Notebook: 28 October 2015 | TYPOGRAPHY
I have several old shoeboxes stuffed full of graphics goodies – bits of old printed ephemera that I have collected over the years such as tickets, old tube maps, small booklets, cards and so on. Anything that took my fancy – a quirky bit of typography, an odd illustration, a clever piece of design – was admired and then stashed away.
I’ve just unearthed an intriguing pamphlet called Eight Passion Proteins With Care from one of the boxes and it may be familiar to anyone who shopped or worked in and around London’s Oxford Street in the 1970s and 80s – and if the pamphlet isn’t familiar then Stanley Green, its placard carrying author, surely will be. Green believed that if we ate too much protein it would build up in our bodies and lead to uncontrollable ‘lust’.
Stanley Green in Oxford Street, 1988. Photo by Tom Gold
He would wander up and down Oxford Street in his recognisable peaked cotton cap, preaching his gospel in his soft but resonant tone, with his placard clearly visible above the pedestrians’ heads and his shoulder bag full of his curious little booklets. I must have bought one from him in the mid 1980s for 12p. I was attracted by the naive typography and the homespun charm of his simple 16-page A6 publication which was bound with a couple of staples. Evidently Stanley Green printed them himself every Sunday on an ancient old printing press that he had at his home in Northolt. By the time he died in 1993 at the age of 78 he had become quite famous and his letters, diaries, pamphlets and placards can now be seen in the Museum of London.
You can read more about Stanley Green on Wiki and other Google links and here is a spread from the pamphlet that demonstrates the charm of his naive typography – large para’ indents, long dashes, capitalisation, a string of asterisks and the mix of Gill Sans with a serif text.