kottke.org posts about marksimonson

Mad Men typography

posted by Jason Kottke   Oct 08, 2008

Mark Simonson takes an extensive look at the typography of Mad Men and concludes that a surprising amount of the type is set in fonts that either weren’t around in the early 60s or weren’t yet popular in the US.

Then there is the Gill Sans (c. 1930) problem. Gill is used quite a lot in the series, mainly for Sterling Cooper Advertising’s logo and signage. Technically, this is not anachronistic. And the way the type is used — metal dimensional letters, generously spaced — looks right. The problem is that Gill was a British typeface not widely available or popular in the U.S. until the 1970s. It’s a decade ahead of its time in American type fashions.

There’s also the Arial problem in the ending credits.

Indiana Jones typography

posted by Jason Kottke   Jun 17, 2008

Mark Simonson notes that the period typography in the Indiana Jones movies is pretty good, except for that used on Indy’s travel maps.

In Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) which is set in 1936, we see ITC Serif Gothic (designed in 1972). The wide spacing feels right, and it does have an art deco feel, but it’s 1970s art deco.

Mark Simonson notes the decline in license

posted by Jason Kottke   Apr 25, 2006

Mark Simonson notes the decline in license plate design. They’ve become increasingly bad at their primary use…quick and easy identification of the car.

Mark Simonson gives Gangs of New York 3

posted by Jason Kottke   Oct 10, 2005

Mark Simonson gives Gangs of New York 3 out of 5 stars for its use of typography. This is the latest in a series of posts about type in movies, starting with his original Typecasting article.