Mid-Century Modern Typefaces Identified & Project 33


Images courtesy of Project Thirty-Three

It’s hard for me to give justice to two blogs in one post, but because both Mid-Century Modern Typefaces Identified and Project Thirty-Three are so closely related I feel that they needed to be tackled at the same time.

Mid-Century Modern Typefaces Identified (perhaps one of the longest names for a blog I’ve ever seen) is the work of the wonderful designer Mark Weaver. Granted, it’s a very small blog, but it’s still informative in its brevity. Essentially, Mark took a handful of vintage record covers (and in some cases, packaging and street signs) and proceeded to point out all the Mid-Century typefaces in use. Then, he gave each typeface a set of categories into which it fits. For example, the typeface “Latin Wide” is seriffed, bolded, and extended - and is listed in those categories. Simple as that. I’ve often wondered what typefaces were used on vintage records (especially those in the classical/traditional/ethnic music genres, as those seem to have received more stylized design treatments). So, hats-off to Mark for the research.

Now, how Mark Weaver got these examples of vintage record covers for his typeface discussion is where Project Thirty-Three steps in. A blog created and maintained by Jive Time Records, a vinyl record store hailing from Seattle, Project Thiry-Three is a “shrine to circles and dots, squares and rectangles, and triangles, and the designers that made them come to life.” And that it is. Hundreds of record covers, all organized by types of visual elements: circles, squares and rectangles, triangles, lines, arrows, stars, faces, and (of course) typography only. It’s another blog that is simple in structure just like Mark’s, but serves strictly as a catalogue of designs. I’ve spent hours studying all of the covers on Project Thirty-Three, and I hope that after reading this you will too.