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“Think Happy Today!” – Twin City Federal Bank of Minneapolis

Contributed by Garrison Martin on Nov 15th, 2019. Artwork published in
circa 1978
.
    Red version, 1982.
    Source: http://www.foragemodernworkshop.com License: All Rights Reserved.

    Red version, 1982.

    “Think Happy Today” was the long-time slogan of Twin City Federal Bank of Minneapolis, Minnesota. There are many variations featured on keychains, posters, and TV advertisements.

    The type on this particular poster is Blippo Bold, Fotostar’s homage to Burko Bold by David Burke. (The tie-breaker on this one is the y. And as Florian notes, the non-stencil lowercase characters.)

    Red version, 1982.
    Source: http://www.foragemodernworkshop.com License: All Rights Reserved.

    Orange version, 1982.

    Red version, 1982.
    Source: https://www.flickr.com Mykl Roventine. License: CC BY-NC-SA.

    Yellow version, 1978.

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    • Blippo

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    5 Comments on ““Think Happy Today!” – Twin City Federal Bank of Minneapolis”

    1. Nov 15th, 2019  2:52 pm

      Made my day! Thanks, Garrison.

      It’s true that the first version of Burko (1967) preceded the original Black style of Blippo (1969). For the rest of the family, including the bold styles mentioned here, records are murky, though. I can’t say if it’s fair to label Blippo as a copy. Burko was revised over time (e.g. it didn’t have a straight-sided y at first), so there might have been some “mutual inspiration” at play. Also, there were similar designs by other outlets, like VGC’s Harry (1966) or PLINC’s Bauhaus Alpha (1969) and Bauhaus Geometric (1970). This style was in the air at the time. Having said that, yes, Burko Bold and Blippo Bold are surprisingly similar, down to the peculiar enlarged i dot. FotoStar was also (later?) known as Facsimile Fonts. That name alone is quite revealing.

      The ID is definitely correct: In addition to the y, and as far as I can tell from glyph set showings, Burko only had stenciled forms for adpH (while Blippo Bold offered both open and solid forms for adp, and a solid H).

    2. Nov 15th, 2019  10:25 pm

      Thanks Florian! This style was all the rage in the 1970s. Nowhere is this more evident than my surroundings in South Florida (so much is still left here from then). I guess it all goes back to that time period’s Bauhaus obsession, and mainly Herbert Bayer’s Universal. There were countless plays off of it.

      From what I’ve seen, the 1970s had somewhat of a flood of new typefaces. Many displaying a noticeable Bauhaus or Vienna Secession nostalgia. Dry-transfer sheets and phototypesetting were getting very popular. Companies like Mecanorma, Letraset, AI/TypeSpectra and Fotostar looked to be not only be in a race to release the newest styles but to also match or semi-copy each other. I remember Dave Farey mentioned a situation with VGC’s Harry that resulted in Letraset’s Horatio.

      Blippo reminds me of Horatio in the fact that its mostly a tribute to offerings that were already on the market, with small alterations. Light looks to be a take on ITC Ronda, Fat looks to also find inspiration from Harry. The rest look to heavily reference Burko. Pump, released by Letraset, takes much from Burko but features more fluidity from weight to weight.

      “Copy” may be too much of a harsh way to put it. I’m going to adjust and do an anchor link to the comments. Facsimile (synonym for “copy”) Fonts, Trogman set himself for jokes on that one 😊.

    3. Nov 15th, 2019  11:03 pm

      Shin Oka found a post that Joe Taylor did about Blippo Black, I think that was his lone contribution to the family. Oka’s site also has a very nice selection of Bayer inspired type and info on his site.

    4. Nov 16th, 2019  12:15 pm

      All good points – thanks, Garrison!

      Regarding Taylor’s Facebook post: That’s exactly what I mean when I wrote that the records are murky. It’s problematic to rely on personal recollections made by involved actors half a century after the fact. For example, Ed Rondthaler, as you know, was the founder of Photo Lettering, Inc., and, in 1970, co-founded the International Typeface Corporation (ITC). He was not “the head of Merganthaler Press” (sic). Taylor’s first published design (according to Taylor) was issued by Photo-Lettering as Taylor Farmhand in c. 1968.

      Taylor here states that Blippo Black was made in 1970, and elsewhere that it was in 1969. One year can make quite a difference when he claims his design “was later named PUMP”. Pump Bold was issued by Letraset in 1970. Which doesn’t mean Letraset’s designs always were original, as underscored by the Horatio story. When Taylor says that “on most computers today it is BAUHAUS”, he doesn’t refer to ITC Bauhaus or its precursors Bauhaus Alpha (1969) or Bauhaus Geometric (1970), but rather to URW’s Bauhaus 93 (1993), which indeed is a direct clone of Blippo Black.

    5. Nov 16th, 2019  7:53 pm

      Yes, Florian! Joe Taylor’s inaccuracies come off a bit charming. He’s out of the letter business and focusing mostly on paleontology, these days. 

      I also found a link you discovered on the first Burko post on this site. It’s from Joe’s old website, where he tells the Blippo Black story with a little bit more detail. He also throws in a reference to Bayer’s Universal.

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