An independent archive of typography.

Glenn Branca – Lesson No. 1 album art

Contributed by Florian Hardwig on Feb 15th, 2014. Artwork published in .
2004 re-release on Acute Records
Source: Internet Archive. License: All Rights Reserved.

2004 re-release on Acute Records

Lesson No. 1 originally was released in 1980 as the first record on the influential 99 Records. The image above shows the CD cover of the 2004 re-release. The brownish tint of the vinyl sleeve photo below might be due to bad lighting.

The dimensional-looking letterforms with their implied conical base and strong shading effects are known under various names. The original was called Baby Fat and was designed by Milton Glaser in 1964 [Mark Simonson et al] — see a photostat of Baby Fat. Glaser used it for his Simon & Garfunkel poster from 1967. Phil’s Photo book of film types has the typeface as BabyFat Black [Mike Yanega]. Letraset offered it as Fat Shadow, without designer credits. [update: both BabyFat Black and Fat Shadow are actually (derived from) Buxom, not Baby Fat.]

Most digitally available versions carry the name Buxom, which goes back to an adaptation (or “Facsimile Font original”) made by Robert Trogman for FotoStar International in 1975, based on work by lettering artist Herman Spinadel [Bob Trogman]. Besides the Buxoms, various other digitizations exist, including Bustle (FontBank Inc., 1990–1992; Novel), Chocolate (Arts & Letters, 1995; Brendel), Lee Caps (David Rakowski, 1990). The only other one of note is Keepon Truckin NF by Nick Curtis, who gives credit to Milton Glaser.

The versions vary, most notably in the line width, the design of non-alphabetic characters, and in character set. None of the digital fonts feature the hatched shades for round-bottomed characters that are present in Glaser’s original. A comment by Alexander Tochilovsky suggests it has a lowercase, too [shown in Photo-Lettering’s One Line Manual of Styles (1971)].

Glenn Branca – Lesson No. 1 album art 2
Source: License: All Rights Reserved.

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