Monday, February 12, 2018

Typography: Images of Taiwan: The Art of Design


The Design Association of the Republic of China
Taipei Gallery
McGraw-Hill Building, New York City
July 17 – August 28, 1998






































































(Next post on Monday: Bruce Baker Is or Isn’t Al Stahl)

Monday, February 5, 2018

Lettering: Speedball Pen Advertisements


American Artist, November 1942




















American Artist, January 1943




















American Artist, September 1943

American Artist, October 1943




















American Artist, November 1943




















American Artist, January 1944




















American Artist, March 1944




















American Artist, October 1944































American Artist, March 1945































American Artist, May 1945































American Artist, February 1946
































Related Post
Gordon & George, Speedball Pen Inventors


(Next post on Monday: Images of Taiwan: The Art of Design)




Monday, January 29, 2018

School Days: Herb Lubalin


Herbert Fredrick “Herb” Lubalin was born on March 17, 1918, in Manhattan, New York, New York, according to the New York, New York Birth Index at Ancestry.com. Lubalin’s Social Security application, transcribed at Ancestry.com, said his parents were Joseph Lubalin and Rose Jospe.

In the 1910 U.S. Federal Census, Joseph resided in Manhattan at 58 East 98th Street. The head of the household was his brother-in-law, Aaron Siegel, who was married to Yetta, and had three children. Joseph was a freelance musician and Russian emigrant who came to American in 1904. Rose was a native New Yorker who lived with her parents, and was the fourth of five siblings. Rose was a bookkeeper at a printing company. The family lived at 19 East 108 Street.

The New York, New York Marriage index, at Ancestry.com, said Joseph and Rose married on June 9, 1914 in Manhattan.

Joseph signed his World War I draft card on June 5, 1917. His address was 25 West 110th Street in Manhattan. Joseph was a musician at the Rialto Theater, at 42nd Street and 7th Avenue.



Brooklyn Daily Eagle, March 30, 1919

News of Lubalin’s birth was published in the New York Tribune, March 19, 1918: “Lubalin—Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Lubalin (nee Rose Jospe), 132 West 121st st., announce the birth of twin sons on March 17th.”





The 1920 census recorded the Lubalin family in the Bronx at 1135 Forest Avenue. Also in the household was Rose’s older sister, Emilie Jospe.

The Lubalins and Emilie were counted at 307 [Beach] 47th Street in Arverne, Queens County, New York in the 1930 census.


Excerpts from Herb Lubalin: Art Director, Graphic Designer and Typographer (1985).
...Lubalin…was…the younger of fraternal twin boys…

…His early interest in art was encouraged, although he was colorblind, as was his twin. Figures he drew with crayon had startling purple hair.

…Herbert was a good art student in high school, despite his inability to draw recognizable images. His teacher encouraged his feelings for design and lettering, knowing one can develop as an artist without relying on drawing accurately.

Further schooling in art was accidental. To have an art career wasn’t in Herb’s original plan, although, typically, he expressed no thought for a future….But Herb’s high school academic standing was so low he wasn’t accepted by the tuition-free College of the City of New York, where his twin was enrolled.
The Wave (Rockaway Beach, New York), June 27, 1935, published the names of the Far Rockaway High School graduates which included Herb and Irwin Lubalin.

Excerpts from Herb Lubalin: Art Director, Graphic Designer and Typographer (1985).
What happens when a poor kid with bad grades can’t afford to go to a regular college? He applies to a free art school.

In 1935, Herb passed the entrance exam (“mostly in the form of an intelligence test“) to the prestigious Cooper Union. “I was 64th out of 64 applicants.”

…“For the first two years, I was the worst student in the school. In the last two years, I was about the best.”

The turning point was a class in calligraphy. The angle of the flat pen point used in calligraphy prescribes that the art be done with the right hand. Herb drew with his left hand. The instructor told Herb he’d have to learn to use his right hand on the assignment.

“I didn’t tell her I wrote with my right hand. Since calligraphy really is handwriting, it was easy for me. I got the highest mark in the class, not because I was the best, but because the teacher felt I’d overcome a great handicap.

