MR PIBB and the Little Ladies
Could there be a connection between lettering on a modern soft drink can, Nazi Germany and our founding fathers? Maybe. Let’s see.
Before Joe Taylor (that’s me, above in 1972) started digging up fossils all over creation, I designed typefaces (lettering) and did art work for several Patriot organizations.
So? What’s this about Mr. Pibb, and the Nazis?
About 1979, while working on some projects about America’s true, Christian heritage, I had the privilege of meeting with the “little ladies”, as they were affectionately known.
Verna Hall and Rosalie Slater published two thick volumes about Christian Self-Government, full of America’s most profound documents. Despite their “grandmotherly” appearance they were historians in the extreme. They knew not only political history, but art history as well.
In conversations with them it came out that I was the designer of a typeface called “Blippo Black” (1969). They perked right up when I told them my idea for the face had come from an unpublished design from the thirties originating in the German Bauhaus school. Oh, yes! They knew “all about” the decadence of pre-nazi, German culture, and how it led to Hitler’s Third Reich!
My design was not good, they would have me know. Witness the lack of serifs on the ascenders and descenders. This lack of “toes” on the letters was unacceptable, theologically. See, to a real, Christian presuppositionalist, nothing is secular. Even lettering design must be theologically “correct”. Better, they advised me, were the Roman classical letters such as Times Roman, commonly used for the copy in most newspapers. None of this pre-Nazi, sans-serif stuff!
My eyes were killing me after designing and inking 141 characters in seven days!
Bob declared it to be “perfect”. It was one of the top selling alphabet fonts for several years. Among millions of products and ads using it were MR PIBB and The Beatles.
Today, in 2003, you can go into almost any store and find Blippo Black on some product.
Article and photos copyright Mt. Blanco, originally published 2003. Re-posted 2015
*Mt. Blanco Archives: Because of the many changes since Mt. Blanco opened in 1998, we are re-posting many of the old updates, articles, etc. that were originally on our website. Some of the information may be out of date, but each of our archived articles are an important part of Mt. Blanco Fossil Museum’s history.
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