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Ziemba / Jeanne Vomit-Terror / Robert Beatty at Green Lantern Bar

Contributed by Florian Hardwig on May 4th, 2019. Artwork published in
May 2019
Ziemba / Jeanne Vomit-Terror / Robert Beatty at Green Lantern Bar
Source: Robert Beatty. License: All Rights Reserved.

Next week, Robert Beatty will play a show at Green Lantern Bar, Lexington, together with Ziemba and Jeanne Vomit-Terror.

For the poster typography, Beatty came up with an imaginative variation on the ever-popular crop-and-repeat technique. Instead of cropping the echoed lines, he squeezed them vertically to an increasing degree. The typeface is Arthur L. Rawn’s Précis (VGC, 1972), set in all caps. Having a center line with A, double N, V, M, and triple R is the perfect occasion to flaunt this obscure face with its wacky emphasis on diagonals. May the 4th be with you!

The small type might seem unimposing in comparison, but a closer look reveals it’s in an interesting font as well. It’s a style from Baker Sans (VGC, 1973). This series was designed by calligrapher Arthur Baker (c. 1930–2016). With Baker Sans, he explored decidedly uncalligraphic terrain and tried his hands at a neo-grotesque. While the low-contrast Baker Sans Mono isn’t more than a rehash of Helvetica, Folio & Co., the other family members with added stress are quite unique. As far as I can tell, it wasn’t a big hit back in the 1970s. However, similar ideas – how would a neo-grotesk with stroke contrast look like? – have been explored again lately (and more skillfully), see e.g Yassin Baggar’s Beausite (2014) and Beausite Classic (2018), or Chi-Long Trieu’s Basel/Basel Classic (announced for 2019). Another pair that deserves a mention here is Albert-Jan Pool’s URW Linear/URW Imperial (1994), which is more in the lineage of Univers than Helvetica.

Two styles of Baker Sans were digitized by Castcraft as OPTI Swiss No. Three and Four (Castcraft, 1990–1991). In 2000, Maverick Design released Baker 2000 XCX, a reinterpretation in three widths and many weights, plus italics. Unfortunately, it’s rendered largely useless by its bizarrely elongated ascenders.


  • Précis
  • Baker Sans




Artwork location

4 Comments on “Ziemba / Jeanne Vomit-Terror / Robert Beatty at Green Lantern Bar”

  1. Is the Baker Sans here just the caps from Baker 2000 XCX?

    There seems to be no other digital version, huh

    ; (

  2. Hi Diego, there is also Castcraft’s OPTI Swiss No. Three and the bolder No. Four. As far as I know, this company is no longer around. Some of their fonts can be found online, as “abandonware”, but it will be difficult to obtain a proper license. Most of the OPTI fonts were pirated copies anyway, and the quality of their digitizations often is poor. If you need something in this style for “serious” client work, I strongly recommend to look into one of the contemporary options mentioned above.

  3. Another good alternative I found, though a bit taller and techier looking, is Timonium, sort of halfway between Baker and the flatter, retrofuturistic (also stressed) Condor

  4. Good call, Diego! I’d like to add Utile Display. It’s not so much a neo-grotesque with stress, but rather a serifless humanist roman (think Optima, but less sterile). It also has some nice Peignot moments, see the R.

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