An independent archive of typography.

Conways Photosetting ad

Contributed by Mathieu Triay on Jan 30th, 2019. Artwork published in
circa 1974
Conways Photosetting ad
Photo: Mathieu Triay. License: All Rights Reserved.

Conways Photosetting was a photosetting shop in London priding itself in being ‘good because we have good people’ with a large catalogue of typefaces: some of them licensed from Lettergraphics, some of them appearing original, some of them inspired by competitors.

This particular ad (with perfect 1970s copy style) doesn’t just display wittily the wide array of typefaces they had available but also could be throwing shade at Face Photosetting, a competing shop of the time (‘Not just a pretty face’).

Here’s a breakdown of what typeface are used on the poster. The name between brackets is the name found in the Conways catalogue. Note the use of reversed colours for Jim Crow to better match the poster.

We have – Amsterdamer Garamont (Garamond Bold)
Thin faces – Kabel Light (Cable Light)
Fat faces – Mania (Photomania)
Round faces – Futura Bold
Square faces – Eurostile/Microgramma
Condensed faces – Permanent Headline
Bold faces – Futura Extra Bold
Outline faces – Cooper Black Outline
Beautiful faces – Bank Serif
Ugly faces – Rustic
Old faces – Cloister Black
New faces – Computer (Moore Computer/Mogul Computer)
Way in faces – Times Bold
Way out faces – Prismania (Prink Modi)
Swiss faces – Helvetica
American faces – Jim Crow (colour reversed)
Greek faces – Poliphilus Titling
German faces – Fette Fraktur (Fraktur)
etc, etc, etc. and (in every size, shape or colour) – Caslon

Copy text: Amsterdamer Garamont (Garamond Old Style)

1 Comment on “Conways Photosetting ad”

  1. “Greek Faces” in Poliphilus? Not the worst solution when you want to say Greek without actually using the Ελληνικό αλφάβητο: Poliphilus is based on the type used by Aldus Manutius for printing the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili, a book that is “written in a bizarre Latinate Italian” and “full of words based on Latin and Greek roots.”

    “American faces” in Jim Crow, of all faces? Ouch.

Post a comment