NoRelevance.com

For Lovers of Visual Junk

Posts Tagged ‘old paper’

1884 U.S. Census Maps Show Forest Trees of North America

Jan

23

2015

Officially titled “Sixteen Maps Accompanying Report On Forest Trees Of North America, By C.S. Sargent, 1884,” this beautiful collection of maps-as-info-graphics produced by the U.S. Census provides a Victorian era view of forests in North America by genus of tree, density, and position. Thanks to Rebecca Onion who runs Slate’s history blog The Vault (@SlateVault) for posting this article, which contains link to high-res images for zoom-in fun.

Some graphical ephemera for your tired eyes…

Jan

13

2015

Snapped recently in the wild. The “Showboat” sheet music appears to be entirely hand-lettered. Click to enlarge:

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:

Confessions of a Bookplate Junkie

Jan

7

2013

bookplate-junkieReady for another visually and intellectually stimulating time suck? Look no further than the wonderfully rambling blog Confessions of a Bookplate Junkie where said junkie Lew Jaffe shows off his personal collection of bookplates—which go way beyond those timid Papyrus “ex libris” stickers—as well as other related bits of graphical ephemera and goes on wild hare tangents that both inform and amuse. Seriously, any fans of spot color printing, woodcut, engraving and etching, hand-lettering, illustration and graphic design in general will find this otherwise modest blog to be pure design inspiration.

baia Instamount Photo Cube

Jul

17

2012

I’m a sucker for 1950s color advertising photography, with its over-saturated colors and idyllic subjects and scenery. The packaging for the baia Instamount Photo Cube was no let down in this respect. Looking like scenes from bygone family-oriented TV shows the sides of this box, which held a once ubiquitous acrylic photo cube, wreak of family values and WASPy middle American life. The eye-catcher for me, though, was the simple 3-color baia logo set in a bold, slightly extended version of Clarendon. It feels rather modern for such a classic and commonly used typeface perhaps due to the even/odd interplay of the flipped words’ alternating characters. I owned a baia 8mm film editor some time ago and never paid much mind to the faded, black logo on it. I’d surely have kept the thing if the logo had appeared like this.

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.

Vintage Beer Bottle Labels via Collectors Weekly

Nov

19

2010

As much a gallery as it is an one-stop-shop for lovers of Visual Junk, Collectors Weekly has an impressive interface which pulls relevant auctions from eBay of just the stuff you’re looking for. Take, for example, their Vintage Beer Bottle Labels page, which lists several external websites that exhibit vintage beer labels from around the world—including NoRelevance.com’s Bock Beer Labels exhibit—and also displays 60 current auctions for all sorts of delicious vintage breweriana as well as related events happening around the country. There goes the rest of my afternoon!

Newspaper Blackout Poems

Aug

31

2010

PiratesI’m just getting around to this aptly named Austinite’s clever manipulation of trash into treasure. Newspaper Blackout is the creation of Austin Kleon, “a writer and artist living in Austin, Texas” who has presented his Sharpie-saturated works at such notable events as Pecha Kucha Night, TEDx and SXSW 2010, the latter I most likely missed due to being lost between the 3rd and 4th floors of that stupidly designed convention center. I can’t imagine what his studio/workspace must smell like as the marker coverage area on these pieces is considerable. Like torn scraps of notes or letters, the context of his poems evolve with each word one reads creating narratives far beyond what their original author intended. And like Andy Warhol’s re-purposed newspaper photos there’s no end to Kleon’s source material.