1) Jewish National Fund, 1961.
2) Art and Architecture covers from Grain Edit.
3) Hebrew Writer’s Guild stamp, 1974. From The Ministry of Type.
5) Israeli anti-noise pollution stamp, 1975. From this amazing tumblr of vintage stamps.
Some of my earliest memories involve the simple, rhythmic, bright, minimalist graphics of mid-century Jewish art–my Hebrew school and synagogue were full of it. In result, whenever I see mid-century design, it literally sparks a sense nostalgia in me that borders on religious. The top image doesn’t take me to the Middle East as intended but back home to northeast Ohio to a synagogue library full of sunlight and old books. It makes me think of old, silent men shuffling around with yarmulkes over their bald spots. I react to it so strongly that at a former job, where I had the responsibly of sorting correspondences written on mid-century letterhead with this font:
I just about lost it, the font was so beautiful. I know nothing about design, but I think a lot about how different mediums interact with each other. What about this style of art makes me instantly want to write? In my translation class, we discussed how a lot of music originates from folk songs, and in most folk songs, music is written around words. The shape of the language influences the shape of the music. When I look at the patterns in these graphics and whatever it is that gets me about the font (its evenness? kerning?), it makes me think of new ways to use language–to drape it, so to speak—around the art the same way folk music shapes itself around words.