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A&S Trade & Loan Truck

Contributed by Jack Grimes on Nov 7th, 2019. Artwork published in
circa 1980
    A&S Trade & Loan Truck 1
    Photo: Jack Grimes. License: All Rights Reserved.

    Truck belonging to a local pawn shop spotted in Boone, NC. Letters might be paint-stenciled but look very much like vinyl. A great example of “dollar-store vernacular” amateur design, here at an especially large scale.

    A pretty freeform and not especially grid-bound layout was clearly designed, possibly on the fly, with the single purpose of creating an eye-catching truck, and I respect that simplicity of purpose. The type is mostly confined by where the structure of the trailer make it possible to put it, and I count ten different styles to communicate two or three tiers if information. It’s fun in a way a lot of expensive, polished design can’t be.

    A handful of vernacular typography all-stars appear here, with Helvetica Condensed doing most of the heavy lifting, but Dom lightening things up and Revue filling the “cool font for our logo” niche. The ampersand and dollar signs (strictly used for ornamentation) seem to be set in some form of Bookman.

    As a fan of cheap, weird, vernacular design, I’m a big fan of this, with its unapologetic loudness and amateur charm.

    A&S Trade & Loan Truck 2
    Photo: Jack Grimes. License: All Rights Reserved.
    A&S Trade & Loan Truck 3
    Photo: Jack Grimes. License: All Rights Reserved.


    • Revue
    • Helvetica Condensed
    • Dom
    • Bookman




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