Sale notice lettering
White, handpainted, deliberately crude lettering in the style once used on shop windows – it's all over the place
We've been meaning to post about this trend for quite some time, but a new spot in the past week, plus the re-occurrence of some old friends, brought it to top of mind.
Our local Sports Direct is promoting its latest super sale thusly:
Here's the poster currently promoting the Rolling Stones' O2 gigs – check out the lettering bottom right.
One of the first ad campaigns we spotted using the style, which is often achieved by painting on glass or acrylic, was for the National Apprencticeship Service – this is the ad currently running, but the campaign's been up for perhaps a year at least. The campaign is by Purpose (see comments).
Here's an earlier one
One of the first websites we spotted using the style was Brand New in its promotion for last year's Brand New conference – a more colourful variation on the theme which closely references shop signage
While It's Nice That use a more classical version of the style for their Weekender section
If you don't have the requisite skill with a paintbrush, Shutterstock now have a whole series of handpainted letters
A quick check of our Feed section reveals that the style is still alive and well – in projects such as 21.19's work for the Australian Design Biennale
And, in slightly more refined form, Prada's Il Palazzo iPad app
The Prada version looks more chalk-like. H&M, in contrast, use a more inky variant on shop windows – like the Oxford Street branch in London
While the sleeve for Scott Walker's new album Bish Bosch by Ben Farquharson and designer Philip Laslett (featured here) takes a messier, painterly approach
Where's it all coming from? We've certainly been noticing it for well over a year. There has been a general revival in signpainting techniques (as we reported on in our October issue) but this is not quite the same thing. It's a more vernacular style – much more in the vein of 'everything must go' daubings on plate glass or hurriedly painted protest messages.
As with all trends, this one has been around the block.Probably the first time we can remember seeing something similar in a design context was the masthead for 90s teen magazine Sassy – here's a cover from May 1990
But another current ad campaign shows that the style goes back way further – check out the graffiti behind the sailor in Cecil Beaton's photograph
Let us know any examples of the trend which you've spotted and we'll add them to the post
Check out the cover for horror novel Nightmare Me by designer/illustrator Aldous Massie (and his notes on how he did it here)
Ocky Murray at Cog Design suggests the 2010 London Design Festival identity from Pentagram
Via Twitter, White Hole Studio (@WhiteHoleStudio) suggest the cover to Bruce Springsteen's Wrecking Ball album from earlier this year
Nike ad campaign for the French football team from January 2011, as spotted by 'Char' (see comments)
SWD started using the stye in 2009 for Danza Contemporanea de Cuba (see comments)
Website, packaging and brand design for G'nosh by Mystery, as spotted by Steve McCardle
Rick Banks has also suggested Multistorey's identity for the Lyric Theatre, in Hammersmith.
CR In print
In our December issue we look at why carpets are the latest medium of choice for designers and illustrators. Plus, Does it matter if design projects are presented using fake images created using LiveSurface and the like? Mark Sinclair looks in to the issue of mocking-up. We have an extract from Craig Ward's upcoming book Popular Lies About Graphic Design and ask why advertising has been so poor at preserving its past. Illustrators' agents share their tips for getting seen and we interview maverick director Tony Kaye by means of his unique way with email. In Crit, Guardian economics leader writer Aditya Chakrabortty review's Kalle Lasn's Meme Wars and Gordon Comstock pities brands' long-suffering social media managers. In a new column on art direction, Paul Belford deconstructs a Levi's ad that was so wrong it was very right, plus, in his brand identity column, Michael Evamy looks at the work of Barcelona-based Mario Eskenazi. And Daniel Benneworth-Gray tackles every freelancer's dilemma - getting work.
