War and Type

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On the home front during World War II, New Yorkers received a regular diet of good and bad news through screaming headlines on the front pages of the city’s tabloids. Illustrator and satirist Rick Meyerowitz’s father, Hy, kept dozens of these front pages. Rick has collected, framed and organized them to tell the tale of Nazi and Axis victories, missteps and ultimate defeat. The type on these pages, known as “woods,” dating back to old 19th century wood types, are the stuff of history. Newsprint is not easily preserved, but these were respectfully maintained and now enshrined.

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“Although [my father] saved over a hundred tabloids,” Meyerowitz told me, “there were very few from the years 1941 to 1944. The news out of Europe was scary, especially for jews. Maybe he could not bring himself to save those papers… or perhaps my mother threw them out. She would.”

Meyerowitz added “I read and reread all these front pages and the interiors and the ball scores on the back pages over and over when I was a boy. They brought me into the reality of the war that I was too young to remember by way of their visual impact and sparked my love of reading history.”

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For more Steven Heller, check out The Swastika: Symbol Beyond Redemption, one of the many Heller titles available at MyDesignShop.com.