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Want to build elegance and sophistication into a font? First, start with a narrow stance. That’s always a strong beginning. Second, look to the past for inspiration. But what if you mix in hints of deco and gently sweeping curves and arches and heavily contrasting thicks and thins? Well, that means it’s August, 1935, all over again, and SIGNS of the Times magazine by ST Publications has just released its 44th alphabet by master sign painter, Alf R. Becker.
Beginning in January, 1932, Alf R. Becker of St. Louis, Missouri, at the request of then-editor E. Thomas Kelly, supplied SIGNS of the Times magazine’s new Art and Design section with an alphabet a month, a project initially predicted to last only two years. Misjudging the popularity of the series, it instead ran for 27 years, ending finally two months before Becker’s death in 1959, for a grand total of 320 alphabets, a nearly perfect, uninterrupted run. In late 1941, just ten years after the first alphabet was published, 100 of those alphabets were compiled and published in book form under the title, “100 Alphabets,” by Alf R. Becker.
As published in August, 1935, this is the description that accompanied Becker’s 44th alphabet, Chicago Modern Thick and Thin:
This is Chicago Modern Thick-and-Thin, alphabet No. 44 in Alf R. Becker’s SIGNS of the Times series. It is one of those styles in which spurs are to be avoided, and in which the letter height should be twice as great as the average width.
Many font designers have tackled converting Becker’s incredible achievement from paper to digital, and many claim to treat his work with care and dignity. But the Fontry’s Becker fonts remain the most historically accurate and viable treatments available, arriving in two industry-satisfying versions: CAS (Computer-Aided Signmaking) and DTP (Desktop Publishing). And as with all Fontry fonts, the kerning is not optional–it’s exceptional!!!
You can purchase full version and commercial license here: https://www.myfonts.com/fonts/fontry/arb-44-chicago-modern/