Communication Arts: Typography Annual

Well, I’m a little late getting into the game on this one – my January/February edition of Communication Arts arrived a while ago, but due to the holidays and weather I’m just now getting around to writing about a few key things in this edition that I found excellent. This edition, as you may know, was the Typography Annual. If this magazine doesn’t highlight the creative use of type then I don’t know what will. As you can guess, it certainly didn’t disappoint.

I’d now like to spend this time going over a few of my favorite examples, not necessarily in order of preference.

For starters, the series of ads done for “Gold’n Plump” chicken products by Periscope, an ad agency based out of Minneapolis, is lovely. In theory very simple: the forms of standing, living chickens are rendered in type. In reality: they're quite charming and fun illustrations that express the theory behind the product. Since Gold’n Plump specializes in good, wholesome, non-preservative chicken, the messaging illuminates that, as do the simple graphics and straightforward colors. It's nice to be reminded of where our food actually comes from, especially if it's the real deal. Below are a few examples:

Next up on my list is the packaging designed for Honey & Mackie’s ice cream shop done by Wink, also based out of Minneapolis. While the previous example was more about the play of type and organic form, this is more an experimentation in various eclectic fonts that harkin back to the turn of the 1900's. 6 typefaces are used in these package designs: Banana Split, Cooper, Cottonwood, Futura, Garamond, and Trade Gothic. While the designer’s mantra is usually "the fewer typefaces present in a design the better," this delights in the pandemonium of form. And noting that this is an ice cream shop catering to children (and the child inside each of the parents), I’d say it’s a good fit.

Number 3 on my list is a print piece for Caribou Coffee done by Colle+McVoy. All copy on this piece is hand-drawn, but because of that a phenomenal amount of versatility and personality has gone into it. Basically, the idea is to experience all that life has to offer, as stated in the tagline: “Life is short. Stay awake for it,” which is below a small image of their coffee cups. The rest of the ad is taken up with various activities, all hand-drawn/illustrated to reflect the mood of each activity. Below is the full ad and a close-up.

Fourthly, I have to say I love these print ads for Dockers, created by Draftcb out in San Francisco. Each of them tells a story on their head/torso area, in the form of type. You can literally go down from head to waist and read about the kinds of men who wear Dockers pants, or at least the kind that we are led to believe should wear them, all by reading both the actual copy and getting the flavor from the chosen fonts. See below for examples.