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Tiny Design

Tiny exercises in design and typography from the middle of the 20th Century.

SeaFoods
Sea Foods: In the universe of graphical matchbook covers, this represents one of the most primitive designs I've seen. Aside from the oddly proportion bather, the scroll behind her, the four dots along its bottom, and the barebones typography all combine to make this a masterpiece of a sort.
ForALightLunch
Tasty --- Toasted Sandwiches: This one is a classic restaurant design, notable as well for its combination of type styles.
DineDance
Dine Dance: I especially like the No Cover Charge type face.
SmithsStateLine2
Smith's State Line Filling Stations: The type is classic pre-war while the maze-like pattern brings it all together in a wonderfully simplistic design exercise.
Topps
Topps: Another simplistically geometric design.
YankeeFlyera
Yankee Flyer Diner: This is the one of the finest diner images I've ever seen. The proportions are classic, the building seems almost alive, and the background incongruously bucolic.
TheGreenSpot
The Green Spot: The second letter in "Spot" makes it look awful close to something all too apporpriate for the color.
Wyandot2
Wyandot Vault Co.: Undesign combines with a pair of unjustified analogies to make this cover memorable.
SamtfordSteam2
Stamford Steam Laundy: It's impressive to cram so much color, typographical variety and a great motto into such a small space.
BondCafe
Bond Cafe: The logotype is nicely elaborate.
Robotron3
Robotron Corp.: If the name wasn't cool enough, the atomic robot image is classic.
Robotron4
Robotron Corp.: A trompe l'oeil on this oversized cover.
TractorParts
Tractor Parts: A geometric fantasia.
ChampionSparkPlugs
Champion Spark Plugs: As conservative as can be.
20thCenturyLimited
The 20th Century Limited: An archetype of streamlined modernism, though this is a pretty unmoderne representation.
HotelPearson
Hotel Pearson: Stylish and Deco.
TootsShor
Toots Shor: Stylish.
TopHats
Top hats and goblets: The design exercise here way transcends the matchbook format.
RE
RE: More pure design.
Scotties3
Royal Scot: Scotties were a favorite decoration for all kinds of mid-Century objects.
Scotties1
Scotties
Scotties2
Scotty
Scotties4
Sleeping Scotties
WorldsFair1
Wrigley's Spearmint Chewing Gum: The 1939 New York World's Fair, with its Trilon and Perisphere, set off a wave of elegant design.
TrilonAndPerisphere
Trilon and Perisphere: This is an especially subtle treatment.
WorldsFair3
Dubrow's Cafeteria
Boulevard
Boulevard Restaurant: Not so elegant, but the type faces are cool.
Levines
Levine's: Art Deco type and boisterous color. One imagines this is influenced by the World's Fair graphics.
McDonnells1
McDonnell's: Restaurant Moderne.
 Mcdonnells2
TheGalley2
The Galley: Really fabulous logo treatment.
MayfairBar
The Mayfair Bar: Over-the-top Art Deco from Springfield, Mass.
CTAa
Lion Match Book: An exercise in pure typography.

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