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Art and Design in Photoshop by Steve Caplin

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Typography

The photograph on the facing page shows the entrance to the holding block for prisoners awaiting the death penalty at San Quentin prison, California. This isn’t a museum exhibit, but the current entrance to the only Death Row facility in the whole of the state.

The iron cage itself looks like something from a torture gallery, but what interests us here is the choice of typeface, both in the sign above the door and in the notice regarding the use of the telephone. It’s a highly stylized version of an Old German gothic lettering style, of the kind that was popular four hundred years ago.

We’re not suggesting that being typographically ...

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