Filed Under: "typography"

Letter from Jim to his longtime friend Gene Deitch, 1972

Continue Reading... “It will be a great pleasure to pinch your claw”

life in the food chain

October 14, 2010

Half-page from unfinished and untitled hand-painted children’s book prototype, ca. early 1960s. The project includes ten words (e.g., “automation,” “characteristic,” “evident,” “powerful”) defined, pronounced and illustrated for young readers. A previous partial page (“fantasy”) appeared on this blog in November 2008.

Continue Reading... life in the food chain

Flora Mambo font

September 17, 2010

New from P22 Type Foundry: Based on playful hand-lettering from the 1955 Jim Flora Mambo For Cats RCA Victor album cover, the set includes “Flornaments,” consisting of 72 miniature figure icons (dingbats) from Flora artworks. Samples:

Continue Reading... Flora Mambo font

The above typography appears on the covers of at least three RCA Victor LPs from 1956 and 1957, one by pianist Hal Schaefer, another by polymath-bandleader George Russell, and a third by saxophonist/clarinetist Hal McKusick. Of the series, Schaefer explained: “I was invited to participate in The RCA Victor Jazz Workshop. You had to be a composer, arranger and instrumentalist, all rolled into one.” (Which abundantly explains Russell‘s inclusion.) In each case, the album covers…

Continue Reading... typographical puzzler

Hand-lettered typography from cover of Charlie Barnet‘s 1955 compilation Redskin Romp 7″ EP (also released as a 12″ LP). Barnet (1913-1991) was a Swing Era bandleader and saxophonist whose first 78 rpm hit, “Cherokee,” released in 1939, inspired the Indian-themed title of this 33-1/3 rpm hi-fi retrospective. Above is a section of the full cover; that’s a non-lookalike caricature of Barnet in the lower left.

Continue Reading... Redskin Romp (typography)

Jolly birthday

June 5, 2010

Peter Ceragioli Jr. was born this day in 1932. You may not recognize this West Coast jazz pianist, accordionist, and composer by his birth name. Beyond TV and film soundtrack cognoscenti, he’s probably obscure even by his stage name—Pete Jolly. The keyboardist was a child prodigy on accordion, as spaceagepop.com points out: When he was eight, he made his first broadcast appearance, billed as “The Boy Wonder Accordionist” on CBS Radio’s Hobby Lobby. The show’s…

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Detail, The Many Aspects of Love, tempera on board, mid-1990s (and pre-dated by a pen & ink drawing). Not a top-tier work, the above partial reflects the extended mayhem. While there’s plenty of vestigial Flora mischief (note demons in the head at left), works like The Many Aspects veer perilously close to self-parody. The complete work has not been published.

Continue Reading... Love (and some of its aspects)

The Day the Cow Sneezed

January 27, 2010

For years we’ve attempted to interest publishers in reprinting Jim Flora’s 17 popular children’s books. At the top of our wish-list were four titles: The Fabulous Firework Family (1955); The Day the Cow Sneezed (1957); Charlie Yup and His Snip-Snap Boys (1959); and Grampa’s Ghost Stories (1978). We consider these the top-tier Flora kiddie books on an artistic level—with The Day the Cow Sneezed the most outlandish of the quartet. We’ve had inquiries, offers, meetings,…

Continue Reading... The Day the Cow Sneezed

Our large (20″ x 20″) Mambo For Cats limited edition screen print is almost sold out. We’re now offering a miniature (7″ x 7″) giclée open edition print of this renowned Flora 1955 RCA Victor LP cover. At $25.00, it’s a great alternative for those on a limited budget—or with limited wall space.

Continue Reading... Meow! Introducing the Mambo Mini

Love Is Like Park Avenue

September 26, 2009

Flora rendered the above woodcut for the cover of a collection of short stories by Alvin Frederick Levin, published by Little Man Press in 1940. New Directions Books has just issued Love Is Like Park Avenue, Levin’s “unfinished novel,” which includes the “Little Alvin” vignettes and a reproduction of Flora’s woodcut. You’ve probably never heard of Alvin Levin. Neither had we. The intriguing rediscovery of Levin is chronicled by New Directions Senior Editor Declan Spring…

Continue Reading... Love Is Like Park Avenue

aspects (typography)

September 5, 2009

Flora loved experimenting with hand-typography throughout his career, from the 1930s to the 1990s. (Click on tag below to see previous examples.) He occasionally created anthropomorphic letters. The above detail derives from an undated 1990s-era painting entitled The Many Aspects of Love. The large-scale tempera is a lower-tier work reflecting Flora’s libidinous streak with cartoonish figures, a recurring theme which usually makes us cringe. However, the lettering of each word in the tableau demonstrates Flora’s…

Continue Reading... aspects (typography)

Get to know them — Flora-style! Individual letters culled from various works by the funky font master himself.

Continue Reading... Do you know your FGHIJKLs?
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