Would you believe that the artist who designed in engraved Roman letters the slogan, “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night...” atop New York City’s main post office at Penn Station is the same man who designed the famous, iconic Superman comic book logo?
Both are the works of Ira Schnapp (1892-1969), a descendant of stonecutters, calligrapher and hand-letterer who defined the “house style” of DC Comics for over 30 years, starting with the Action Comics logo on the cover of Superman’s first appearance in 1938, and continuing with scores of others for the company, including hundreds of house ads promoting their monthly comics that are among some of the greatest examples of hand-lettering in the 20th Century.
Yet, for all of his ubiquitous works, to the comic book audience, as well as comic book historians, and of course the general audience, Schnapp’s name and legacy are unknown and forgotten.
But comic book historian and writer/illustrator/designer Arlen Schumer (The Silver Age of Comic Book Art, Archway Publishing) aims to change that with his lecture and collateral exhibit on Schnapp for the Type Directors Club of New York. The lecture will open the exhibit Thursday night, May 14th at 6:30pm, and run until September 25.
Schnapp's career peak came during the Silver Age of Comics (circa 1956-70), making Schumer’s book (http://www.arlenschumer.com), a showcase for Schnapp’s work. Schumer, a member of The Society of Illustrators, keeps Schnapp's style alive by incorporating Schnapp's unique hand-lettered fonts into his own comic book-styled illustration and design, which you can see here: http://arlenschumer.com/illustration/long-form-comics.html
- The Type Directors Club of NY Schnapp event page: https://www.tdc.org/event/the-super-type-of-ira-schnapp/
- Register for Schnapp online: http://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-super-type-of-ira-schnapp-tickets-16397918616
- “The Super Type of Ira Schnapp” Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/843399159074813/
- “Oh, Schnapp!” 5-part article by me for 13thdimesnsion.com: http://13thdimension.com/oh-schnapp-part-2-iras-sweet-16-logos/
- Sonic Eclectica on SCHNAPP: http://soniceclectic.com/visual-arts/2015/04/super-type-ira-schnapp/
- PRINT article on SCHNAPP: http://www.printmag.com/featured-design-history/legendary-unknown-lettering-artist-ira-schnapp/