Hold, Sold, & 2nd Grade Butterfat
Mid-century shop tags showcase the rough-and-ready utility of Ludlow’s Tempo.
The now defunct Barry Madigan Corporation of Cleveland, Ohio was founded in 1967. They produced forms, tags, stationery, and other retailer and office products. These very clear tags put Tempo Black to good use. The other styles are Heavy Condensed and Medium.
In mid-century America, Ludlow type was frequently used for this sort of everyday, utilitarian (AKA “jobbing”) printed material. The Typograph machine was the ideal tool for this work. The results were not always as beautiful as handset or Monotype printing, but they came quickly and without fuss. And the Ludlow’s ability to set larger point sizes made it more flexible for display uses than a Linotype.
Designed by Ludlow’s prolific type director Robert Hunter Middleton, Tempo was the company’s answer to Futura. By 1958, the family had grown to over 20 styles. Tempo is foreign to most of today’s designers because only a few cuts made the transition to digital form. These are Tempo Heavy Condensed from Linotype, and Red Rooster’s Tempo Grunged (or Grunge), a rough rendition based on the Medium weight.