Bob Marley and the Wailers at Civic Theater concert poster
On May 25, 1976, Bob Marley and the Wailers played a live show at the Civic Theater in San Diego, California, as part of the Rastaman Vibration Tour.
The biline/inline letterforms on the concert poster come from a rarely seen typeface. Barrio was carried as rubdown type by Zipatone, a company based in Hillside, Illinois. It’s shown in their catalogs from 1974 and 1976 as an all-caps design.
An undated glyph set shown by Luc Devroye additionally includes lowercase letters. Had Barrio been extended some time after 1976? Or is the showing older, and was the lowercase dropped because customers mainly used the uppercase (as in this Use)?
Both showings include a Neufville credit, but no designer information. According to Wolfgang Hartmann of Bauer Types, a typeface named Barrio doesn’t appear in the Neufville records, and Neufville didn’t maintain a typeface design studio in the 1970s. Chances are the design originated at Fundición Tipográfica Nacional or FTF, two companies that had been acquired by Neufville around that time. Many Bauer typefaces were licensed to Zipatone, and Neufville represented Zipatone for the Spanish market in the early 1970s, says Hartmann.
Barrio has been digitized more than once. Harold Lohner’s Barril (2007) adds a second inline style called Barril Doble that can be used for layering. Quinceanera NF (2008) by Nick Curtis has no lowercase, but includes several capitals ligatures. Barrio CP (2011) is a freebie by Claude Pelletier and covers the original glyph set including the lowercase, plus diacritics.
On the poster, Barrio’s letterforms are arranged on a descending baseline, with the two A’s forming a diagonal. It’s paired with the stylistically similar Blippo Black, which was carried by Zipatone as well.
The poster is signed with “Roxy Art” and a name that reads “Vic Snyder” or similar. I haven’t been able to find out more. If you happen to know more about the poster designer or the creator of Barrio, let us know in a comment.
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