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Billy Swan – I Can Help album art

Contributed by Garrison Martin on Sep 10th, 2018. Artwork published in .
    Billy Swan – I Can Help album art
    Source: Sony Music Entertainment. Scan: Leif Vidar Gullstad. License: All Rights Reserved.

    Billy Swan’s debut album I Can Help from 1974, featuring the hit single of the same name.

    Cover design by Bill Barnes and Julie Holiner, with photography by Ken Kim. The typeface is Blimp C (solid), designed by Seymour Chwast for Photo-Lettering in the late 1960s. The text on the sticker is in caps from an extrabold geometric sans, possibly Spartan Extra Black [or rather Airport Black, see comments]. Note the use of sign painters’ quotes.


    • Chwast Blimp
    • Airport Black




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    3 Comments on “Billy Swan – I Can Help album art”

    1. Judging from the appearance of those sign painters’ quotes, I’m guessing that’s Airport Black, not Spartan Extra Black, even though they do look very similar to each other.

    2. Good call. Yes, the quote marks on the sticker are closer to Airport Black. Photo-Lettering’s adaptation of Spartan Extra Black follows the original metal design in this detail, so chances are we’re looking at some phototype version of Airport Black. Spartan Extra Black and Airport Black are so similar, I would assume that one is derived from the other.

    3. Oka confirms that Airport Black was adopted for phototypesetting as in the Berthold and Monsen (G-2 Black and Gothic-2 Bold Cond/Italic). A glyph set can be found on the Daylight Fonts website.

      Hope this updates that page!

    4. I’m aware of an adaptation shown by Photo-Lettering in their 1960 catalog. I can’t speak to Monsen – chances are they indeed had a version, too.

      The info that a phototype version of Airport Black is included in Berthold’s E1 from 1974 is incorrect. This catalog shows a typeface named Airport, but it’s an unrelated design, namely the typeface drawn by Matthew Carter in 1961 for the sign system at London Airport (now Heathrow).

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