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Leeds Playbills

Dating from the late 1700s up through the 1990s playbills were the main form of communication for theatrical events and as you can see utilized some very impressive type and layout options to really grab hold of the public’s attention. Leeds Playbills contains nearly 5,000 high resolution scans of these vibrant playbills which are part of the Leodis digitization project from the Local Studies Library collection in Leeds. The time and care that went into setting the type and printing these bills is amazing and well worth the tedious effort to produce posters like these.

Via Woodtyper.

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Volkswagen Split–window Logo Buses

Chanel Van

Vintage Bus is exclusively devoted to the vintage Volkswagen buses built from 1949 to 1967, otherwise known as split-window buses, splitties, splits, microbuses, micros, transporters, bullies, sambas and transporters. The shape of the buses really lend towards the branding of them with many different companies where they utilized the space with color and type in very intriguing ways. VW needs to start producing these again, at least for the sake of design like this.

Via Original Linkage.

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Belgian Design Gallery

Belgian Design 01

Belgian Design 02

Belgian Design 03

Belgian Design 04

Belgian Design 05

Belgian Design 06

Belgian Design 07

A nice array of Belgian design work dating back to the late 19th century and up through the 1980’s courtesy of Veerle. It’s awesome seeing the variety of style and approach throughout different decades and how different time periods influenced specific trends and techniques. What’s great however is that most of the work looks like it could of been created yesterday. Quality design is that which can stand the test of time.

Check out more work at Veerle’s Belgian design gallery.

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European Matchbox Covers

Matchbox Cover 01

Matchbox Cover 02

Matchbox Cover 03

Matchbox Cover 04

Matchbox Cover 05

Matchbox Cover 06

Matchbox Cover 07

Most matchboxes are no more than a couple inches in size, yet that didn’t constrain the awesomeness you see above in these old European matchbox covers. All of these could easily work as posters if they were 10 times larger, yet their small size sort of makes you appreciate them that much more. And even though I can’t translate most of the type, all of which is amazing by the way, there is something about different languages that I have always admired, especially within design. The imagery and play on words, no matter what language it might be in, can still communicate effectively and allow you to grasp the overall experience and concept the designer set out to get across. This in my opinion is what continually pushes the visual arts as a universal language around the world.

Check out more of these covers at Shailesh Chavda’s photostream.

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Eyke Volkmer’s Book Covers

Eyke Volkmers 01

Eyke Volkmers 02

Eyke Volkmers 04

Such great use of color and composition in these science fiction book covers by German designer Eyke Volkmers. Created in the 60’s and 70’s, the vintage airbrush style Volkmer used brings out a nice texture throughout each illustration. These however are only barely scratching the surface, he designed 163 in all for the “Goldmanns Weltraum Taschenbücher” series which can be viewed in its entirety here.

Via but does it float.

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PK31 Sofa

  • PK31, designed by Poul Kjaerholm

The Ant

  • The Ant, designed by Arne Jacobsen

Lately I have been drooling over furniture design and planning my long journey in acquiring more and more of it to complete my place with. This past weekend I made my first trip to Ikea with a good friend and was blown away by the 2 story, gigantic warehouse and the amount of stuff they carried. I have a pretty refined, modern taste when it comes down to the look of things, but never sacrifice form over function.

One period of furniture design that has always been intriguing to me is mid-20th century Scandinavian for its polished style using simple yet compelling shapes. Modernity is a site dedicated around this period of design and showcases originals that can be purchased for a hefty price of course. Though everything is well over budget, they are still nice to look at. Maybe one day…

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Art of the Luggage Label’s

Luggage Label 01

Luggage Label 02

Luggage Label 03

Luggage Label 04

Luggage Label 05

Luggage Label 06

Luggage Label 07

Luggage Label 08

Luggage Label 09

Luggage Label 10

Luggage Label 11

Luggage Label 12

Total mind blower. These luggage labels are from the “golden age of travel” from the 1900’s to 1960’s and were used as a small way to advertise cities and hotels. The illustrations, color combinations and typography of these things are incredible — and to think they were all created by hand! If I ever got something like this tagged to my luggage I would flip, it would seriously complete the trip. Something so simple and common as a luggage label can be designed so well that it makes you want to hang on to it forever. Then, after a good amount of time the paper starts getting old and worn and just makes it that much more appealing and sweet. Such a great source of inspiration. I could look at these things all day.

Courtesy of Tom Schifanella’s flickr stream.

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Vintage Porsche Racing Posters

Porsche Poster 01

Porsche Poster 02

Porsche Poster 03

Porsche Poster 04

Porsche Poster 05

Porsche Poster 06

I love when I come across design that utilizes photography, illustration and type so well. These awesome vintage Porsche posters still hold strong today, I just wish some of their cars still looked like the ones here — especially that top one, with the numbers and all. The warm color palette along with the diagonal layout of certain elements really evoke speed and energy, which says a lot about the type of cars Porsche produced during the time these were created. Would love to have one of these up on my wall.

Check out the larger versions and more at Pelican Parts.

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