An independent archive of typography.

“Penney’s Rainbow Lane” poster

Contributed by Florian Hardwig on Dec 28th, 2019. Artwork published in .
“Penney’s Rainbow Lane” poster
Source: © Peter Max. Image by posterpro. License: All Rights Reserved.

Herb Lubalin Study Center just contributed the first in-use example for Riverside Drive, the only typeface design by Peter Max. Here’s a sample of Peter Max as type user.

Max had started his studio in Manhattan in 1962 at the age of 25, after having studied at the Art Students League and the School of Visual Arts. This poster, created for retailer J.C. Penney in 1967, already features several of the elements that constitute the style Max is famous for: celestial bodies, gradients, and, above all, a wide palette of bold colors.

His type choices aren’t shy either. The title on the rainbow is set in caps from Secession. This top-heavy face with the characteristic “ink spot” entry strokes originated at the Eduard Scholz foundry in Vienna. In 1905, it was reproduced in Ludwig Petzendorfer’s Schriftenatlas. Neue Folge. More than half a century later, in the 1960s, Photo-Lettering, Inc. in NYC added it to their library, responding to a renewed interest in the Art Nouveau aesthetic. Peter Max picked the painterly face for his personal logo, too, here in all lowercase, see the cartouche at the bottom of the poster. The logo is still being used in this form.

In complementary roles, two faces that are not used to taking a back seat: Baby Teeth (Dotted) and Obese (C). The former is the work of Milton Glaser, the latter is credited to Ed Benguiat by some sources. Like the phototype adaptation of Secession, they were both issued by Photo-Lettering, and were brand new at the time: Almost all of the documented uses of Baby Teeth from before 1968 are by Glaser himself. Obese was officially introduced in PLINC’S Psychedelitypes catalog from 1968.

Penney’s Rainbow Lane, A Mixed Media Event. Introducing the Fashions of Mary Quant, Victoire, Ariel. A Youth Concepts Production.

This poster was added to MoMA collection. Not bad for a fashion show announcement at J.C. Penney, huh? You better listen to Nick and use more weird fonts, like Peter Max did.

1 Comment on ““Penney’s Rainbow Lane” poster”

  1. offers a copy of this poster with added information (in Cartoon) about shows in the Northpark Center Community Hall, Dallas, scheduled for July 29, 1967.

Post a comment