Vintage Graphic Design Finds

design, fine arts, poster, printing, typography, vintage design

I spent today with my mom and her bestie and the birthday girl, my Tante Karin, antiques shopping our way around downtown Fredericksburg, Virginia. It was lovely weather in a quaint, Jefferson-era setting. We hit up a bunch of different stores that never disappoint in the design inspiration category.

The first item of interest I noticed was this 1925 No No Nanette record album. The colors and fonts are so classic for that period and the illustration is priceless. They were not afraid of soothing negative space. It makes me long for the days of outrageously fine arts-driven music albums. Artists inspired by other artists.

The next pile of design fun was a bowl of these amazing buttons. Some were political, probably 1950s to 60s, and others highlighted the Rose Bowl – I’d assume one button for each of the two teams playing that year. I’ve always loved this style of bold, boxy political buttons. I had a killer “I like Ike” one that is probably somewhere still at my dad’s house. I also had a “we give a damn!” one with an elephant that I’d love to see again.

Found these Columbia Records relics at the same place as the other two items. These are direct relatives of the album art I posted about here, from the late 1940s. Awesome.

This incredible piece of Americana was from a different store. Have I mentioned how much I love kitschy political design work? What’s not to love here? And if you think you’re getting a taste of my political leanings, you might be wrong!

Who doesn’t love a crazy b-list movie poster? In all seriousness, I miss how often our society used to put hand illustrators to work.

I mistakenly took this little cutie as some sort of beer ad or book cover, but turns out it’s the cover of a Gmund paper sample book. These papers are something I’m going to look into, as they are made with malt and hops, and my German heritage and design-nerdiness makes me want to dig deeper. I’ll keep you posted on my findings. Right now I’m going to sit sheepishly and feel silly about my mistake. Adorable package with fantastic typography, either way.

The last item of interest was not found in a store, but spotted on the street. It was a KONY 2012 flyer taped to a building. Do you all have opinions on this campaign? I’m still undecided as to what’s real and what’s not. I watched the video and I read some articles that counter the video, but the information is still pretty foggy for me. There are some holes and I have some lingering thoughts on “doing more harm than good” when it comes to working with semi-(or fully) corrupt foreign governments. What do you think? Is the campaign just a hipster film maker with a personal agenda?


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