Anachronistic Collateral for a badly written play.

oprion's picture

What is this’s a little difficult to explain.
Basically, it’s just a personal project. I am designing various paraphernalia to accompany a short story, that I’ve written (badly) in the style of 19 century Russian plays. So far, I have the cover and remaining pages, set according to the rules of pre-revolutionary orthography, a business card of a German doctor working in Viennese Krankenhaus, a photocopy of a catalog page, and a picture of the family crest.

There is no real point to any of this, just idle play in the spare time between the boring in-house jobs. At the same time, I want to make sure everything looks and feels as authentic as possible, without major anachronisms. I am trying to watch my styles, content and typefaces, packing the imagery with a plethora of hidden clues. Does anything immediately jump out at you as either historically incorrect, or aesthetically appalling?

The Cover of the play

The Page spreads with rip marks and added scraps.

Bogovyazoff family crest.

Business Card

Photocopy from the CC archive

I hope this isn't too long.

jebutterfield's picture

It's very impressive. It reminds me of the feelies that Infocom used to include with their games.

I don't know enough about 19th century Russian pamphlet and business card printing to discuss any anachronisms, but I did notice that on your business card you have "von Habsburg," while in your case file it says "von Hapsburg." Also, on the business card, I thought that "von" was spaced too far from "Habsburg." To me it looks like:
Dr. Heinrich von _ Habsburg [underscore added because Typophile was automatically removing the extra space].

edit: It also says "Sain Petersburg," which I assume should be "Saint Petersburg?"

Mark Simonson's picture

I'm seeing some anachronistic typefaces--Times New Roman (1930s), Palatino (1950s), Adobe Garamond (1990s). More appropriate to the 19th century would be something like Monotype Modern or Nick Shinn's new Scotch Modern, or perhaps Ronaldson. However, I don't know if any of these would be appropriate for Cyrillic for that period. Apart from that, the designs are beautiful.

Katharina's picture

Looks good! - Are the typos intentional? If not, you need to spell "Familie von Rüstergott" with an uppercase F.

Solt's picture

nice project. looks like fun!

some notes on the business card:
the illustration with those black shadows smells like late 20th century.
and besides, would a doctor have a picture of the hospital he is working at on his business card? i’m not sure, but i don’t think so.
would he have titles – in addition to his academic grade – written on the card?
you bet!
what was Habsburg’s position at the hospital? the card would certainly tell that.
also, the address is very minimalistic. no Klinik, Station, Ambulanz or Abteilung?

the "1090 Wien" tells us that the card was not printed before the late 1960s when four-digit postal codes were introduced in Austria. (before that it would have been "Wien IX")

and: Währinger Gürtel is the location of the New General Hospital (Allgemeines Krankenhaus), built during the 1970s:

the Narrenturm depicted on the card is located near the corner Spitalgasse/Sensengasse. as a psychiatric clinic it was in use until 1866. later it served as a museum.

Solt's picture

another – technical observation:
the "g" from the word "Habsburg" descends below the caps height of the address.
no problem with computer or photo typesetting.
but very unlikely with hot metal. negative leading?!

Quincunx's picture

I think it looks awesome. :)

oprion's picture

Thank you for the kind works and wonderful critiques.

1.Habsburg is certainly misspelled, though I'd probably let it stay as the catalog is meant to be written rather sloppily (as indicated by the amount of corrections already in place)
2.I've no idea how I've missed that extra space though.
3.Sain Petersburg is just sloppy, thanks for pointing it out, my eyes just glanced over it for some reason.

1. I agree on the type choices, although I reasoned that using modern revivals of historic faces would be a pretty minor offense. I might rethink my choices once I get a few fonts that are more appropriate (if I can convince some clients to get them for their projects first :))
2. The choice of Palatino was a bit forced as it's the only thing I currently have that has extended Cyrillic support for outdated letters as well as a good range of Latin ones.
3. Did I use Times NR somewhere?

1 The funny thing is, I had a Capital F there originally, but then somehow became convinced it should've been a lowercase one. I'll get that fixed.

1. I need to have a recognizable depiction of the fools tower as part of the plot, a clue to the underlying mystery. I agree that it might warrant a redrawing though.
2. Thanks for the tip about the address!
3. 1866 actually fits quite nicely.
4. That G wouldn't be a problem if the top line was actually a cliche, as these scripty things often tended to be. Just a regular type-height block shaped like an L, extending to the base of the second line.


BTW The display type on the cover was my first attempt at type design. I think the inexperience shows, although these sort of graphics were often somewhat wonky.

Thanks again everyone, I might post some improvements and a few new pieces as things develop. Though I still haven't the foggiest what is it all for.
Personal Art and Design Portal of Ivan Gulkov

Mark Simonson's picture

3. Did I use Times NR somewhere?

I think so, or a derivative of it, on the first graphic, the word "КОМЕДИЯ" and the italic text just below it.

oprion's picture

It's Palatino Linotype Bold and Italic.
Personal Art and Design Portal of Ivan Gulkov

oprion's picture

I just realized that I wasn't very clear on my cliche explanation. Basically the chase lockup would look something like this :)

Personal Art and Design Portal of Ivan Gulkov

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