MoMA’s Library and Museum Archives on the museum’s collection of works by her late husband, legendary graphic designer Alvin Lustig (previously lusted over on this website). Cohen is, of course, a superb graphic designer in her own right and probably too often overshadowed by Mr. Lustig’s high-profile body of work.  My favorite piece of hers I discovered years after acquiring it. Huh? Picked up for a song in an NYC used book store, Jose Ortega y Gasset’s On Love: Aspects of a Single Theme sat on my bookshelf of design fetishes for years before I’d ever bothered to look up who’d designed the cover—even though her signature was plainly visible.