When Typography Hit The Airwaves

Tony Wons was a popular personality during the 1930s Great Depression era receiving 2,000 fan letters a week. Tony Wons Scrapbook was a conversational show and he was like an old friend who stopped by for a chat.  His catch-phrase to the audience was “Are you listening?”

He was also known as “scrapbookman” as he collected works of writing from Shelley, Whitman, and other important literary figures, many of which were suggested by the fans of his show. Wons began looking at inspirational essays when he was recovering in the hospital for two years. He began collecting them in a scrapbook and described himself as a “peptomist.”

Tony Wons Scrapbook (the radio show) was sponsored by Hallmark Cards. The anthology was published annually. What stands out throughout the years of its publication is the evolution from traditional typography to a decidedly hybrid constructivist style in a jazzy art deco manner. The three examples here are just a few of the artifacts available (obnoxious plug) at my “Moving Sale”.

wons wons3wons2
2014 Regional Design Annual
Enter your work in the prestigious Regional Design Annual, which showcases the top design work from across the nation. Get your designs noticed and enter today.




Alan Kitching’s Full Court Letterpress

As part of the AIGA Centennial event exhibit in New York kicking off at AIGA on May 1, Monotype is working with London’s Alan Kitching, typographer, designer and letterpress practitioner.


Uplifting Advertising

In the ’50s and ’60s, underwear ads, especially those for bras were visually limited. Take a closer look at this ad that broke ground by using a “live” model in a social context.


Which Came First—The Artist or the Egg?

Without a doubt, this is the coolest Easter egg hunt around (trade in your basket for an app). The Big Egg Hunt is a philanthropic endeavor that sprawls across New York City, uniting big brands, artists and any kid at heart.


Pharma Mexico is Surreal

Some of the most startling surrealist commercial art was (and is) produced for drug companies. View a few examples from the Mexican pharmaceutical industry.


A Happy Book About Death

The Rainbow Box was a series of four books written by Joseph Pintauro (b.1930) and illustrated and designed by Norman Laliberté (b.1925). They were published as a boxed set (Harper & Row,1970).


Soviet Literary Pulps

Take a look at Krasnaya Nov (The Red Virgin Land) was the first Soviet literary magazine, which was established in 1921, along with several other examples.