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Marks on China

Despite the crudity of ledger pages, these marks — china pattern maker logos — exude a design elegance consistent with the era in which they were made.

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Dubious Typeface For Sale

Signal is a German script typeface, designed in 1931 by Walter Wege for H. Berthold AG in Berlin. It was inspired by brush script created in the late 1920s and rooted in the sachplakat aesthetic of the time. In 1932, …

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Devolution of a Symbol: The Swastika Through the Years

Of all the symbols and marks produced by ancient and modern peoples throughout the centuries, the swastika is the most contradictory. For thousands of years it was a thing of mystery that surfaced as disparate cultural iconography throughout the Near …

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Giving and Getting Letterhead

There are Dead Heads, Dope Heads, Knuckle Heads, Screw Heads, Shower Heads, Sprinkler Heads, Bald Heads, Jar Heads and Letterheads. The latter is among the small gems of graphic design. These are from a 1932 sample book published in England …

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Labels of Our Dreams

Just think, getting a label on your Consolidated Edison bill that look like this: These are but a few of the labels produced in 1913 that have a typographic exquisiteness and design nuance that was considered classic. Mailing labels are …

Matchless Originals from Japan

These are original sketches for Japanese match box labels created in the 1930s by an anonymous graphic artist. Rendered in black and white, they were meant to print in a single color. Some are drawn and lettered on slick paper …

How I Learned Modern(ism)

Colorforms, invented by art students Harry and Patricia Kislevitz, with a logo by Paul Rand, was possibly the first exposure to Modernist geometry and color that any of us with art inclinations had. (At least those of us who grew …

Separated Years After Birth

Max Körner (1883-1963), who I wrote about two weeks ago, left behind more than a bunch of obscure trademarks. Thanks to Daily Heller private eye and public nose sleuth, Mirko Ilic, we see (below) that Bluetooth owes a rather obvious …

Max "Marking Mark" Körner

Max Körner (1883-1963) was a painter and German trademark designer. From 1913 to 1921 he was a teacher of visual design and crafts at the School of Applied Arts in Stuttgart. From 1921 he held a professorship at the State …