Is there a name for this design style?
June 25, 2011 3:21 AM   Subscribe

Is there a name for the text design style of the wall art in this picture (particularly the vertical text column)? I've seen it used in certain retro-style ads, on some websites, and on the wall in the picture I just linked.

It seems to me that it might be a signature style for one particular company or product, but if so, I can't place it, and I could be way off there.

I'd love to see more examples and/or resources to create similar stuff, but I'm stymied on what to search for keyword-wise. Does this style have a specific name?

Alternately, if you know any more examples of sites or ads or whatever that use this style, that would be cool, too. Thanks!
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken to Media & Arts (12 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Looks a bit like an old Circus handbill or Music Hall poster type style. Googling "Circus Handbill" gives some interesting results.
posted by JtJ at 3:40 AM on June 25, 2011

That's a pretty modernized version but I think what you're looking for might be found with terms like "19th century wood type advertising."
posted by bcwinters at 3:48 AM on June 25, 2011 [1 favorite]

The vertical text column looks like all caps Museo Slab 500 to me.
posted by Kronur at 4:03 AM on June 25, 2011

Fonts In Use gives a run down of this kind of style here

I'd say it looks like a slicker version of traditional Parisian shop signs.
posted by The Whelk at 4:18 AM on June 25, 2011 [1 favorite]

I strongly associate this style with vaudeville handbills from the 1880s to 1930s, where they needed to get a lot of acts into one eye catching piece, like this one or this one

You also might want to search on political handbills and music hall handbills, but there is a lot of modern chaff mixed in with those search results. Modern interpretations of this style tend to be more typographically compelling and deliberately designed to be so; a good portion of the vaudeville handbills were put together quickly as needed, and there wasn't as much time for eye-catching design when you needed to get the new lineup to your advance man 3 states away.
posted by julen at 5:09 AM on June 25, 2011

I'm thinking "menu."
posted by rhizome at 5:15 AM on June 25, 2011

Google-image "bus scroll." It's a kind of trendy font treatment right now - used it recently in a project myself. Individual words/phrases justified across a narrow vertical strip. May be what you're looking for.
posted by shopefowler at 6:27 AM on June 25, 2011

The defacto-standard font for this is Bodoni.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 6:29 AM on June 25, 2011

It's also reminiscent of vintage letterpress show prints, (Hatch's are the most famous, and I mean the vintage ones, because the resurgence in their popularity means that most image searches bring up the contemporary ones, and styles have changed rather dramatically) - and, back in the day, some hand-set letterpress newspaper ads (the small ones, made up locally) looked like this, with that spacing and those ornaments and such. Briar Press is a great place to explore for some good-looking ornaments.
posted by peagood at 9:53 AM on June 25, 2011

This is a modernized version (I love it!) — in the 19th century the type would be more ornate: Tuscan typography

Here's a personal fave from Wikimedia Commons
posted by Tom-B at 7:00 PM on June 25, 2011

Also, the hand on the bottom right is a Victorian pointer finger.
posted by Violet Hour at 9:30 PM on June 25, 2011

Response by poster: Thanks, everyone. Some of those are pretty close to the exact modern version of the style I'm thinking of, but I can hopefully narrow things down from there.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:56 PM on June 26, 2011

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