Martin J. Weber, Graphic and Typographic Innovator, is dead at 102

Ricardo Cordoba's picture

A few paragraphs from Steven Heller's obituary in The New York Times:

Mr. Weber invented a number of typographic and graphic techniques, but none was more popular than the one that made two-dimensional photographs seem to spring off the page. It was used frequently during the late 1960s by underground poster artists to give their artwork a psychedelic look.

Called posterization, the technique involved converting black-and-white or color photographs into a series of three separate negatives, each designated for a different color. They were then printed together, each slightly off register. The resulting images appeared to be multidimensional. (The effect cannot be shown in black and white.)

In 1942 Mr. Weber invented and patented a photographic device that could change the appearance of gothic lettering by, among other things, expanding, compressing or ballooning it. The device helped to start a trend in special-effects lettering.

Another of his signature methods took continuous-tone photographs — including portraits and product images — and converted them into fine-line renderings, making them appear as pen-and-ink drawings or engravings. These and other techniques were known together as the Weber Process.

Ricardo Cordoba's picture

I don't think so... that first image says "F. Weber & Co.," while this man was M.J. Weber.

Also, the obit states,
He opened Martin J. Weber Studios on Madison Avenue in the early 1930s as an art and production service for advertising and editorial clients. In the late 1940s and early '50s, Mr. Weber produced the original on-air nameplates for the CBS, ABC and NBC television networks before they adopted their more famous logos.

.00's picture

Posterization can be shown in Black & White, maybe not a dramatically as in color, but it can be shown.

Ricardo Cordoba's picture

Yeah, I was a bit mystified by that comment in the article, too.

Ricardo Cordoba's picture

Steven Heller has written another article on Martin J. Weber, this time for Design Observer, which goes into much more detail about Weber's life and work.

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