Wednesday, March 16, 2011


Thanks to a comment and link posted by a reader, it is now known that MICA (Maryland Institute College of Art) has acquired a large portion of the Globe Poster archive, including typographical specimens and assorted cuts. MICA has posted a detailed article on their site, which includes the announcement that Bob Cicero of Globe Poster will be teaching a class on letterpress design in Fall 2011.

And for the record, I have always loved the split fountain backgrounds typical of showcards like the Globe/Zappa shown above, courtesy of Globe Poster.

Highlights of the MICA acquisition include:

  • A significant portion of Globe's substantial wood type collection, which includes more than 350 drawers of full sets of type-including condensed, bold, regular, italic and circus fonts-enough to keep four compositors setting posters at a time in Globe's heyday.
  • Approximately 5,000 letterpress "cuts"-the illustrations, lettering and photo images used to create the posters, including many hand-carved blocks. The cuts show the range of Globe's poster clients, from R&B and hip-hop acts, both famous and long-forgotten to carnivals, circuses, drag races and burlesque. Original posters showing Globe's craftsmanship and long history, from the magician Blackstone to the early days of hip hop to Frank Zappa's induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
  • The materials will be utilized by several graduate and undergraduate departments within the College, including the printmaking, graphic design and illustration fields. Students will be able to study the historical significance of this collection through active artmaking and utilization of the type and cuts, and the posters, original photographs and ephemera will be housed as a research facility.

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