Tuesday, April 27, 2021

American Calligraphy # 18: National parks

This plump, sturdy alphabet was in fashion 1920-1970. If you fattened up an alphabet of elegant, thin, worldly Art Deco, it would look like this. The contrast between thick and thin strokes is reduced, and the stroke endings are slightly rounded. 

These letters were popular for decades in packaging, posters, and signage. In addition, they coincided with a period of expansion in America's national parks. To survive outdoors in sun and rain, the letters were usually routed out of brown-painted wood and then painted white or sky blue. 

A classic landmark for visitors and locals in Eastham, Ma.
Like many such signs, it has recently been replaced with
metal; I feel like a beautiful old tree got cut down. Look
around you for these treasures while they still survive.
Photo, thanks to the Cape Cod National Sea Shore. 

Today, as the weather and public health begin to improve, national parks are appealing to American weekenders and vacationers. In addition to natural beauty, parks offer signage that traces a century and a half of learning about the land.  

As you  watch for interesting signs, remember that in America, state parks typically follow their own templates for letter styles, materials, and colors. 

1 comment:

  1. This style brings back a lot of wonderful memories, of so many parks. Like Mt. Rushmore and the Grand Canyon! Your posts are brilliant!