Puck

Puck (The Netherlands) / c. 1929

back next

Design: The label name lettering seems to have been drawn to run around the spindle hole, with the swashes on the first and last letters arriving at some sort of visual balance. Judging by the crudely-drawn illustration, the label is named after the mischievous little sprite in Shakespeare's stage play A Midsummer Night's Dream; apparently the works of the 'immortal bard' were as widely-known in contintental Europe as in England. The typography on the sleeve (below) shows a rare and interesting use of italic slab-serif capitals for the label name (in sophisticated typographic circles, there is a dictum that italic capitals should not be used to form words). Most 'display' lettering such as this would have been typeset in wood 'poster' letters (since metal type in large 'display' sizes was often too difficult to cast in metal and too heavy to be stored in flimsy wooden typecases), but were almost always machined in an upright non-italic format, since the overhang between the vertical body of the letters presented serious technical challenges for composition. The rest of the information is typeset in the internationally popular Cheltenham font, designed in 1904 by an American architect, Bertram Goodhue. The wording reads "Electrically recorded children's gramophone record with the largest Dutch repertoire," so this small-diameter product seems to have been aimed at a burgeoning children's market.

History: Scans courtesy of collector Klaas Vonk of Holland.



site map   era index