One Man’s Treasure: Junk Type by Bill Rose

Written by in Books, Collections, Inspire

JUNK TYPE from Universe Publishing:

Typographic Treasures of Bill Rose

Sometimes a book comes along that is so delightful, so colorful, so obsessively compelling and compulsive that it must be shared. JUNK TYPE: Typography Lettering Badges Logos by Bill Rose with an introduction by Mike Essl is such a book.

Junk Type is a project driven by the passion of one man to document a disappearing aspect of American culture. Rose is a “Recapturist,” photographer, and preservationist who has spent the last decade traveling across America looking for junkyards, yard sales, antique stores, and other sources of inspiration to capture examples of vintage American typography and design before they’re lost forever. Bringing together more than 300 images, this delightful book is an archive of postwar America, told through the distinct typography, icons, badges, and branding of the country’s industrial heritage.


From Art Deco–inspired fonts and unique handmade cursive lettering to illustrated insignia and clean graphic logos bearing the influence of European design of the 1960s, the images in Junk Type represent an encyclopedic reference of creative typefaces and graphics.

Rose documents vintage Americana through his successful website recapturist.com. Based in Minneapolis, he travels the country and specializes in neon signs and the typography and logo design of vintage American industrial objects. The book includes an introduction by esteemed Mike Essl,  associate professor of graphic design at the Cooper Union and past vice president of the American Institute of Graphic Arts New York Chapter as well as Curator of the Herb Lubalin Study Center of Design and Technology. Essl’s work was featured in Cooper Hewitt’s National Design Triennial.

With each photograph representing a detail—an embossed logo, a specially created icon, or an advertising slogan—this graphic compendium captures the optimism of a golden age of American industrial creativity. The author distills that exuberance into a valuable resource any design professional creating custom type treatments will find invaluable. For design historians, it is a comprehensive look back to the last century.

View. Buy. Reference. Enjoy!


JUNK TYPE: Typography ž Lettering ž Badges ž Logos

By Bill Rose

Introduction by Mike Essl

Hardcover / 8” x 8” / 192 pages / 300 color illustrations

Universe Publishing ISBN: 978-0-7893-3265-3

Price: $35.00 U.S., $47.00 Canadian; £28.00 U.K.

Publication date: April 2017

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  1. 05

    Striking & valuable work…makes one think of all the gifted artists who created this lettering. Too bad most of them will remain anonymous, as their skills are apparent.

  2. 05
    M Porter said:

    I would like an entire wall of this material in my home. It is awesome to view and admire.