Alexandra Lange
Architecture & design critic

A Tour of Brooklyn's Best Vintage Typography

Bright and early yesterday morning, 30-plus dedicated typophiles, many in town for the 10-day Typographics design festival, followed Alex­ander Tochil­ovsky through brownstone and industrial Brooklyn looking up, down and across for examples of lettering on manhole covers, coal chutes, former pharmacies, apartment buildings, and churches. Tochilovsky, an adjunct professor at the Cooper Union and the curator of the Herb Lubalin Study Center of Design and Typography, was equally happy pointing out naive sign-painting and errors in computer typesetting, as well as the past mastery of utility companies’ metalwork. The tour ended at the 1891 Boys High School on Marcy Avenue, designed by James W. Naughton and featuring lots of beautiful brownstone lettering.