Typography Brilliance: Sanborn Maps + Hello, Greenville

As you read this, I may very well be somewhere over the South East at 30,000 ft.  I’m so excited to be able to go on a little trip with my two daughters!  We’re going to Greenville, SC for two weeks for a little much needed R&R with family and friends. But don’t worry.  I’ve been working hard to make sure the content of this blog won’t lag behind one little bit.  I love discovering new and inspiring subjects and images, and I can’t wait to share the things I’ve found recently!

Case in point: Just look at these stunning, beautiful, delicate, powerful engravings!  These beauties are title pages, headings and letterforms found on maps created by D. A. Sanborn between about 1880 and 1920.  These city names are so beautifully planed and executed!  The artist didn’t have the resources modern graphic designers have today; no computer, no modern fonts, no adobe illustrator…  but he did have an immense wealth of creativity and did an excellent job of giving each letter an exact place and treating them not as letters, but as shapes, allowing them to interact together in a stunning composition. You can learn more and see more city name titles here.

Oh, sooo beautiful.

Emily Jeffords

Most days you can find me, in the studio with my little girls, speckled in oil paint (drinking too much coffee), creating artwork for collectors around the world and collaborating with select brands. Check out my artwork on EmilyJeffords.com


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