Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Architectural Lettering & Pop Culture

What does architecture have in common with Wonder Woman?

In the 1930s, the Keuffel and Esser Company (also known as K & E) of New York developed an architectural lettering kit called the Leroy Lettering Set. It was designed to assist architects and engineers in producing uniform, precise lettering that was intended to be no less legible when reproduced in blueprints and other formats. The earliest sets included xylonite templates, scribers and nickel silver/stainless steel lettering pens. To look at some of the company's catalogs, including images of the set shown below, click here.

Many in the comic book industry quickly adopted Leroy lettering. Wonder Woman of the 1940s, the Golden Age of American comics, employed Leroy, as did the EC Comics (Entertainment Comics) edited by Al Feldstein (born 1925) in the 1950s.

[Images above: Scenes from Wonder Woman #25 (1947); Leroy Lettering Sets Brochure, 1937]

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