Poster for Ravi Rajan’s Inauguration

Posted on: July 9th, 2018 by akiley No Comments

To commemorate the inauguration of CalArts’ fourth president Ravi Rajan, The Service Bureau was commissioned to produce a poster to celebrate this rare occasion.

The design draws on the wealth of historical imagery that has come to define the school over the course of the last 60-odd years, combined with the iconography, typography, and colors of ceremony. Sitting atop and obliterating this iconography is a mostly blank document standing for Ravi’s mandate to write his own course for the school—informed by but not beholden to its past.

The poster is 26″ x 38″ offset printed in metallic gold, silver, black and fluorescent green on satin coated stock.


Posted on: February 6th, 2015 by Colin Frazer No Comments

Introduced in 1961, the IBM Selectric typewriter existed at the crossroads of the mechanical and digital. Key-strokes were encoded digitally and then translated into mechanics. The type baskets of earlier typewriters were replaced by interchangeable ‘type elements;’ for the first time, users could switch typefaces.

In the 1960s and 70s, Selectrics accounted for 70% of business typewriters sold in the US. The typefaces designed for them were the Verdanas and Georgias of their time, ubiquitous workhorses of records, forms, and correspondences. Under the leadership of Howard ‘Budd’ Kettler and others, IBM’s Lexington Kentucky type design office produced hundreds of typefaces for the Selectric and its siblings. These designs are now largely forgotten.

Messenger, the product of careful historical research, is a tribute to the typefaces of this time. The mono version borrows its unabashed eccentricities from IBM Artisan—un-serifed ‘i,’ ‘I,’ and ‘r,’ stacked fractions, and quasi-old-style figures. The proportionally spaced text version smooths out the mono’s more exaggerated features, preserving its spirit in a text face that is even, open, and contemporary.

Both Messenger and Messenger Text include alternate characters, discretionary ligatures, full European language support, two styles of numerals, fractions, superiors and inferiors, and mathematical symbols.