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Friday, October 10, 2008

Mad Men of Type

Posted By on 10.10.08 at 10:30 AM

Pretty much all that's left of my former life as a struggling graphic designer are some very strong feelings towards typefaces and an addiction to design blogs. One of my current faves is So Much Pileup, which highlights a broader range of style than so many samey blogs that can't see past the mid-60s-to-mid-70s era that people have been jacking hard for years now. 

The latest entry in SMP's guest-spot series, Other People's Pileup, features Chicagoan Billy Baumann, who creates beautiful things with partner Jason Teegarden-Downs under the name Delicious Design League.* Baumann's contribution centers around a 1965 compendium of Chicago graphic design that calls itself "a printed reflection of the bounding spirit of the industry in this Graphic Arts Capital of the World." 

Chicago Graphics '65 is full of clean, crisp modern design, but Baumann is even more into its photos of well-groomed, suit-wearing designers. This is the Mad Men** era of design, right before psychedelia explodes across America and the era of graphic designers dressing like 12-year-olds--12-year-olds who'll pay $50 for a T-shirt--is still a long way off. 

* I have this guy hanging on my living room wall.

** Speaking of Mad Men and strong feelings about type, here's a detailed breakdown of the show's design anachronisms.

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