Scanning Around With Gene: A Final Farewell


Since I announced my retirement from Scanning Around With Gene last week, the kind and thoughtful comments from readers have overwhelmed me and I want to thank everyone who chimed in online and those who sent me personal emails. Sometimes over the years I wondered if anyone was actually reading my efforts and it’s tremendously gratifying to discover that at least some of the topics made an impression. It makes all the late nights and early mornings (I do have a day job after all) more than worthwhile. Thanks again.

For my last column I wanted to keep things light and upbeat, so I decided to simply pore through all the old installments and grab a few images that caught my eye for whatever reason. Unfortunately this resulted in a collection of over 200 scans, so I’ve had to make drastic cuts to narrow things down to a reasonable amount, but this is still my longest column ever, so please be patient.

In reviewing my past columns I discovered a couple of themes, so I’m grouping images together that way, even though they may not have had anything to do with each other when they originally ran. But I had to start somewhere. First up, are a couple of classic icons I wrote about, the Happy Face and Peace Sign. Click on any image for a larger version.

I think I covered the general topic of safety more than any other – many of my favorite images come from various safety pamphlets, bicycle safety guides, fire-safety brochures and insurance-company propaganda.

Animals appeared many times throughout the years, whether in columns about dog costumes, poodles or mail-order pets.

I’m a sucker for bad interior design, and throughout the years I covered kitchens, shag carpeting, macramé and many other topics that wouldn’t quite cut it in today’s homes.

I love educational and propaganda material and many examples have populated various columns.

Over the years I’ve done my best to write about fine typography, typographic trends, and even individual typographers, but I must admit my favorite images tend toward the typographic unusual or decorative type.

And I love hand-lettering as an art form, so I’ve covered that, as well.

One of my favorite communication styles is that of the comic book, and I’ve scanned many, many examples, from boy-heroes to alcoholics.

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