American Type Founders of Elizabeth, New Jersey, continued to produce metal type and ornament throughout World War II. Everything for civilian and military needs, including icons for patriotic holidays. In 1944 ATF introduced Alpha Blox, a system that is as modern as it is old.
“Alpha Blox save the cost of artwork and engravings” during resource-tight-times. “Use them as ornaments, backgrounds, initials, complete words and in border designs.” They were made for linear and reverse, in one or two colors. And it prefigures computer driven type systems that alternate between options. This is a constructive face that isn’t a face at all, but a method of letter making.
And if you like Alpha Blox, you’ll flip for Typographic Doodads:
For more Steven Heller, check out The Education of a Typographer, one of the many Heller titles available at MyDesignShop.com.