Narrative Types

Tom Geismar (of Chermayeff & Geismar & Haviv) produced this delightful typographic tale as a small booklet in 1956 when he was just 23. It was his degree requirement for Yale’s Graphic Design Department, and so he printed only a few copies by himself.

It was, however, seen by 33-year-old Columbia Records art director Bob Cato, who was guest editing a special issue of Print (Volume X, No 1) in 1957—70 years ago—devoted to “Sources of Inspiration.” He was inspired then, and although this kind of “talking type” is not new, this continues to have a certain joie de vivre from when it was first produced.


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The 2017 PRINT RDA: Extended Deadline. Enter Now!

Enter the most respected competition in graphic design—now open to both pros and students—for a chance to have your work published, win a pass to HOW Design Live, and more. 2017 Judges: Aaron Draplin / Jessica Hische / Pum Lefebure / Ellen LuptonEddie OparaPaula Scher. Student work judges: PRINT editorial & creative director Debbie Millman and PRINT editor-in-chief Zachary Petit.

Draplin image: Leah Nash. Hische: Helena Price. Lupton: Michelle Qureshi. Scher: Ian Roberts.

One thought on “Narrative Types

  1. koenig541

    I can’t help but think of Edward Gorey, if this inspired him or if he saw it all. Clifford Ross did his thesis on Edward at Yale but that wasn’t until much later. Steven, if you’re reading this let me know! We have a mutual friend in the Gorey world (A.B.).