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“Wellbee says” handwashing poster

Contributed by Nick Sherman on Mar 20th, 2020. Artwork published in .
    “Wellbee says” handwashing poster
    Source: https://phil.cdc.gov CDC. License: Public Domain.

    From the CDC’s Public Image Library:

    This 1964 poster featured what at that time, was Communicable Disease Center’s (CDC) national symbol of public health, the Wellbee, who was reminding the public to “be well, be clean, WASH YOUR HANDS”. CDC used Wellbee in a comprehensive marketing campaign that included newspapers, posters, leaflets, radio and television, as well as personal appearances at public health events. […] This artifact can be viewed, by visiting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) David J. Sencer CDC Museum, located in Atlanta, Georgia.

    The “Wellbee says” type is either Filmotype April or something extremely similar. The typeface for “WASH YOUR HANDS” is a casual flared sans similar to Westerveldt – perhaps something also from Filmotype. The smaller type is a Futura-like substance, though it’s hard to identify an exact match from the available image.

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    1 Comment on ““Wellbee says” handwashing poster”

    1. Thanks for posting this, Nick!

      “Wellbee says” appears to be in Filmotype Brooklyn. This face is indeed similar to April, but overall rounder, see this visual comparison of two digital versions. Together with its lighter precursor Filmotype Alice and a bolder contemporary addition named Filmotype Candy, Brooklyn has been made available again by the digital reincarnation of Filmotype.

      The casual flared sans looks like Filmotype Madison. It’s shown together with the bolder Memphis and Moraine and the wider Miami, Niagra, and Malta in a 1970s Filmomaster catalog.

    2. The Futura-like small font distinctly resembles Twentieth Century to my eyes—there’s something about the a, t, and w that I can’t put a finger on.

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