This is the logo from my grandfather’s hard hat. It has to be at least 50 years old (the hat at least, a quick search for the company yielded no results). He wasn’t a construction worker by trade, but did surveying for the Ohio turnpike as a summer job when he wasn’t teaching.

hardtop logo

I love the typeface for the “hardtop” text. A nice slab serif — a little wide, a little thin, not too bold, but with enough presence. And that “R” is perfection. If I can find some time, I’ll have to re-create the font from this photo.

Shape and Type

Super P

There’s something at firs odd, but then somehow comforting in this sign. The angled background shape and highly italicized “super” sans-serif typeface contrasting with the old school slab serif “P” with the heavy drop shadow. Plus the white shape being corner cut to match the angle of the black background. It’s all a little bit circus and a little bit modern. It’s a little bit country and a little bit rock ‘n roll.

Upper West Side, Manhattan.

Hand Painted

hand painted sign

Back in the day (okay, way way back), all signs were hand painted. This one is surviving (barely). I’m not sure if it’s the deterioration or the painting itself, but the letters seem to have a wobble or tilt to them. It’s like the baseline for each letter wasn’t level.

South Brooklyn, NYC

Tomorrow from Yesterday

Wall from Tomorrowland

A section of wall from Tomorrowland in Disneyland. I’m completely mesmerized by this kind of psuedo-futuristic architecture. It’s the kind of thing I’ve been growing up with (and obsessing over) since I was a kid reading tons of science fiction. The bevels, the suggestion of order amongst the randomness and in true Disney fashion – the epic scale of it – are awesome. This is only one of the two futuristic walls as you enter Tomorrowland and this photo doesn’t capture the whole thing. It’s huge. It even seems to be referenced in later films such as Star Wars in the design of the surface of the Death Star. In fact, this type of architecture almost seems to be a prerequsite in science fiction which begs the question, how influential was this wall (or Tomorrowland as a whole) in shaping the look and feel of science fiction?

From the official Disneyland site:

Shiny orbs, kinetic sculptures, metallic finishes and mechanical touches also raise your sights skyward, lending a feeling of otherworldliness to the attraction architecture.

I’m not sure if it was part of the original design of Tomorrowland or part of the redesign in 1967. I’m guessing it was part of the 1967 renovation and therefore pre-dates a large portion of the science fiction film genre and can be argued to be a fundamental inspiration for what futuristic architecture should look like. In any case, it’s awesome and I wouldn’t mind my house looking like it.