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Buick ad: “Bold Beautiful Buick ’63”

Contributed by Mark Butchko on Nov 22nd, 2016. Artwork published in .
    Buick ad: “Bold Beautiful Buick ’63”
    Photo: Mark Butchko. License: All Rights Reserved.

    This advertisement for American car manufacturer, Buick, was found in the book “American Poster ’63” published by the Art Director’s Club of Chicago. It features Fred Lambert’s typeface Compacta. As both the typeface and the poster were designed in 1963, this must mark one of the earliest commercial uses of Compacta.

    The words “Dealer’s Name” are set in Futura Bold and are presumably just placeholders for where local car dealer’s would eventually display their name or logo.

    For what it’s worth, the poster received a “Honorable Mention” from the jury.


    • Compacta
    • Futura




    Artwork location

    3 Comments on “Buick ad: “Bold Beautiful Buick ’63””

    1. Nice find, Mark! Did the annual specify whether it was meant to be a magazine/newspaper ad, poster, or billboard?

    2. Unfortunately, it doesn’t specify. In the case of this particular competition, they were using the word “poster” to refer to any outdoor advertisement. But based on the dimensions, I would assume it was a billboard.

    3. I’m wondering if this is really Compacta. I can’t find a typeface that comes any closer, but it’s very early for Compacta and some shapes don’t match, particularly the vertical symmetry (B, C, E, K) and the weight of “BOLD” which is heavier than any Compacta I know.

    4. I’m starting to agree with you Stephen. There are definitely some inconsistencies and the timeline seems a bit too quick to actually be a use of Compacta.

      It seems a stretch to imagine that Compacta was released as a commercial typeface, obtained by a designer, used in a design, submitted to a competition, judged in a competition, and then printed and published in a book all during the year of 1963.

      I would love to hear any insight someone might have. There seems to be three separate weights/widths being used here, but they all appear to be from the same family.

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