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Just dug out mine from the garage as I need the space for...
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My Brush with Art Supply Greatness

posted: November 25, 2011
Opening detail from the 1979 Letratone Wallchart Catalog. A Kate Jackson salon cut and Levelor blinds... now THAT'S '70s!
The cover for the wallchart/catalog, which AD Rob Silio designed using elements from the poster art.
In 1979, I was still unpacking in my Manhattan digs, when Letraset Ltd. AD Rob Silio called me from their new offices in Paramus. By '79, the word "Letraset" was already being used to refer to just about any dry transfer lettering, regardless of actual brand name. In just twenty years, the company had achieved the same rare status as companies such as Xerox and Kleenex had before it.
I was invited to illustrate a catalog showcasing page after page of swatches of their new collection of 487 Letratone rubdown texture sheets. They were hoping for something that would be useful and fun and and that we'd all hang on the wall rather than file away. So, the centerpiece was to be a gatefold poster of anything I'd want to do.
I was just getting my career sea legs, and it only paid around a thousand bucks, I think. Not much, but... they threw in one sheet of every one of the 487 textures for me to keep, all nice and organized in those cool Letraset file boxes. My marching orders were something like: "Just be sure to use as many of them in the poster as you can." I used the stuff for decades afterwards! -- Lou Brooks
A Lou Brooks "how-to" which accompanied part of the catalog. It's funny to me that I was nowhere near the art at this point. Somebody posed with a burnisher and a swatch of Letratone over my already-finished art. Oh yeah... and I'm left-handed.
3 comments
Carole Walsh December 23, 2011
Oh Lou, it's so nice to see the museum back online. I remember (some fondly and some not so fondly) so many of those forgotten art supplies. As far as the desktop fax machine goes, I have plenty of clients who still fax me jobs. However, I've tossed my desktop fax machine, rolls of paper and extra phone line, in favor of a fax service that emails me pdfs of faxes sent to me. So convenient. And if I need to trace a logo or something faxed to me, I don't have to scan it in, cause I already have a pdf of it.
Rob Silio March 17, 2012
Just want to say hello to Lou Brooks. I was the art director over at Letraset from 1978 - 1984 and had commissioned Lou to create artwork for the pattern sheets. Lou you were a lot of fun to work with.
Rob Silio March 17, 2012
Just want to say hello to Lou Brooks. I was the art director over at Letraset from 1978 - 1984 and had commissioned Lou to create artwork for the pattern sheets. Lou you were a lot of fun to work with.
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