Monday, July 29, 2013

Inspired By Literature: Vintage Speedball Text Book

*This post contains PR samples.
Every now and then I enjoy taking a break from the more conventional literature in my personal library in favor of some of the unusual books I've collected over the years. One of these "unusual" books is a lettering and pen design pamphlet of sorts from the late 1940s that I absolutely adore. This particular book has, in fact, already made an appearance on Getting Cheeky as a background for my original review of Giorgio Armani Maestro Fusion Makeup (here). 

Though not full of the descriptive imagery I associate with particular authors or themes that I cherish across different works penned by the same hand this Speedball Text Book has its own particular kind of charm that deserves celebration in the Inspired By Literature series. More visually pleasing than anything else, it serves as a nice break from my other posts in this seres that can (at times) get a bit heavy ... the English major in me cannot help but pontificate when I sit down to write this series!

(Left to right): Essie Licorice Nail Polish, Sinful Colors Pull Over Nail Polish


Perhaps the best part of this vintage lettering and poster design manual is the wide range of styles that have fallen out of vogue enough to appear pleasantly vintage. As a calligrapher and handwriting aficionado (as you'll see in an upcoming post) seeing ornate examples of lettering and quill work is something I cherish. All too often I fear that this art has been almost entirely lost. (Uncertain? Look at a handwritten letter from the 1890s and compare it to the last grocery list you jotted down. It's enough to crush you if you're a lover of handwritten notes like myself.)

(Clockwise from top right): Le Métier de Beauté Fin (Nouvelle Vague Kaleidoscope), MAC Dark Diversion Fluidline, MAC Avenue Fluidline, Bobbi Brown Forest Ink*, Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner 


My beloved Speedball Text Book also features various examples of posters and (if you look at the bottom) the number of colors one needs to print them. This particular page featuring a classic travel advertisement for the Olympics ("America's Last Frontier") is stunning and rife with shades I could easily find in my eye shadow coffers.

(Clockwise from top left): Bourjois Violet Absolu Eye Shadow, MAC Rubenesque Paint Pot, NARS Heart of Glass and Outremer Eye Shadows


Who doesn't love a Medieval inspired "illuminated letter" that begins an old manuscript, fairy tale or stanza of a poem? This page featuring a beautiful alphabet that seems at once Medieval and 17th century French is one I do actually reference when I'm keen to pull out colored inks and play around a bit while writing my calligraphy. The rich cool toned red, soft blue and gold complement each other to perfection ... so much so that it may have inspired a makeup look or two! (You can't get any more "inspired by literature" than that, can you?)

(Left to right): NARS Autumn Leaves and Dolce Vita Lipsticks


Have you uncovered any vintage gems such as my Speedball Text Book that inspire you?

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*This item was provided by PR for consideration. The ideas and opinions expressed are my own. Do not hesitate to reference my policies in the event that you have any questions.