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Auto Type and Oil Cans – Vintage Inspiration

Vintage auto type can be an incredible source for typographical reference and layout ideas. The Stylesight Graphics team highlights some inspirational visual examples and web sources.

Flowing lines and stylized type was an expressive form of conveying the style and characteristic of the car’s make and model in decades past.  Nameplates and model numbers were the final stamp that separated each automobile apart. This was the age where details were key and chrome embellishment was the pinnacle of expression.

Scripted font movements and strong sharp lines gave these cars the motion of movement and speed, as well as a ‘deluxe’ feel.  Underlining and lightening bolt shapes were a strong trend seen in many designs throughout the 50s and 60s.

Another area for great graphic layout and inspiration can be found on the old oil cans of the U.S. in the  30s, 40s and 50s. These have been an incredible source for color, typography use and layout in many graphic tee collection over the last couple of years.

For more vintage auto inspiration check out: Delicious Industries, Mark Simonson and My old postcards (as well as Flickr sets by Adam Polselli, Dusty 73 & Atomic Western).





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