An independent archive of typography.

“I Love Letter-Press” Mecanorma ad (1969)

Contributed by Florian Hardwig on Nov 8th, 2017. Artwork published in
September 1969
“I Love Letter-Press” Mecanorma ad (1969) 1
Source: IADDB. License: All Rights Reserved.

If this woman in shiny thigh boots looks familiar to you, it is probably because you are a loyal reader of Fonts In Use — Nick has previously posted a vintage paper bag with a variation of the same image. He explains:

The “Letter-Press” being referenced here is not the method of relief printing commonly associated with the term, but instead a design system of dry transfer lettering, much like the better-known Letraset rubdown sheets.

This full-page ad appeared in Graphis Vol. 25 No. 141 from September 1969. The flying carpet of typographic love in the background provides a glimpse into the range of faces available from Mecanorma at the time. In addition to several classics, there is Silva, a copy of Louis Minott’s Davida (originally issued by VGC in 1965), Contest, an adaptation (or should I say bootleg?) of Davison Psyche (PLINC, 1968), and Dreamline (cf. West Nouveau Compact, PLINC, 1968) — all of which are typical representatives of the late 1960s style. The type on the woman’s back combines Poster with a bright dab of color in Normandia, originally designed by Butti and Novarese for Nebiolo.

The trilingual copy that has been placed between the four legs (cf. Andy Warhol’s Double Elvis) is set in José Mendoza y Almeida’s Pascal. This typeface was included in Mecanorma’s library, too, and offered in sizes as small as 12pt. Laying down whole paragraphs with this must have been a pain in the neck. Apparently, there weren’t any umlauts, so they had to be added manually. (BTW, “Letter-Press ist der Abreibebuchstaben” isn’t proper German.)

Detail of Pascal fit to shape, with manually added umlauts. The ad is credited to “CEHES / Photo CHAPUIS”.
License: All Rights Reserved.

Detail of Pascal fit to shape, with manually added umlauts. The ad is credited to “CEHES / Photo CHAPUIS”.

1 Comment on ““I Love Letter-Press” Mecanorma ad (1969)”

  1. Fernando Mello comments:

    One thing that I always thought about and that often goes unnoticed in this ad is the lack of their logotype on it — which is in my view possibly due to its shape being suggested by the girls’ legs in shinny boots.

Post a comment