Collection No. 16


Body sizes are variously 12, 18, 30 & 36 point

40 in stock

Add to Wishlist
Add to Wishlist


The three bear characters in the last line of the label specimen are sometimes associated with the Grateful Dead. Here’s the story on that, from the music web site (boldface added):


Initially designed by artist Bob Thomas to appear on the back cover of the band’s 1973 release, The History of the Grateful Dead, Volume 1 (Bear’s Choice), the bears have become deeply ingrained in the culture surrounding the Grateful Dead, and have taken on layers of symbolic meaning over the years. They were designed for Owsley “Bear” Stanley, who both engineered and recorded to tape many of the shows that the Grateful Dead performed in the 60s and 70s. Before the album and the bears, there existed a 36-point lead slug that was used in printing as a font type. [Sic, sic, and sic.] Thomas used that leaden bear as his basis for the design, which features a more cartoon style bear doing the “dancing” motion.


The true origin of the bears is not known, at least by me. They are shown, however in the pre-WWII Monotype specimen book–as are all the elements in this Collection. One final bon mot: the bear with paw extended was adopted as a logo by the Bear Manufacturing Corp. of Rock Island, Illinois, who operated a series of auto repair shops around the country. As a kid I remember my father taking our car to one in the 1960s for a “lube job”. Thinking all that was ancient history, it was quite a surprise recently to find a Bear shop open for business right near the International Printing Museum in L.A.!

Additional information

Weight 2.5 lbs
Dimensions 3.5 × 3.5 × 1 in


There are no reviews yet.

Be the first to review “Collection No. 16”

You may also like…