• PrintMag

When Fortune Reigned on Wall Street

Before the Occupy Movement picked its fight with Wall Street, Wall Street picked a fight with the old-school Tycoons. At least Fortune magazine did. That’s the magazine of big business that was launched in 1930, founded by Henry Luce chief of Time/Life. Only four months after the 1929 Stock Market Crash and the start of the Great Depression Fortune cost $1, when all other magazines were around 5-10 cents. Jump to 1952: Leo Lionni, who published his first illustrated kids book in 1959, was art director of Fortune. He enjoyed making typographic expressions with his favorite typeface Century. But he also worked with other faces as his mood decreed.

“How To Read Fortune in Bed” is a 1952 promotion booklet he wrote and designed that used type and typeface names to tell a story about the fall of the Wall Street Tycoon and the emergence of a new, more educated business man. It also tries to debunk the common fallacy that the over-sized Fortune magazine could not be read in bed. Indeed with all the media at his disposal, Fortune was the essential platform for informing the modern executive. The story, which progresses through contiguous type blocks, celebrates the new Wall Street type, which now, 60 years later, might be debated. Nonetheless, the booklet shows how a designer contributed to the content of his company through type and typography.

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