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Caribbean Gulf Hotel newspaper ad

Contributed by Robert King on Oct 11th, 2018. Artwork published in
circa 1977
Caribbean Gulf Hotel newspaper ad 1
License: All Rights Reserved.

The black and white image is a newspaper ad from (reportedly) 1977. It’s promoting the restaurant in the Caribbean Gulf Hotel, which was a Gulf-side resort built on Clearwater Beach, Florida in 1974. The hotel operated successfully until it sustained major hurricane damage in 2004 and was subsequently demolished and eventually replaced with a larger, more modern hotel.

The original hotel was a wonderland of 1970s design (earth tones, shag carpeting, dark mirrored furniture), and was considered quite luxurious and fashionable in its time. The property included an excellent restaurant, an outdoor tiki bar overlooking the Gulf of Mexico, and yes, a disco called Moulin Rouge.

I believe the typeface in the ad is ITC Souvenir (in multiple weights), but I have never seen these swash characters. I’m curious if anyone knows about Souvenir having swash characters in its pre-digital life?

Caribbean Gulf Hotel newspaper ad 2
License: All Rights Reserved.


  • ITC Souvenir



Artwork location

3 Comments on “Caribbean Gulf Hotel newspaper ad”

  1. Hi Robert,

    Yes, ITC Souvenir indeed came with a couple of alternates, including enlarged minuscule forms for A E M N and swash variants for A G S T and h m n r s.

    This glyph overview from a catalog by German typesetting studios Fürst (c. 1976) also shows a multi-purpose tack-on swash. The same set of alternates apparently was available for all weights, incl. the italics and the Shadow variant. This sample is taken from Lettergraphics’ 1976 catalog:

  2. Thanks for the information and visuals, Florian—I’m very glad to know about this! I may start a militant political movement to protest the digitization of typefaces without their alternate characters—why, oh why does this happen?  ;-)

  3. The reasons for the omission of the original alternates are probably a mix: Type companies wanted to bring large amounts of typefaces to the new digital format as quick as possible. Swashes and biform alternates might have been regarded as dispensable relics from the Seventies. Also, the pre-OpenType formats offered no good way to provide the alternate glyphs – you could either put them onto unrelated codepoints (hard to access without glyph palette, not to mention the issues regarding semantics and compatibility), or have extra “Expert” fonts (a hassle). When OpenType was introduced, hardly anyone went back to the original sources, and instead simply converted the existing digital data. Who knows, maybe we’ll see an ITC New Souvenir one day? I’m not holding my breath.

    By the way, there is a digital version with swashes: Castcraft’s OPTISouvenir (Bold only) has all the alts, including horizontal and vertical tack-on swashes (not used here). Not sure about its legal status, though. It looks like it’s abandonware now, but I somehow doubt it was properly licensed from ITC in the first place.

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