Type Anatomy: Riley Cagle

During our visit to the Manuscripts, Archives and Special Collections in the Terrell Library, many different types of sources and typefaces stood out to me as interesting. The one I want to analyze though, is this Reward Poster from the Washington Cattlemen’s Association. The poster offers a reward of up to $500 for any information or arrests made to anyone stealing or butchering cattle belonging to the Washington Cattlemen’s Association.


Poster from the Washington Cattlemen’s Association

Unfortunately, this particular piece had no information sheet to go along with it, so any information about it and it’s past will have to be gathered from the poster itself. The Cattlemen’s Association was formed in 1925, so I can’t imagine the poster came more than a few decades after, but that’s just my best guess. The poster is well organized and visually capturing, but the text is the more interesting part.

The font appears to be sans but has no serif anywhere in the poster. The scaling is all very similar, other than two spots. The “REWARD” is in a tighter horizontal scale, so its set width is compressed. The “MEMBER” is just the opposite. That words set width is expanded to being even wider than normal. I also find it interesting that the text is aligned to the left, except the last piece, which is center aligned.

What I find to be the most interesting part of this poster is the use of bold lettering. The use of bold lettering to the extreme really emphasizes the sense of a hierarchy taking place between the sections. It starts with red lettering, which also adds a sense of importance, and then goes to the biggest font, the reward. the reward is the biggest font because it’s the most important to the reader, but then it moves down to lower-case lettering and gets to smaller fonts every section, until the last one, which isn’t even in bold lettering.

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