Collecting: Vintage Alphabets and Numbers

Most old-school commercial artists have an insatiable passion for typography. I’m no exception. I hoard vintage and rare books on the subject. But over the years, I’ve enjoyed more dimensional play with type in the form of vintage alphabets and numbers resourced from antique shops, flea markets and thrift stores to Etsy and Ebay.Here are a few of my favorites from around the house.The first image above was made using pieces from a vintage home-movie title set. (The script lettering was added digitally.)I have another vintage lettering set that is magnetic for use by photographers.

A few of the Magnetype letters spell out my business name on the inside of my metal studio door.My friend, Rose, gifted me these giant poster-size printing blocks that spell out my name, backwards of course.Vintage anagram tiles, as I’ve shared before, are resting on the type-bars of my old remington typewriter wall art that hangs above a writing desk.143 (I love you) is the first thing you’ll see as you walk through our front door.Retro numbered coffee cups from the thrift store hold a few miscellaneous items in the rubber-stamp corner of my studio.An inexpensive vintage game of Boggle has fun wooden cubic dice to spell out a sentiment on a shelf our living room.This wonderful old numbered board once held hotel keys from an establishment along the Mason-Dixon line. It was a gift from my friend Karen and now displays a few vintage keys from my own collection.When I figure out what to do with these large old brass cow tags picked up at a local junk shop, I’ll let you know.In the meantime, they’re just plain cool.Old brass embossed screen tacks are awesome for pinning up things on my inspiration board.I’m not sure what these tags were used for, luggage claim? Coat check? I’m going with the latter and hang them from the hook on our hall tree.

And good old scrabble tiles and lotto numbers await creative use while sitting bottled on the shelf.Here are a few other collections I’ve shared in the past:

Tell me about your collections, I love reading about them.

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