In 1927, Samuel Welo published his first edition of “Studio Handbook: Letter And Design For Artists And Advertisers.” But this collection of fonts, ornaments, logos and other ad elements was not only meant to provide specific examples of design to the user. It also reminds the reader of the importance of composition—hand drawn composition. As he states on the first title page, the book is “Hand lettered from cover to cover.”
As you scroll through the images, keep this in mind. Nowadays, it’s difficult to imagine that this approach could be preferable over the use of set-type or existing elements provided by a Linotype, letterpress machine or computer. But when you reflect on much of what you may find inspiring in vintage graphics (from advertisements to posters) you might realize that it has to do with the hand designed elements of the art. There was great care to dovetail ALL elements together into a cohesive visual mix ! This little 5″ X 7 1/2″ inch bible helps put things like this into perspective.
(When I originally posted this article I had found precious little info on Samuel Welo, but in his infinite quest to fill out artist’s bios, Alex Jay has done a splendid bit of research on Welo and posted it here on his blog, “Tenth Letter Of The Alphabet”. I’ll certainly be checking in on his writings more in the future ! )