Danny O'Murphy, barbershop quartet tenor

Last month, my friend Allan Haley asked us to design a web banner for When he sent us the typeface to promote, Ratio Modern, I immediately fell in love with the parentheses. This is what happens if you are a type geek. It’s so geeky that Star Wars fanatics at Comic Con would probably laugh at me.

Every day, I drive by a billboard in Hollywood of a Groucho Marx caricature. I have no idea what it is for, but it’s the best part of the drive. As I sat in traffic staring at the billboard, I realized that the Ratio Modern parentheses are like a wonderful moustache, and I couldn’t let this opportunity pass. This opened the Pandora’s Box of other type characters (no pun intended). I recall a sculptor telling me, “The figure is trapped in the marble. I only set it free.” And it turned out that this was true with typography. The barbershop quartet guy, surprised woman, uptight starlet with a beehive, Don Quixote dapper dude, and cranky queen all were alive hiding inside the letters.

The Groucho Marx billboard, Santa Monica Blvd.


Sue from Brentwood


Diana Diamonds, MGM starlet


Don Francisco Pico of Rancho Del Zocalo

Queen Letitia of Lichtenstein banner

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