Sunday, October 25, 2009

Granada wrongs...

Sometimes, despite trying your best, you can still get things incredibly wrong. Seven years ago I wrote an article for Transdiffusion called "Granada writes...". I tried really hard with the article to research it and back up what I wrote but it's full of errors.

There are several incidences of me saying Venus was used on this caption or that caption when the font employed was actually one of the "grots" or Grotesque fonts.


Absolute bobbins - Northern News is written in Grotesque Bold!

The diagonal cuts on the E should have really given the game away (click on the picture to enlarge)...


It should have been obvious that Granada's Northern News was grotty.

There's a whole article to be written about the use of grots in 60s and 70s television - but probably not by me, or it would be full of factual errors!

However, the most grievous and embarrassing error was that I said that the Granada corporate face from the 1968 was Clarendon Bold. It's actually Egizio Bold.

The give-away here is the fact there are curves rather than right angles inside the R and the D (click on the picture to enlarge).


Next on Granada - making Joy Division oven gloves...

Egizio was designed by Aldo Novarese (1920-1995). He also, with Alessandro Butti, designed Microgramma and Eurostile. These two faces would also play an enormous part in television presentation in the late sixties and early seventies. A good list of Novarese's other faces can be found here.

If you want to get a good starter collection of typefaces that were used on television in the 1960s and 70s including an excellent version of Egizio (called E710 on the disc) then you could do a lot worse than invest in the SoftMaker MegaFont XXL 2.0 CD. Although the price (45 Euro) and number of faces might suggest low quality, I've heard a number of people claim that many of the fonts on it are not only historically important and unavailable elsewhere but many of the others are more faithful reproductions of the originals than those offered by the big name font sellers. As soon as I get the money I'm certainly going to invest in a copy.

8 comments:

Russ said...

Wow! The Clarendon news kinda blows a hole in all my existing conceptions of colour Granada. Although noticing the difference clearly required an expert eye...

Kecske said...

Yes, I've got egg all over my face on this one!

I should have realised that the amount I had to play with Clarendon to get it to look Granada-ish meant there was a good chance it was not Clarendon.

thisisRJG said...

Nah. I've got professionally published books here that have clearly done less than a quarter of the research you did and still came up with Clarendon. Even Granada themselves said that Grafton Books' logo was set in Clarendon 'just like Granada's logo' (I paraphrase) - although I think Grafton *was* in Clarendon. But they didn't know that they were wrong in the first place!!

wbhist said...

Granada's apparent confusion on what their post-'69, post-colour font was, is exemplified by a photo on the TV ARK site, which had the Clarendon font for their "GRANADA STUDIOS TOUR" on a brick wall. Yet their studios themselves used Ezigio for "GRANADA" on their canopies and the like. Go figure.

wbhist said...

P.S. Everyone knows that Venus was used for SOUTHERN Television! ;)

Kecske said...

Yes, I got Venus ID-ed from the horse's mouth - or Southern Television graphic designer Alan Scragg.

Of course, it doesn't help when identifying fonts that many of them were digitised so badly to start with.

This means that font shops can offer things like "Eurostile Next" which finally do properly what should have been done in the first place.

wbhist said...

I've had old Letraset, Chartpak, Linotype, Intertype, Monotype, Ludlow et al., type specimen books, so I've not had the problem that many these days seem to have attempting to identify certain typefaces as used by certain ITV companies of the past.

Kecske said...

You're very fortunate - I would love to have some old Letraset type specimen books.