Speedball Text Book

My father’s sister, Irma, was a pack rat. I didn’t appreciate it growing up but now I treasure the many items that she passed on to me.

This Speedball Text Book that she had is aimed towards those that designed advertising. Back when fonts weren’t a click away you had to really practice your skills and using their drawing pens with the appropriate tip you could yield some really captivating results. Here are some images from their 1948 “Edition 15”.


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The introduction tells which tips to use and how to maintain them.


There are also definitions of the three main types of “fonts”:

Gothic – “letters composed of uniform width”
Romans – “letters composed of thick and thin elements”
Text – “styles of Old English Text, Church Text, Cloister Text… etc.”



Diagrams show how to use the tips to create many desired results.



I love this delicate, embellished Rose “font”.



This “font” is a precursor of the space age, don’t you think?



Love these fanciful letters too!



A little Wild West flair here!



Need a holiday themed border? They have that covered too!



There is a whole page of comical characters to practice with their “Style B” pen tip.



For the serious advertising designer there are suggestions for price tickets.



A $.65 salmon dinner? Wow!


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In addition to text there are poster design tips.

Although my aunt has left me many family treasures, this is by far one of my favorites. Simple and intriguing I truly enjoy this little booklet every time I pick it up. Hope you enjoyed some of its images too!