Vintage Heller: Precision Hand-Work

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Editor’s Note: Over the years, Steven Heller has written thousands of installments of his blog, The Daily Heller. With Vintage Heller, we’re exploring entries from the archives. This post first appeared in January 2017.

Before Photoshop, it took a lot of time and considerable skill to paint variations on a piece of graphic design. I have no idea who did these comps for Altes Beer, a Detroit-based brewery that produced lager from 1948–1954. It may have been an erstwhile designer or a student practicing his or her talents. But these entirely hand-drawn beer labels show a level of craft and precision we do not see too often today. I’d hire this letterer/designer in a second. These label were done by the Lester Beall studio.

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