Our Monograph this month, for subscribers only, features the EnsaïmadART project in which Astrid Stavro and Pablo Martin invited designers from around the world to create stickers to go on the packaging of special edition packaging for Majorca's distinctive pastry, the ensaïmada, with all profits going to a charity on the island (full story here)
Please note, CR now has a limited presence on the newsstand at WH Smith high street stores (although it can still be found in WH Smith travel branches at train stations and airports). If you cannot find a copy of CR in your town, your WH Smith store or a local independent newsagent can order it for you. You can search for your nearest stockist here. Alternatively, call us on 020 7970 4878 to buy a copy direct from us. Based outside the UK? Simply call +44(0)207 970 4878 to find your nearest stockist. Better yet, subscribe to CR for a year here and save yourself almost 30% on the printed magazine.
CR for the iPad
Read in-depth features and analysis plus exclusive iPad-only content in the Creative Review iPad App. Longer, more in-depth features than we run on the blog, portfolios of great, full-screen images and hi-res video. If the blog is about news, comment and debate, the iPad is about inspiration, viewing and reading. As well as providing exclusive, iPad-only content, the app will also update with new content throughout each month. Try a free sample issue here
Can anyone tell who created the Apprenticeships campaign material? Always thought they were pretty strong.
This style has been used to great effect for years.
Marion Deuchars and Julian House (INTRO) are two good examples.
I don't think Marion Deuchars' work is quite the same thing. She uses a very particular style of handlettering - her own hand. What we're talking about here is a rougher, more generic, block-caps style epitomised by the Port and Rolling Stones examples above
Bruce Springsteen - Wrecking Ball
We did the Apprenticeships campaign here at Purpose, see here http://www.purpose.co.uk/our-work/national-apprenticeship-service-campaign/
We've put that credit in for you and a link. Really nice campaign I thought
I first started seeing Nike doing it 2 years ago.
I've been putting a book together of something similar. A church local to me produces posters every six weeks with witty slogans and phrases advertising the church, God and His work. They are produced by a local sign writer and they are in a very similar style.
We used this style for the artwork for a dance company back in 2009 ... Everyone liked it so much it stayed for the subsequent tours.
Here's another example of it being used on a rather tastey looking site :
The beautiful Lyric Theatre by Multistorey:
Anton Corbijn - Depeche Mode - Songs of Faith and Devotion - 1993
London Fashion Week: http://mrandrewfoster.com/about/lfw-commission-documentary/
by Andrew Foster
Its all so primitive, makes me wanna tear my shirt off and run through the streets...then eat a kebab like a dog!
So what your saying is freehand seems popular! But hasent it always been?
Yes, freehand lettering has always been popular - this is more about the particular style that is common to the Stones poster, Port and the LDF in particular I think.
I think there is two distinct strands here, totally free form painted letters such as the port mag etc and hand drawn/painted versions of fonts like the G'nosh
Olly Murs did it first
And if you want your own version ;)
Love the toilet sign and the Rolling Stones poster. The typeface works better when it is contrasted against another more traditional typeface.
I think this trend was re-started in 2006 with the POP magazine with Kate Moss on the cover.
Very similar hand painted lettering to the Lyric Identity by Multi-storey a few years later.
Didn't realize this was a trend. Now it makes me want to stay away from it. Not a big fan of following the "latest thing".
Love Prada's more elegant use. Good selection.
Levis have been using this font in their Curve ID adverts for some time now as well. I'm not a big fan but it was a nice change when it first started.
Anomaly and ...,staat Amsterdam created Converse's 100yr anniversary with 'Welcome to the Converse Century' campaign. Google it.Really great example of painted slogan typography-a few years old now. It revived the brand.
|Buy fonts, save lives (3)|
|Four fonts walk into a bar... (3)|
|Illustration agents round table (7)|
|Six New Ads To Watch (2)|
|Getty Images allows free image embeds (2)|
|The Creatures of Adland|
|Penguin reveals its new-look Pelican|
|Dutch National Opera and Ballet: two art forms, one identity|
|Aitor Throup on creating Damon Albarn's Everyday Robots video and artwork|
|A history of Japanese poster art|