Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Selectric II Style

At my local union's political action committee meeting last night not one person there knew what I was talking about when I said that the look I was going for in our new newsletter was an IBM Selectric II look -- a dark Courier font in 12-point type with only underscoring for emphasis; a pre-digital look, like an old Kiplinger Letter (see below). People looked back at me with empty stares. Granted almost everyone at the table was in his or her twenties or thirties. But there was an organizer who is older than I am and she had no idea what a Selectric II was. How could that be? And in an office workers union! The IBM Selectric and Selectric II were the defining tools of the secretarial trade for a long time. It was the electric typewriter I used at my first paying job, a book retrieval service located on the third floor of U.C. Berkeley's fort-like Doe Library. I was surprised, really, that no one knew what an IBM Selectric II was.

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