#50 Fifty & Fabulous

#50 Fifty & Fabulous
#50 Fifty & Fabulous
Click image to download full-size print suitable for framing or giving to that special person turning 50 — er, 30.

Chaz DeSimone’s 50th AmperArt release is appropriately titled Fifty & Fabulous.

There’s nothing all that clever in this design…the ampersand is the AmperArt logo, a modified Garamond italic, & the words are set in the AmperArt brand identity font, Helvetica.

What is special, though, is you—for taking a look at each of my portrayals of “the ampersand as fun & fabulous art” every month.

Whether you’ve recently subscribed or have seen all 50 from the start, thank you for joining our community of ampersand afficianados & thank you for mentioning AmperArt to your friends who are fans of the ampersand just like we are.

Fifty & Fabulous is usually heard around the time people are nearing the half-century mark in their lives. (Of course, we don’t see them as “old,” today’s 50 being the new 30.) So it might be a nice & simple birthday gesture to frame a print or make a card for the Birthday Boy or Girl featuring the new Fifty & Fabulous AmperArt design.

FREE 11X17 ART POSTER: Download to print a POSTER here. It’s an impressive 11×17 inches, easily printed at a copy or office supplies store. Same size poster frames are readily available, too.

FREE 50TH BIRTHDAY/ANNIVERSARY GREETING CARD: Download to make a CUSTOM GREETING CARD here. Prints on standard letter-size paper or card. For best presentation, print at highest quality on photo card stock. (The card does not mention the word “birthday” so it can be used for any 50th celebration. The inside is blank.)

Look at these ideas: Framing & Displaying Your AmperArt Print

Original dimensions: 20″ x 30″
Program: Illustrator, Photoshop
Fonts: Helvetica, Garamond (modified as AmperArt logo)
Background: all-free-download.com

Thanks for subscribing to AmperArt. Please invite your ampersand-fan friends & colleagues to subscribe–tell them it’s fabulous & free.

#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. 

#37 Mistletoe & Loved Ones

Before I present my Christmas 2012 AmperArt design, I wish to to tell you about the two incredible kids who inspired it.

Lydia Jayne, 12 years old, and her brother Alden Blake, 14, are exceptionally talented children. Both of them are visual artists and both of them are musicians. They’ve even produced short films together.

Just recently they produced their 2012 Christmas album.

When I say “they produced” I really mean that—they produced it all by themselves.
Lydia sang the lyrics and added percussion.
Alden played all the instruments
— Guitar, Bass, Glockenspiel, Xylophone, Ukulele, and Percussion.
Alden also recorded, mixed, mastered, and produced everything. Want more? He is the album cover artist as well. In short, there were no adults involved at all! (To mentor Alden in my area of expertise, I changed a few elements on the cover art that appears on this AmperArt page, but not Alden’s original art which is on their own site.)

I’ve known these kids for several years, heard them play and watched them draw, but I had no idea they were this incredibly talented. I actually had tears listening to Lydia’s and Alden’s rendition of these songs. Lydia has a strong, soulful voice and unusually great styling–as if she were a veteran songstress. Alden’s inflections, phrasing and cadence with each of his instruments conveys the precise meaning of the part of the song he’s playing.

Lydia and Alden are amazingly talented. The term genius comes to mind.
I especially like Lydia’s personality and Alden’s ukelele on “Holly Jolly Christmas,” and their heartfelt rendition of “Oh Holy Night.” For a solo guitar treat, listen to Alden’s “Carol of the Bells.”

Listen free — click here (http://lydiajayne.bandcamp.com/album/christmas-spirit)

Enjoy the beautiful, charming, joyous music these children have created, absolutely free. In the spirit of Christmas you may wish to help kick-start their career by purchasing a song (name your own price) or the entire album. These children are donating a portion of the proceeds to the World Wildlife Fund.

These kids, and their Christmas album, inspired my 2012 AmperArt edition. Fortunately, one of the album’s songs, “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” contains an ampersand (actually, the word “and”) in the lyrics.




You may view, download and print a high-resolution pdf of this special AmperArt edtion here:      Letter size 8½x11 inches       Tabloid size 11×17 inches

Best wishes for a Christmas season full of happiness, love, cheer, and wondrously beautiful music!