Baseline 5, 1984

Baseline 5, published in 1984
©1984 Published by Letraset Ltd.

This is the fifth Baseline magazine to be published by Letraset Ltd in 1984. Featured articles include: Comment: Typography today – art or science?; Newsbrief; Litera – a true book face by Mike Daines; Corporate identity and visual identification systems by Alan Topalian; Post punk possibilities (Punk typography in publishing); Newface – Edwardian; D&AD typography 1984 by Ed Cleary; Calligraphy – the mystic at of written forms by Mike Daines; Friedrich Poppl – a fine sense of curve by Mike Daines; The total art of Tony Di Spigna; Proteus – The changing face of type design; Six new examples of English style.

coverFront cover illustration is Zephir, a narrow italic script from Friedrich Neugebauer.

‘Welcome to the fifth edition of Baseline – Letraset’s magazine of type and type design.

It is now five years since the first issue was published and in that time we have tried to keep you up to date with developments in type both from Letraset’s point of view and from all other areas of the type world.

The Letraset name is synonymous with sheets of high quality transfer type; but there’s more to it than that.

The end result of using Letraset lettering is a headline or some form of setting. But what you are really buying is something more than just a typeface. Letraset dry transfer is a professional high quality typesetting system. It allows designers to produce high quality settings immediately; it gives them flexibility and control and the scope to exploit their creativity; and a wide range of ‘instantly’ available typefaces.

This means that we are as much involved in the world of type design as we are in the world of marketing. We aim to ensure that you have the latest and the finest faces accommodating the latest moods and trends as well as established favourites at your fingertips.

To achieve this, Letraset has some of the world’s finest type designers working for them. They are people who are passionately committed to excellence in the area of type design. And their supremely high standards are reflected in the regular flow of quality typefaces from the Letraset Studio. Faces like Italia, Romic and Bramley have established themselves as international successes not just in dry transfer form but also under licence to most of the major manufacturers of type setting systems.

Licensing our faces for other systems means designers and typographers have even greater choice and flexibility; they can use Letraset exclusive faces on dry transfer as well as being able to obtain them from their local typeshop. And new, quality faces continue to be produced as shown in this issue.

Letraset is committed to high standards of type, type design and typography, and Baseline magazine is part of this commitment. It is tangible proof of our involvement and interest in all aspects of type.

We aim to cover the whole type world, not just the Letraset part, and to keep you informed of all developments.

We are living in interesting typographical times and both Letraset and Baseline magazine will continue to bring you the latest and the best in type.’

Geoffrey Lawrence

648-detailDetail: ‘Six new examples of English style’

607Article: ‘Litera – a true book face’

Many well-known faces originated from lettering designed for specific use. Newly created Litera is a fusion of an initial design from Michael Neugebauer and the production skills of Letraset Type Design Studio.

613Article: ‘Post punk possibilities’

Punk typography developed in parallel with punk music but it is now being absorbed in the type ‘establishment’. What’s happening to it in this transitional stage?

616Article ‘The Edwardian age’

Letraset is one of the world’s main sources of good new typefaces. Their type director, Colin Brignall, already has many ’standards’ to his credit; here we take a look at his latest – Edwardian.

633-detailDetail from ‘The Edwardian age’, Ikarus interpolations of the weight series for the family.

621Article: ‘Friedrich Poppl – a fine sense of curve’

Although his work was widely recognised in Germany, Friedrich Poppl’s genius has only recently shone through internationally. His death in 1982 robbed the world of a master craftsman but he has left a rich legacy of fine faces.

621-detail 2Detail from ‘Friedrich Poppl – a fine sense of curve’.

623Article: ‘Friedrich Poppl – a fine sense of curve’ continued.

638-detailDetail from ‘Friedrich Poppl – a fine sense of curve’, text and display typefaces designed by Friedrich Poppl.

625Article: ‘The total art of Tony Di Spigna’

‘Tony Di Spigna was born in Italy but was brought up and educated in the USA. He graduated from New York City Community College and Pratt Institute.

After a number of unsatisfactory jobs he arrived at Bonder & Carnase. Inc., where he was to work closely with Tom Carnase. ‘That was the job I wanted’, he remembers ‘the salary wasn’t important, it was the working atmosphere that counted’.

Shortly afterwards, in 1969, he moved with Carnase to the newly formed Lubalin Smith Carnase, Inc., where he continued to expand his talents as a letter designer and typographer…’

Editorial team

641-detailDetail from ‘The total art of Tony Di Spigna’, examples of lettering and logotype.

628Article: ‘Proteus – the changing face of type design’

Computer technology is playing an increasingly important role in the production stages of a new face. The design story of Proteus, a new face from Letraset, illustrates the relation between man (or in this case woman) and machine.

New York designer Tony Di Spigna has worked closely with many of the ‘big names’ in US design such as Lubalin and Carnase. Here, he describes his working method and explains his ‘complete solution’ approach.

Proteus is a new face designed by Freda Sack for Letraset. Freda has already designed a number of faces such as PaddingtonTalisman and Victorian and is also responsible for many faces now available from typesetting companies.

It was decided from the beginning that Proteus would be designed for use as a text face as well as for headlining and display. This immediately placed certain constraints on the design such as maximum legibility at small sizes. At the same time Freda decided that she would produce the face in four weights, and this posed even more design problems…’

Editorial team

643-detailDetail from ‘Proteus – the changing face of type design’.

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