Hand Lettering At Its Best

Hand Lettering At Its Best

Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps was birthed in 1867 and and still operates today. They produced some seriously gorgeous hand-lettered maps back in the day, many of which can be found in the Library of Congress. These late 19th and early 20th century type treatments are well worth passing around for all the design world to be inspired by. See the entire scanned collection at BibliOdyssey (most of the images on that page link to hi-rez scans on Flickr!). There's also a great little discussion/comment thread in BibliOdyssey's entry on Typography vs. Lettering. Some real nerd stuff. Love it.

A few of my favorites.

Sanborn Fire Insurance maps Indianapolis, Indiana

Sanborn Fire Insurance maps Cincinnati, Ohio

Sanborn Fire Insurance maps Tampa, Florida

Sanborn Fire Insurance maps Manhattan, New York City

You design something like this and send it over for a letterpress print on some tea-stained paper and I'll be well-inclined to give you a seriously hooked-up price on it!