Arthur C. Clarke paperback series (Signet, 1981–1983)
The Wind from the Sun is a collection of science fiction short stories by British writer Arthur C. Clarke. Some of the stories originally appeared in a number of different publications, and the collection was first published in 1972 by Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.
This volume contains all the stories I wrote in the decade of the 60s, which was one of the most dramatic periods in the entire history of science and technology. Those years embraced the laser, the genetic code, the first robot probes of Mars and Venus, the discovery of pulsars — and the landing on the Moon. Many of these events, either in anticipation or after achievement, are reflected in these tales; for that reason, I have placed them in chronological order. — Arthur C. Clarke
The image shown at the top is Signet’s 7th printing which, according to the Internet Speculative Fiction Database (ISFDB), was published in 1982.
The photocompositor typeface used for the author and title is Roc Mitchell’s 1971 design, Corporate. To be more precise, it is probably Limited, a Corporate copy from Solotype which has minor variations such as 90-degree corners on the bottom of the ‘A’ counter. In designing Corporate, Mitchell is said to have been inspired by Eurostile, another squared, futuristic face which happens to be used here for the text above Clarke’s name.
The same typographic setup has been used for the whole series of Arthur C. Clarke novels published by Signet between 1981 and 1983. Fonts In Use contributor Alex Rosario had previously submitted a post about this series (thank you, Alex!), which has been merged into this post. In 2017, Alex made a digital revival and expansion of Corporate, named Corporatus.
- Books (3112)
- United States (5003)
5 Comments on “Arthur C. Clarke paperback series (Signet, 1981–1983)”
This post initially focused on The Wind from the Sun only. Thanks to the input of Alex Rosario, it has been extended to show the whole series of Arthur C. Clarke paperbacks featuring the Corporate typeface. The date was corrected, too: While many sources give 1973 as the date for this edition, the series with this cover typography was published between 1981 and 1983. I’ve added verified info about dates and cover artists from ISFDB. In some of the covers, you can see the signature “V. Di Fate ’81”. The 1973 date apparently refers to Signet’s first paperback series with novels by Clarke, but wasn’t updated in later printings. The 1970s series uses Alpha Midnight. We might add a dedicated post about it later.
What a lovely set!
The Castcraft sample of Limited is possibly a copy of Quad Typographers, Inc.'s Limited and Limited View listed in its 1974 catalog – in name, at least. I’ve no idea if it was modified in the same manner as Castcraft’s 1978 version.
Lista Faccia Nova:
It’s also possible Roc Mitchell licensed Corporate to other typesetting houses but changed the name. This might also explain why Phil Martin went on to develop another typeface named Corporate, later digitized as URW Corporate.
Martin’s/URW’s Corporate doesn’t seem to have been designed as early as 1971, even though MyFonts lists it as such. It doesn’t make an appearance in either the A.I. Index Vols. 1–10 from 1976, or the TypeSpectra Collection from 1979. Curiously, however, several books under The Times Mirror Company banner (e.g. New English Library, World Publishing, Fuller & Dees) published from 1975 onward feature logotypes/wordmarks very similar to Martin’s/URW’s Corporate. An early use, or an inspiration?
1975 Times Mirror Company logotype:
Nokia’s old corporate logotype also seems to borrow elements of Mitchell’s Corporate aka Limited too. Plus, I’ve seen too many unusual hodgepodge combinations of Microgramma, Eurostile, Corporate, Limited, URW Corporate and Earth. I imagine it’s because not all type houses stocked the required typefaces but were able to substitute in something similar, particularly if it was only an extra word, letter or number on the end of an existing logo.
For example, looks like the K-that’s-almost-a-H was just too funky for the Estes 1977 Model Rocketry Catalog – so they made a new one to feature throughout!
And as for Corporate being based upon Microgramma / Eurostile – this should show how with some rescaling and cutting the elements could be transformed into a new form.
From Microgramma to Corporate: