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Festival of Britain

Contributed by Stephen Coles on Apr 29th, 2013. Artwork published in .
    1951_Festival_of_Britain_Guide_as167a103b.jpg
    Source: http://www.antiques-atlas.com License: All Rights Reserved.

    This 16 page guide, designed by the London Press Exchange, features the Festival Star motif by Abram Games.

    Festival Titling was designed by Phillip Boydell and cut by Monotype in 1950 as the official display face for the Festival of Britain, a national exhibition held throughout the United Kingdom in the summer of 1951. The typeface was used for all official Festival announcements and was made available for general use in 1952.

    A shadowed fat face (or lettering?) usually accompanied the Festival logo, representing the year. I don’t know it, but Ingeborg Block, an unrelated contemporary typeface, is similar.

    The Festival of Britain was organised by the government to give Britons a feeling of recovery in the aftermath of war and to promote the British contribution to science, technology, industrial design, architecture and the arts.

    radio.jpg
    Source: http://www.packer34.freeserve.co.uk License: All Rights Reserved.
    82_158_119.jpg
    Source: http://www.museumoflondon.org.uk Image via Museum of London. License: All Rights Reserved.

    This pamplet uses an inline version of Festival Titling.

    47UL_H.jpg
    Source: http://www.londonconfidential.co.uk License: All Rights Reserved.
    3110976435_29e0d8aa0a_b.jpg
    Source: http://www.flickr.com Image via Robert Pool’s Glasgow Collection. License: All Rights Reserved.
    82_158_333.jpg
    Source: http://www.museumoflondon.org.uk Image via Museum of London. License: All Rights Reserved.
    82_158_370.jpg
    Source: http://www.museumoflondon.org.uk Image via Museum of London. License: All Rights Reserved.
    1951_Festival_of_Britain_Calen_as167a104b.jpg
    Source: http://www.antiques-atlas.com License: All Rights Reserved.

    Typefaces

    • Festival Titling
    • Plantin
    • Bodoni

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    1 Comment on “Festival of Britain”

    1. Blythwood says:
      Mar 6th, 2016  11:43 pm

      It’s very much worth reading this excellent article by Paul Rennie, which places the lettering in context of the revival of Victoriana over the last decade or so prior. People in this tendency included Nicolete Gray (who advised on 'indigenous’ lettering for the Festival events) Edward Bawden, John Betjeman, Rowland Emmett (who also did design work for the Festival - you must cover him sometime) and some of Ravilious’s design work for Wedgewood.

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