Friday, August 31, 2012

typography/fonts - Barnhart Brothers and Spindler Company of Chicago

As I continue to make new cards for my Etsy shop "The Reimagined Past", I do quite a bit of research on the images I find. Think it's kind of an extension of my degree in Art History.

I feel a little "geek-ish" when I start reading about something, and end up spending hours perusing that's why they call it the web!

One area that's become fascinating to me is that of "font-com"/ typography.  It feels pretty silly to say, but finding that beautiful/quirky/perfect font can change the essence of the greeting card-which I find fascinating. It's a good thing that the small "stuff" can make me happy!!

The Barnhart Brothers and Spindler company produced some beautiful and striking fonts. For a little history:

Classic Ornaments

Barnhart Brothers & Spindler; TYPE
Catalog 25; TYPE Faces, border designs, typecast ornaments, brass rule
The 1925A catalog edition was printed between 1925-30 (1930 is latest date on some typeface examples). The "A" designates the edition with an abbreviated typesetting equipment section. It was published without a copyright notice which places it in the public domain. The company, established in 1868, closed in 1933.
I found this website, written by Luc Devroye, from the computer science department of McGill University. WOW WOW WOW

Barnhart Bros. Spindler Type Founders: Book of Type Specimens, 1907

Anglo Initials

Bard Open.

Beginning of a series of borders, each with their own number (embedded in the name of the image file).

The rightmost border is called Adstyle Border, designed by T.C. Robinson (McGrew gives the date 1908, but that is clearly wrong). McGrew adds: Although these are primarily decorative border units rather than type fonts, they had considerable popularity for expressing names and slogans in the borders of ads and otherwise. Designed by T. C. Robinson in 1908, the letters are a plain gothic style, somewhat thick and thin, similar to nineteenth-century designs. There are seven series: No.1: negative characters in rimmed circle. No.2: positive characters in circle. No.3: negative characters in plain circle. No.4: positive characters in square. No.5: negative characters in square. No.6: positive characters in diamond. No.7: negative characters in diamond. Monotype Special Reversed Figures No. 132S are very similar to Adstyle Border No.5, and in the 12-point size they include X, period, and comma, and single and double figures to 20.

Corners No. 142: ornaments were numbered

De Vinne Initials

 Dearborn Initials

Dolsen Initials No. 8.

Elzevirine Initials

 Lining Anglo

 No. 82
 Lining Lakeside Script

Mazarin No. 5.

Mortised Initials


Brownies.  I always wondered where these little buggers came from

Every foundry had a large supply of fists

series of ornaments called Vogue Ornaments

Rococo Initials No. 5 and No. 6

Rococo Initials No. 7.

Universal Initials  link to website. Again, WOW WOW WOW

Monday, August 27, 2012


My mother's mother and grandmother....

It's pretty fascinating to look at old photos - especially family photos.

A am adopted, but my adoptive family is THE one - if you know what I mean.

My mother was quite the historian. She had scrapbooks full of her youth - I use cards I found in those books  as my "reimagined" cards. I scan them and give the cards my interpretation of them. I can not bear to part with the original cards, so that's what's up with that!

She also documented family life - almost to the extreme.  She also took copious notes on the various trips that our family went on...and later the trips that she and my father took. My father worked for the airlines, so they were able to fly free almost anywhere in the world. Imagine all of the travel books she wrote...all illustrated by photos that my father took...

And so I look at her family scrapbooks with "new eyes."  I wonder why that is.

Maybe too much information here, but this is my scrapbook - digital. Just hope I fi a suitable way
to copy this. I'm still pretty bummed that I have so many pictures on floppy disks - it will get pretty expensive to transfer them to dvds. I like my mother, am a historian of sorts. My documentation is visual though.
These pictures are all that I have of you..

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Well, I'm getting ready to make a lot of Halloween cards, and I've come across quite a bit of "legend" and "lore" while doing my research. The images I've found online reveal a number of superstitions about the Halloween, and a quite a few of them are Irish in origin.

One that was new to me was the tradition of "looking for love in all the right places.." There were two things a young woman or man could do to determine who their future love would be.

The first involves an apple - which is full of symbolism and mythic associations. If a person  could peel and apple with out breaking the peel, then dropped it on the floor, their future husband/wife's initials would appear. Yikes! Better hope the dog doesn't eat the peel first.

The second involves a mirror. It is associated with Celtic "fire" celebrations which here is manifested in the Halloween bonfire. Those looking for love - yet again! - would snip some of their hair and place the clippings on the dying embers of the bonfire. That night they would dream of their future love.

I found this list of superstitions on a website : "You will have bad luck if these things happen to you, or you witness them on Halloween:
Three hoots of an owl
You see the new moon over your left shoulder
You hear a rooster crow at night
You put your shirt on inside-out
You get out of bed left foot first
You sing before breakfast (you'll cry before dinner)
You open an umbrella inside a building or house
You see a white cat

You will have good luck if these things happen to you, or you witness them on Halloween:

You sleep facing south
The top of your head has an itch
You pick up a piece of coal lying in your path
A robin flies into your house
You sneeze three times before breakfast
You put on a dress inside out
You dream of a white cat
You hear a cat sneeze

Death omens on Halloween:

Dreaming of birth is an omen of death.
If a bird flies into the window of a sick person, it means the person will die soon.
If a bird flies into your house, it means someone has died.
Hearing footsteps behind you and looking back.
If a clock that wasn't working suddenly chimes, a family member has died."

My advice on this list....make sure you have sweet dreams of a white cat who sneezes.

Saturday, August 25, 2012


To many she is the loved mother/ me she is just a huge hole in my heart.