“I guess this gave me confidence, because from that time on, I did very well.”
The Wave, November 24, 1938, reported this item:
Miss Isabel Bisgyer of Ocean Crest Boulevard will celebrate her birthday on Sunday. Tomorrow friends will take her to see “Hamlet,” and later will treat her to dinner In the Hotel Pennsylvania. In the party are Miss Rues Diamond, Morton Friedlieb, Eugene Hammer, Herbert Lubalin and others.

Lubalin attended Cooper Union and graduated in 1939. The Long Island Daily Press (Jamaica, New York), June 6, 1939, said he received an Advertising Design Certificate.



Also in the Class of 1939 were designer Lou Dorfsman and cartoonist Mel Tapley. Pictured in the 1939 yearbook were calligrapher and illustrator Jeanyee Wong, Class of 1941, and illustrator Roy Krenkel.



Sylvia Kushner
Sylvia Kushner, of the surprised look and unique coiffeur, is a shining example of industriousness and a gal with with a delightful sense of humor. A four year honor student, her real forte is dress designing and draping, in which her originality and creativeness have been successful in acquiring satisfied customers. Besides her work, Sylvia has had one other factor on her mind these past four years…but why tell tales outside of class? 
Herbert Lubalin
Herbert Lubalin is another shining light of the class of ’39. His wit and “creativeness” are, unfortunately, often censored. Baseball, ping pong, basketball, and penny-ante have been Herb’s extra-curricular activities at Cooper, not to mention his greatest talent, “tall stories.” In 1937 Herb received the medal given for general excellence in all subjects and hasn’t let up the least bit in upholding this distinction. Last summer Herbie ran a day camp for children in his native Far Rockaway. He has an especial affinity for kids, kittens, ketchup, other such sentimentalizes beginning with “K.”
Louis Dorfsman
Louis Dorfsman left Day School in the middle of his third year to go to work in the commercial art field. Starting at the Trans-Lux Theatres, he is now designing exhibition booths and window displays for the Display Guild. A tall guy with one of those grins that the gals eat up (a brunette anyway?). “Shlep,” as he is quaintly called by his chums, is an ace drummer and managed to keep busy between club dates and just dates.
Louis Dorfsman
Sylvia Kushner and Herbert Lubalin


Lubalin’s father passed away July 1939 and was laid to rest at Montefiore Cemetery.

Advertising Age, June 1, 1981, said, “Mr. Lubalin’s first graphic design job following college was with the New York World’s Fair at $8 per week. Upon requesting a pay hike of of $2, he was fired. He free lanced for a year and then worked for a number of small advertising agencies and Fairchild Publications.”

According to the 1940 census, Lubalin, his mother and brother were residents of Woodmere in Hempstead Township, Nassau County, New York. The trio lived on Woodmere Boulevard in Apartment 5J. Lubalin was a self-employed commercial artist.

Excerpts from Herb Lubalin: Art Director, Graphic Designer and Typographer (1985).
…He had entered Cooper Union unaware of two impending romances that would change his life. One lasted three decades, the other, until his death.

The first big excitement was to meet a classmate, the petite and beautiful Sylvia Kushner. Four years later, the two artists were married, after they had been graduated, Herbert with the Student’s Medal for General Excellence….

…Herb and Sylvia had three sons and 32 years together….
The New York, New York, Marriage License Index said Lubalin and Sylvia Kushner obtained a marriage license on October 2, 1940 in Brooklyn.

Excerpt from Herb Lubalin: Art Director, Graphic Designer and Typographer (1985).
…In 1945, Lubalin became art director at Sudler & Hennessey, a studio specializing in pharmaceutical ads and promotions. He worked with a bullpen of 20 illustrators, photographers, comp people, letterers and retouchers who followed through from Lubalin tissues—tissues on which the Lubalin legend began….

Related Posts

Herb Lubalin, Part 1
Herb Lubalin, Part 2
Herb Lubalin, Part 3
Herb Lubalin, Part 4
Herb Lubalin, Part 5
Herb Lubalin, Part 6
Herb Lubalin, Part 7
Herb Lubalin, Part 8
Herb Lubalin, Part 9

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