#94 Big & Tall

94 Big & Tall

#94 Big & Tall
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Big & Tall pertains to a lot of things.

Trees are Big & Tall. Buildings are Big & Tall. The Matterhorn (both in Switzerland and at Disneyland) are Big & Tall.

But the term Big & Tall will always remind me of the store that I had to go to sometimes to find a shirt with long enough sleeves, or a pair of socks that the big toe wouldn’t puncture, or a pair of shoes if they weren’t to be found in a department store. I wear a size 13, which is borderline. Some stores carry 13, some stop at 12. But no one carries 14 or larger. So I guess I lucked out in a way.

I have some women friends who would scream if they couldn’t purchase every style in vogue because the shoe store didn’t stock their size. But then, I’d stay clear of a woman who is wearing size 13 stilettos.

What does Big & Tall mean to you?

Comment here (or below if you see a big blue box).

chaz sez ...

Check out the new “chaz sez” blog at DesimoneDesign.com, my commercial graphic design website. It’s mostly about design, typography, printing, publishing & marketing, but on occasion I’ll divert to a sideways topic that just can’t escape my ranting & raving.

#41 Whiter & Brighter

This month’s piece for the Advertising Slogans series features a term that described the sheets & shirts & underwear hanging on the clothesline back in 1950 after the joyful washday experience of a happy housewife (with matching daughter) & her beloved box of Rinso Giant Size Laundry Detergent.

Today you don’t see that term used for detergent much anymore, but rather for the “whiter & brighter” smile of celebrities, professionals, students…& happy housewives.

But there’s one more meaning & it’s just for pixel pushers like me. Anything over 92 is considered “whiter & brighter” in a sheet of paper to print a favorite AmperArt edition on.

#21 New & Improved, one of my favorite AmperArt pieces.
First in the Advertising Slogans series.

How does detergent, fabric & paper get “brighter than bright”? Fluorescent whitening agents (FWAs) have been used in many industries, notably the makers of laundry detergent since the early 1960s. The blue crystals in laundry detergent are FWAs. The FWAs work by absorbing ultraviolet light, from the sun or fluorescent bulbs, & then re-emitting it as a bluish light to make colored clothes appear brighter & white ones whiter.

Paper mills have been using FWAs since the 1970s, when paper companies found that they could achieve much higher brightness levels than with bleach alone.

In 1992, the world consumption of FWAs was estimated at 60,000 tons, with the detergent industry consuming 50%, the paper industry 33% & the textile industry 17%.*

On the other hand, teeth whitening is achieved primarily with bleaching agents such as hydrogen peroxide & scrubbing with baking soda — not by spraying your teeth with fluorescent paint.

*Source: Perry J. Greenbaum, a freelance business & technology writer, can be reached at pjgreenbaum@gmail.com. Excerpted from Pulp & Paper Magazine

Vintage ads: vintageadsandstuff.com

Production notes:
Original size: 20×30 inches
Programs: Illustrator, Photoshop
Fonts: Franklin Gothic Extra Condensed, Brush Script (ampersand)

This edition would have been released a week ago, except I stumbled upon a treasure trove of old magazine ads that are viewable online but also available for purchase. I couldn’t pull my eyes away from these incredible examples of advertising art the way it was done way before Photoshop — ruling pens that leaked, T squares that weren’t square, rubber cement that didn’t stick too well and always kept me in suspense whether a piece of type would fall off the board before it went to press.

These vintage ads are not reproductions; they’re actual printed ads that are clipped from those wonderfully oversaturated color glossy magazines of the past century.

A sad note on the website is told best by the curator’s own words: ” About four or five months ago I suffered a stroke which has caused me to forget much of what I am supposed to do to list ads. I am not able to add scanned images or other things to my site, I just don’t remember how.” I offered to assist and I hope he takes me up on it; his site has given me so much joy.

If you want to see these priceless old ads (some are priceless simply because the original ads were already sold but the digital images are still there) and maybe even own an original, visit his site, vintageadsandsuch.com

If nothing else, please pray for the full recovery of this person so he can once again enjoy adding images to his website. 

#34 Kettles & Mittens

AmperArt #34 is the second line of lyrics that contains “and” in the song My Favorite Things from the 1960 musical and the 1965 film, The Sound of Music:

Raindrops on roses & whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles & warm woolen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with strings
These are a few of my favorite things

Cream colored ponies & crisp apple streudels

Doorbells & sleigh bells & schnitzel with noodles

Wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings

These are a few of my favorite things

Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes

Snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes

Silver white winters that melt into springs

These are a few of my favorite things

When the dog bites

When the bee stings

When I’m feeling sad

I simply remember my favorite things

& then I don’t feel so bad


This is a collection of four editions, each featuring a line from the song that includes the word “and” which of course we replace with our favorite character, the ampersand.

Each edition in this series will be released a week apart. You must subscribe to receive high-resolution pdf files so you can create beautiful prints (11×17 or 8.5×11 inches). Subscriptions are free & you will receive your print downloads by email. You’ll find suggestions on printing and framing here.

Concept & design notes:

In researching the style to use for this artwork I found one of the original movie posters, sampled the colors from which I chose a limited palette (I did not use blue as that would be your perfect mat in a nice frame), selected the appropriate typestyles & hand-drew the ampersand, stylizing it to resemble the main title in the poster.

Pink & yellow kettles?

Have you ever seen a shiny new penny in the sunshine? It alternates between a golden yellow and a brilliant pink. Together, or when not directly reflecting the sunshine, it’s a bright copper. That’s why this edition suggests copper through pink and yellow.
If that doesn’t make sense, let’s just say the leftover mittens right after Black Friday were yellow with pink polka dots.

The ampersand not only connects raindrops and kittens and kettles and ponies and doorknobs, it also links the last two lines of the song, which appear on all four layouts at very top and very bottom.

To further research this piece, I really enjoyed watching the movie! If you ever need a joyful lift & a little humor, this is the movie to see. It’s wonderful & timeless.

If you love the ampersand subscribe to AmperArt here to receive future AmperArt editions. They’re always fun & fabulous & free. Subscribers also receive special bonuses.