Manic Panic was opened in 1977 in New York by sisters Tish and Snooky Bellomo (both original members of Blondie) as the country’s first punk-style boutique, catering to members of the punk and glam music scenes. They began producing brightly-colored hair dyes and other cosmetics originally on a small scale but experienced a surge in demand in the ’80s and ’90s during the height of the punk and alternative rock eras. Today the products are distributed internationally, in prominent use by a variety of celebrities, and the company has a handful of boutique locations and salons in New York and California.
Almost any punk rocker in the US from the past 30–40 years could recognize Manic Panic products immediately from their ongoing use of the typeface Shatter. Its usage could be stronger and the consistency varies – faux italic settings are applied to the typeface occasionally, and some products on the Canadian market use Optima instead of Shatter for some reason – but after many years of use, Shatter has become central to the Manic Panic brand.
The choice of Shatter isn’t surprising in the context of late-’70s / early-’80s punk graphics. At a time when dry transfer lettering sheets from companies like Letraset allowed anyone to design with pre-fabricated letters without paying for professional typesetting, many punk rockers embraced the technique. And in the days before pre-distressed “grunge” typefaces, something like Shatter was one of the most punk rock options off the shelf, making appearances on countless punk flyers and album covers.