HWT Bon AIR
A "MAD MEN" era DISPLAY FONT
Digitized by Richard Kegler
Bon Air was one of a series of script typefaces cut into wood by the Hamilton Manufacturing Company for the Morgan Sign Machine Co. (makers of the Line-o-Scribe showcard press) in the mid 20th Century. These were some of the last new designs cut into wood by Hamilton until the museum revival in the early 2000s. Bon Air was created in 1958 and trademarked in 1961.
The wood type made for Morgan was used largely in department stores to make their own signage. The script styles are reminiscent of sign painters alphabets and evoke a Mad Men era advertising aesthetic. The font was only cut in four sizes: 12, 18, 36 and 72 line. It was distributed by Morgan for use in their presses, but as type high wood type, it could be used on any press.
The font was issued with several alternate letters and ligatures to simulate the effect of hand lettering. Its lively strokes and odd details give it an exotic flavor suitable for advertising display work. The digital version includes all of the original alternates plus new characters to fill out a full European character set.