#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 Des​i​moneDesign​.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.

#55 Returns & Exchanges


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Find printing tips & framing ideas here.

The day after Christ­mas must be as dread­ed to retail­ers as the day after Thanks­giv­ing is wel­come — you know, Black Fri­day, the biggest shop­ping day of the year.

Used to be, before online shop­ping & big box stores, all the depart­ment stores from Sears & Pen­neys (as it used to be called), to Saks & Nord­stroms, had a spe­cial win­dow or room all its own (with a classy, dis­creet sign) that han­dled returns, exchanges & com­plaints. Next to that was the gift wrap­ping ser­vice & lay­away department.

Remem­ber the smell of fresh pop­corn & can­dy when enter­ing your neigh­bor­hood Sears?

Today a cou­ple stores still offer a com­fort­able set­ting for such returns & exchanges (no can­dy or pop­corn, though), but the big box & deep dis­count chains most­ly just have a return counter (with a tacky “Line Starts Here” arrow hang­ing from the ceil­ing) and a  trail of cus­tomers (all “dressed up” in the lat­est Big Box fash­ion) that extends out the door.

So Decem­ber’s Amper­Art #55, Returns & Exchanges, repeats the trip to the same brick-&-mortar store (or the online equiv­a­lent) that Novem­ber’s Amper­Art #54 por­trayed: Stop & Shop (in case you missed it, get tram­pled here). Read More

#48 Cool & Comfortable

AmperArt #48 Cool & Comfortable

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Now this is cool!

Just today I got a new Amper­Art sub­scriber whose busi­ness is called Amper­sand Heat­ing & Cool­ing in Bridge­wa­ter, Vir­ginia. How Bart named his busi­ness name “Amper­sand is quite inter­est­ing. Seems like a fun & friend­ly guy, too. If he was­n’t on the oth­er end of the con­ti­nent I’d hire him to keep my place cool & comfortable.

Cool & Com­fort­able” was a pop­u­lar adver­tis­ing slo­gan before mid-​century, as far back as the 1920s, & then again after mid-​century,  right up through the Dis­co Era.

Ear­ly on, it was used to draw crowds to air-​conditioned movie palaces & busi­ness­es — “It’s cool inside!” — which were often cold­er than the local stor­age plant.

A few decades lat­er the fash­ion world (if you can call poly­ester jump suits fash­ion) claimed its rev­o­lu­tion­ary new man-​made fab­rics were Cool & Com­fort­able. & sexy.

Enjoy some old ads for “mod­ern air con­trol” and “mod fashion”…

This 1953 The Sat­ur­day Evening Post pho­to fea­tures both syn­thet­ic air & syn­thet­ic fab­rics. The cap­tion says “Baby, it’s cool inside! A singed sun bather is invit­ed to beat the heat inside an air-​cooled Las Vegas, Nev., hotel. Next: air-​conditioned streets.” Looks more like he’s say­ing “You want heat, you got heat. Don’t open that door & let the cold air out!”


You might enjoy these entire pages from that edi­tion which con­tain won­der­ful old ads & some inter­est­ing facts about the evo­lu­tion of a/​c on The Sat­ur­day Evening Post’s web­site.

Decades lat­er, this ad promis­es instant love & romance just by slip­ping on this one-​piece wonder:

polyesterMore great fash­ion of the era, post­ed by Steve Hauben of the Data + Design Project:: Cool & Com­fort­able (& Sexy) Polyester

Choose one: Does my lat­est back­ground image remind you of a sexy fash­ion tex­tile or a sexy air con­di­tion­er fil­ter? Either way, stay Cool & Com­fort­able this summer.


Original dimensions: 20″ x 30″
Programs: Illustrator, Photoshop
Fonts: Teen (a font which is very similar to a loose, contemporary hand-​lettering style of the era), Amienne (ampersand)
Ampersand: Amienne (tilted)
Background: pattern from SquidFin​gers​.com (lots of free patterns); posted by 1st​web​de​sign​er​.com (22 free seamless pattern sources)
Air conditioning photo: Gene Lester, The Saturday Evening Post, June 6, 1953.
Clothing ad: Visual News; posted by Steve Hauben



It’s been Cool & Com­fort­able in South­ern Cal­i­for­nia the past cou­ple weeks (I like the heat, so any­thing below 100 degrees Fahren­heit is fine by me), but two weeks ago it was so hot I blew three cir­cuit break­ers till I found the out­let that could han­dle the air con­di­tion­er in my stu­dio. Even when I’m not around I want my cats to be Cool & Com­fort­able.

I hope you are enjoy­ing your sum­mer. Thanks for sub­scrib­ing to Amper­Art. Please invite your ampersand-​fan friends & col­leagues to sub­scribe – tell them it’s fab­u­lous & free.