Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Mike Hinge 119

Mike Hinge - The Carriage Trade. Approximate size 57x47cm. Date: Unknown. Unsigned.

I don't know what this might have been for? The name of a company or an album or perhaps it the name for the font? 

For the past few years I have been trying to track down the fonts that Mike designed. The Carriage Trade is perhaps not very typical (not very sci-fi) but then Mike's style is not always narrowed down to that genre. My last post had the front cover for the Lunacon 68 where it had what i'm sure is one of Mike's many typefaces, its his adaptation of a font called "Westminster" which was designed in the mid 6o's to be a machine readable typeface (Magnetic Ink Character Recognition or MICR) for the National Westminster Bank. There are many versions of this type face and I'm not sure if 1968 was the earliest time that Mike first used this but even so it is with out a doubt one of the first adaptations of Westminster. What I think makes Mike's typeface distinctive is the little tail on the end of the capital N & A and the large dot in the small i. Mike uses this font quite a lot in his work.

Another example of Mike's version of Westminster:

Android - A detail from the Mike Hinge Experience (1969-1973)

New York from about 1966 - 1969 Mike was an Art Director for Young & Rubicam and B.B.D.O (he could be in the tv series Mad Men), during this time I know that he won two awards at the 13th Annual Type Director's Club Show of 1967 (not be confused with Typography 13, by the Type Director's Club). What it was that he did for him to win two awards I don't know, I would really love to know. 

Mike produced several fonts for commercial reproduction and one of the type-houses that he worked with was a company called "Photo-Lettering Inc" or PLINC which were based in New York, established in 1936 closing in 1996. The 1000's of fonts held by PLINC have been locked away unseen and unused since, that is until now. Recently House Industries acquired the entire collection and have been taking care  of this amazing heritage and faithfully preserving the fonts, check out  PLINC's website.

At the moment there are not that many fonts on line but I am hopeful that we should see a few Hinge's sometime in the future. Here are a few fonts that I know were designed by Mike for PLINC: Hinge Computer, Electronic, Robot, Quasar, Integrated and Digital Readout. There are hopefully lots more and of those that I've listed I am not entirely sure what they look like.

Here are some more examples of Mike's typefaces below:

Monkey Wrench - From the collection of Mike Hinge's A4 photocopies date possibly late 60's

Earth Unaware (cover illustration) 1983, There's nothing to say that he designed the font as well but I think that he did and until I'm told otherwise... I remember reading somewhere that Ted White (editor of Amazing Stories, Fantastic...) said that Mike would not stop at just doing the illustration but would also want to have control on how the title was placed and would also want to design the typeface if he was allowed.

Archimedes - A detail from the Mike Hinge Experience (1969-1973)

Assignment in Tomorrow (cover illustration - printers proof) 1972.

Astarte - A detail from the Mike Hinge Experience (1969-1973)

Onyx (letterhead) -  From the collection of Mike Hinge's A4 photocopies date Unknown

No No Yes - A detail from the Mike Hinge Experience (1969-1973)

Shaggy Planet (cover illustration - printers proof) 1975.

Mexico Magnifico, Eastern Airlines, (One flyer and two tags) date unknown.

Mike Hinge (Logo) - date possibly 1980.

Tobacconist - - From the collection of Mike Hinge's A4 photocopies (traces of being touched up with tipex and pen) date unknown.

Hinge (Logo) - A detail from the Mike Hinge Experience (1969-1973)