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Great Smash Hits!!!

Contributed by Matthijs Sluiter on Aug 4th, 2019. Artwork published in
circa 1958
Great Smash Hits!!!
Source: Uploaded to Flickr by Bart Solenthaler and tagged with “lydian”, “copperplategothic”, “torino”, “venus” and “onyx”. License: All Rights Reserved.

A collection of popular tunes, released by Capitol Records. There is no information on the release year, but it could be 1958 as that seems to be the release year of the most recent recording included in the selection: “Tom Dooley” by The Kingston Trio. Other songs are from the 1950s and even the 1940s: “Tempation” by Jo Stafford & Red Ingle, and “Smoke! (That cigarette)” by Tex Williams, are both from 1947.

Beneath the title (lettering), the designer picked more than two handfuls of type for the track list. There’s five serifs: Torino (Sinatra), Onyx (That’s Amore), Thorowgood Italic (Slipping Around), Century Schoolbook Condensed (the Tennessee Waltz) and Latin Wide (Tommy Sands).

The sans serif selection features five or six type families, depending on the label for Copperplate Gothic (Nat King Cole, Mona Lisa). Here, its tiny serifs are discernable only on inspection from up close. “Tom Dooley” is set in Franklin Gothic, decorated with a hangman’s noose. An as yet unidentified gothic face is used for “Dean Martin” — it could be Railroad Gothic, especially the smaller point size samples in the 1934 ATF catalogue look like a match. Margareth Whiting & Jimmy Wakely use what looks like Alternate Gothic. Venus Bold Condensed and Bold Extended are used for “Smoke! (That Cigarette) Tex Williams”. The only sans serif that can be pinpointed without looking twice is Lydian (Temptation).

1 Comment on “Great Smash Hits!!!

  1. Nice work, Matthijs!

    For those who are looking for a font that’s similar to the title lettering, Matthijs suggests D’Amico Gothic from Photo-Lettering. This great overlooked option comes in a range of weights and widths and is also available for conventional licensing from House Industries.

    I’d like to add Burbank, also by House Industries, which is more animated, thanks to its contextual alternates. Here’s its Big Regular Black:

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