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The Chop Shop

Ptarmak designed an identity so appealing, someone should launch a meat market just to adopt it.

Contributed by Stephen Coles on Dec 30th, 2010.

Chop Shop LogoIf you were to design a traditional mom-and-pop butcher shop, Brothers is a natural place to start. The typeface, by legendary American sign painter John Downer, is endowed with his old-school craftsman values. Austin-based Ptarmak built the Chop Shop branding around Brothers, including its turn-of-the-century graphical elements, arrows, and panels.

The bold and basic Futura Script — an Intertype face from the 1950s that was likely named for marketing purposes — is a nice accent, though I question Ptarmak’s decision to slant it, or to use another script for “The”. That typeface is a cleaned up freebie that was once offered as OPTI Sport Script (later published by Castcraft). MVB Mascot, Metroscript, Machiarge and Fenway Park are better variations on the theme. Also used are Univers and the routine industrial sans Trade Gothic. They all work just fine, but it’s the considerate identity package as a whole, and the way it’s photographed, that wins me over.

In fact, the materials are so consistent and unencumbered by the usual client compromises that one wonders if there ever was a real client involved. (The URL on the posters go nowhere and Kansas City searches went dry.) Perhaps the business never got off the ground. If this was simply a show-off project, Ptarmak can be forgiven — it shows them off well. The mythical meat market made the blogosphere rounds all year long.

Chop Shop Letterhead
Chop Shop Business Card
Chop Shop Ticket
Chop Shop Label

The imaginary identity campaign includes everything, down to the butchers’ hats and aprons.

Chop Shop Posters

Click to enlarge.

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