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Subject: Re: "70's style fonts"
From: gunnar swanson <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:TYPO-L Discussion of Type and Typographic Design <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Fri, 10 Apr 1998 10:23:46 -0500

TEXT/PLAIN (58 lines)

I've seen Avant Garde Gothic used well on many occasions and think it is a
well drawn face. As I said in an earlier post, one of my students did
great stuff with Souvenir but that's the only time I've seen it work well.
I used in the the late '70s/early '80s and now plead ignorance and ask
forgiveness. Benguiat and its siblings have their place but it is a rare

I didn't say it to you and I didn't phrase it as "pretty '70s, man" but I
have commented on the fact that some of your design shows a strong
influence by a Lubalin/early U&lc style. I don't think it was strictly the
choice of typefaces that made me say that, however.


On Fri, 10 Apr 1998, John Langdon wrote:

> >Avant Garde Gothic, Souvenir, etc.--the whole ITC plague--
> >with Benguit, Korrinna (sp?), and Bookman (with swash variations) kicking
> >in for the later '70s and early '80s.
> Gunnar, et al:
> A plague? What typefaces did you use in the '70s and early 80s?
> (BTW, I'm talking display use here...)
> There seems to be a pretty widespread dislike for the faces named above,
> which frankly mytefies me, unless we're just talking fashion. They're
> pretty distinctive, but in my opinion, are beautifully drawn and set
> fabulously (although I've seen Avant Garde set well only about twice in my
> life - but it can be done).
> Distinctiveness makes a typeface popular for a while, but then the
> combination of distinctiveness and popularity creates an association with
> the time in which it was popular and so it becomes dated. Is that the
> problem?
> Being dated doesn't make a typeface bad. I've used all of the above
> typefaces in type past five years and nobody's said, "whoa, bad typeface,"
> or "hey, pretty 70s, man." (Recent use of Benguiat in posters section of
> current HOW mag. annual). (Admittedly, the one piece I used Souvenir on
> didn't sell and now looks pretty embarrassing to me.)
> But what's the deal?
> John
> John Langdon

Gunnar Swanson                          Gunnar Swanson
University of Minnesota Duluth          Gunnar Swanson Design Office
Art Department                          2213 Dunedin Avenue
317 Humanities                          Duluth MN 55803-2226
Duluth MN 55812
218/726-8827                            fax:218/724-9621
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