Field Trip New York is Over. On to the next adventure!
And so the trip has come to an end. I'm writing this from my apartment in San Francisco. I was one of the first to leave this morning, while everyone was still sleeping off their hangover. It was a weird and sad feeling to walk out that apartment, as this past week has been somewhat magical.

I had no idea what I was in for before I flew out to Brooklyn, but by the end of the week, I got to know this amazing group of people. What a week. Thanks, Lost Type.
On Thursday afternoon we visited The Herb Lubalin Study Center of Design and Typography in the lower level of the Cooper Union. I was familiar with the center from their time-suck of a Flickr stream, so we called to make an appointment during our field trip. We received a guided tour, but all agreed we'd love to go back just to dig around by ourselves. Alexander Tochilovsky, curator of the collection, graciously spoke to us for a full two hours and showed us many of well known pieces, as well as some secret gems. As a crew of design history nerds, we couldn't believe we were able to interact (gloves free!) with pieces we'd long admired. Alexander shared with us that to them, the risk of damage is so minor compared to the opportunity for students and designers to actually interact with the ephemera, and they're delighted to share these resources with the public. While the collection has a catalog and the center is happy to pull specific designers 0r periods you're looking for, they're passionate about giving visitors the opportunity to discover things by shuffling through their flat files. About 25% of the collection is from Herb Lubalin's studio and personal archive, but there are more than 10,000 pieces to sift through.

Here are a few (just a few!) of our favorite things:

>> The giant, comprehensive brand standards manual for the New York City subway system by Unimark. Originally produced in 1970 for implementation by sign shops, we loved this thing so much Riley's going to write a whole post on it. >> Some really excellent sketches and mechanicals Lubalin's studio. So crazy to be able see the serifs sliced and glued together, Lubalin's studio was known for tight, tight typesetting. We saw so many examples of typefaces drawn and redrawn to suit very specific purposes, and the level craft made us all feel like kindergartners. Another overwhelming favorite was an internal newsletter for Look by Alvin Lustig. Millions of thanks to Alexander for taking time to share so much with us! For anyone interested in taking a meaningful break from internet inspiration, I wholeheartedly encourage you to visit the Lubalin Center when you're in New York. The neighboring Lubalin Gallery's current exhibition Image of the Studio (highlighting the practices of over 75 design firms in New York City) will be hanging through the end of October.   all photos by the exceptionally British Daniel Eden
Jessy's House of Styles is one of my personal favorite little storefronts we've come across, just for the wonderfully characterful sign painting and composition. Dan Eden and Jim Leszczynski snapped some shots while we were there. That 'specializing' is such a great little piece of brush script. The name is fitting for our adventure as well, as this whole city feels like a 'House of Styles' to us lately. We spotted the sign painter's phone # in the top right corner... maybe we'll give it a call?
It's good to be in a place where people love letters as much as you do. We've got a stacks of type books and every kind of brush pen imaginable. I spent a good deal of time with Riley's Doyald Young books (Logotypes & Letterforms, Dangerous Curves), such a total genius. pens used black : Alvin Penstix No. 3013-eef 0.3mm blue : Stabilo Point 88 Fineliner 

After a few incredibly successful navigation sessions...I led us ten minutes off-track while attempting to meet Eric Mortensen for some grub. Fortunately, we found an amazing piece of lettering with an even more amazing story...

Our group had a 180° head-turn effect going on as we walked past the signage of a humble church. The gentlemen in the USPS suite was confused as to why we were talking so enthusiastically about the church. As we explained that we were trolling the city for specimens just like the one upon the church...his voice softened and he began to tell us the history of the church. Apparently this gentlemen is the pastor of the church and has been for quite some time. His father had built the church over 40 years ago and the man who hand lettered the original signage was no longer alive. Our level of enthusiasm toward the sign caused the man to tear up a little and as we were parting ways he said "because of your compliments today, I'm going to have the sign restored!" As we moved further toward our destination — we looked back only to find the pastor starring longingly at his legacy with pride.

If this were the only thing we accomplished while on this trip...I would consider it a wild success. Here's to you Mr. USPS-Pastor Man.

For seven days, a handful of Lost Type's designers will live under one roof with a common goal; to source inspiration for type and lettering from the city of New York. We'll also be visiting with the local talent and journaling our adventures on this blog. Check back for live updates!
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