The “got milk?” campaign, whose tagline may be the most fondly recalled in beverage history, is turning 20 years old*. To celebrate, we’re hosting a “pop-up gallery show” at an art gallery in San Francisco this Friday. We will be displaying items from the campaign’s 20-year history. People who helped make the campaign as well as our friends from The California Milk Processor Board will be on hand.” — Goodby Silverstein Partners
Oversimplifications of the history abound. Here’s what really happened: Jon Steel and Carole Rankin were at a focus group when the clouds parted and a woman said, “The only time I even think about milk is when I run out of it.” Goodby scrawled “got milk?” on a poster board for a meeting and decided it might be a tagline. And Silverstein set it in that typeface that has by now been appropriated (“got ____?”) by lots of junk, donuts, wine and Jesus folks. — Adweek
That typeface is an otherwise forgotten ATF release from 1935: Phenix American. Perhaps Silverstein was lured to the design’s distinctive ‘k’. The uppercase — which reveals the heavy Art Deco stylings of the typeface — was rarely (if ever) used, but they trotted it out for the anniversary party invitation below.
Phenix (as it was originally known) was issued in metal as a single weight. In 2011, Steve Jackaman and Ashley Muir of the Red Rooster foundry expanded the family to four weights for their Phenix Pro.