1940s Office of War Information Victory Garden Posters

From well before there were multi-national mega-corporations churning out the genetically modified nonsense that passes for food these days, these posters — mostly from the Office of War Information and War Food Administration (real things) — encouraged Americans to take ownership of their food supply by planting victory gardens and putting food up for long-term storage. Novel ideas, I’d say.

1897 Map Depicts Original Lot Grants in New-Amsterdam


Happy birthday, New Amsterdam (1653). An engraved map from 1897 is described as follows:

Map of the Original Grants of Village Lots from the Dutch West India Company to the Inhabitants of New-Amsterdam, (Now New-York.) lying below the present line of Wall Street. Grants commencing A.D. 1642.

Click here to view a larger version.

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

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.

Confessions of a Bookplate Junkie

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.

Typeface, a film by Justine Nagan

I’m looking forward to seeing Typeface, a film by Justine Nagan, which recently premiered at TypeCon2009 in Atlanta. The film’s tag line say that it’s “charting the intersection of rural America and contemporary graphic design.” Well, that’s right up our alley here at NoRelevance.com! The preview images and synopsis look and sound great and all of its early press seems to indicate that it’s a wonderful film. Hopefully more interesting than that other film about type that came out not too long ago. Speaking of the synopsis: “Typeface focuses on a rural Midwestern museum and print shop where international artists meet retired craftsmen and together navigate the convergence of modern design and traditional technique.” You had me at “typeface.”

War Posters

From the Boston Public Library, check out these wonderful–if not strangely relevant–propaganda posters from WW2 Allied powers.

War Posters (flickr set)

I’ve got a victory garden going, don’t you?

Moo: We love to print.

By now you’ve surely been handed one of those sleek, satin-finished mini-cards with full-bleed photos or graphics on one side and contact info on the other. And, surely, you’ve wondered where they come from and have yet to attempt to Google “narrow business cards” for fear of the 600,000 search results you would receive. Well, here’s the skinny on those slim biz cards: Moo. I’ve made a slew of these for NoRelevance.com and was pleased by the idiot-proof step-by-step process it took to produce 100 cards from a Flickr set. Oh, did I mention that? You can access your photos and sets from such popular sites as Flickr, Facebook, LiveJournal and more. All this for $19.99 plus shipping. Surely there’s a better deal on the web, no? Perhaps, but the ability to spread those 100 cards over several different photos was the hook for me. I upload ten different photos and get ten cards each. You can only have one version of the flip-side, but that’s hardly a down-side.