Nippon Mercury

Nippon Mercury (Japan) / c. 1952

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Design: The label on each side carries a different picture of the singer (Segawa Shin), which may have to do with the theme of each song. The soft fade-out edges into the powder-blue background are only achievable by the lithographic process, and can be contrasted with that of letterpress, which was limited to a hard edge (e.g. Morad Records). With the lettering art on the sleeve [below] evidently having been done in Japan (the logo lettering has been redrawn), unfamiliarity with Western spelling and Roman letterforms may have led to 'Mercury' being mis-spelled as 'Marcury' and the weighted stress on the verticals of the caps A, N and M being on the wrong stroke.

History: Evidently a subsidiary of Mercury Records of the U.S., which had been formed in New York around 1945 by Irving Green, Berle Adams and Arthur Talmadge, and was bought out by the Dutch electronics company Philips in 1961.

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