Beatnik Typefaces?

BrooklynRob's picture

Does anyone have suggestions about typefaces you would associate with Beatnik stylings...?
Jazz, Kerouac, Poetry, Coffee, etc.?

Thanks

thierry blancpain's picture

just personal thoughts: a dated looking grotesque, maple comes to mind. or anything that is related to lettering on trucks, but about that i dont know anything.

Da Kine's picture

Interestingly (?) enough:
Kerouac typed the manuscript for On The Road on a continuous roll of paper. Twelve-foot- long sheets of tracing paper were taped together to make one continuous roll. The scroll is about 120 feet long.
DB~

dezcom's picture

Typewriter type would be the most referential for me. Perhaps even the slightly distressed versions indicating a person's typewriter with its quirks rather than the perfection of typography today.

ChrisL

Norbert Florendo's picture

As I recall, much of the "Beat Generation" graphics seemed to use a lot of "Frisky" typestyles (bouncing baselines, slightly distressed) and seeing typewriter styles was also common, as Chris mentioned.

Other faces included Clarendons, Latins, condensed sans serifs which were popular on many Cool Jazz and Bebop Jazz albums.

Da Kine's picture

RE- Typewriter Type'
"Man, like I dig," he replied while simulataneously snapping his fingers and playing the bongos, which is not easy to do!
DB~

dezcom's picture

See Maynard G. Kreb :-) from Doby Gillis Show.

http://blogcritics.org/archives/2005/09/09/014433.php

ChrisL

Da Kine's picture

I think Dobie was a "closet finger snapper." That's why he has his hands in his pockets!
DB~

dezcom's picture

Or maybe he was just thinking about Tuesday Welde :-)

ChrisL

k.l.'s picture

Typewriter type would be the most referential for me.

Pretty interesting that this period kind of had 'no particular style'. The Howl cover looks rather traditional, could have been any other author. The only pieces of this time I have seen, in photocopy, are two little publications of poems by Jim Carroll: inside 'typography' in typewriter; one cover rather traditional, in Centaur; the other cover appears to be a cut-and-paste piece of photo, hand-drawn stars and text in Cooper Black (caps only). Obviously, 'Beatnik style' was dictated by the means that a self-publisher or very small publisher could afford which at that time obviously was: typewriter.
(And this doesn't seem to be restricted to Beatniks. I remember having read that, a decade earlier, the cover for a Moondog LP was calligraphed by Andy Warhol's mother, which won an AIGA award.)

Maybe you should typewrite and scan instead of digitally faking typewriter-style.  :)

Linda Cunningham's picture

Check out http://www.bongobeat.com -- I'm not sure how much of the 'zine is posted, but Ralph certainly has an affinity for both the type and grafix of that era, and used to (maybe still does!) run the print version off on a really ancient Gestetner.

L.

franzheidl's picture

(And this doesn’t seem to be restricted to Beatniks. I remember having read that, a decade earlier, the cover for a Moondog LP was calligraphed by Andy Warhol’s mother, which won an AIGA award.)

Would love to see that – image/scan anybody?

Maybe you should typewrite and scan instead of digitally faking typewriter-style. :)

I absolutely agree. Keep your hands off Trixie and the likes, it would just look plain 90s…

pattyfab's picture

I can't believe nobody has suggested Beatnik!

http://www.myfonts.com/fonts/galapagos/beatnik/

You could also check out House Industries Shag and Ed Benguiat collections.

or this

http://www.myfonts.com/fonts/nicksfonts/cool-cat-jim-nf/

pattyfab's picture

I also think of those moody jazz covers from the 50s with lots of blue and fonts like Akzidenz Grotesk and Clarendon.

Norbert Florendo's picture

You should probably decide on the direction or tone you intend to convey for your project.

There is a significant distinction between what was representative of "Beat" culture or "Beat Generation" as opposed to what is characterized more commonly as "Beatnik".

Beat Generation:


William S. Burroughs, Jack Kerouac, "cool jazz" and some "bebop"

The Beat Hotel"
Beat Generation - rare publications
Beat Generation Resources

Beatnik:
Maynard G. Kreb, Shaggy of Scooby-Do



Bongos, Cool Cats, Greenwich Village Coffee House (pre-hippie-sixties), Louis Nye's "Cool Daddy-o" Beatnik comic routines

brampitoyo's picture

Chris,

For some reason, the guy on the left of your pic looked like the "Mac" guy -- after his CPU meltdown or something.

dezcom's picture

Nope that is Maynard. You may remeber him as Gilligan later on his Island :-)

ChrisL

BrooklynRob's picture

I started this thread a while back and got some great suggestions... I also found this excellent resource of all things Beatnik at:

http://www.beatsvillepad.com/

Even the site is well designed. The book, which is not about serious "Beat" literature but rather about the pop-culturization of this phenomenon is full of great stuff.. old book covers, album art, cartoons, modern-day Beat influences, etc. It's well worth the price...

Rob King
Brooklyn, NY
http://www.designdrivethru.net

Grot Esqué's picture

Didn’t House have a beatnik set in the works? I can’t any info now, though.

Miss Tiffany's picture

House's Shag Font Collection strikes me as somewhat Beat-like.

Miss Tiffany's picture

Also ... House's Typography of Coop has a few fonts that could be used, and while you're at it you could also use a few from Tiki Fonts and Latino! Fonts.

Dan Weaver's picture

How about P22 Beatnik collection

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