For Stewf (a.k.a. Stephen Coles), Flickr has always been an excellent resource for historical research and meeting other enthusiasts that share his idiosyncratic interests. One of them is what the industry calls brightwork, the metal logos attached to cars.
Being an avid photographer of these mid-century gems, he uploaded them to Flickr and created his set Letters on Cars, and that is how it all started… Once Stephen began showing his own photos to the world, he thought there must be more people interested in this, so he founded the Chromeography group.
Once the group was established, Stephen wanted to go beyond collecting the images and curate the multifaceted work. His Chromeography blog was born. Only a few years later, the collection holds over 1,200 images, all categorized by manufacturer, model, color, lettering style, era, and national origin.
Browsing the group pool and the blog are a captivating experience not only if you’re into cars and the beautiful typography attached to them.
And as a special treat for those of you in or around Berlin, Germany, Stephen just opened his show celebrating the metallic emblems that gave names and life to vintage automobiles, domestic appliances, and other consumer objects last Friday. The collection of photos and physical chrome emblems tells a fascinating story of the changing trends and ideals of the last hundred years simply through metal lettering.
You can visit the Chromeography exhibition Monday to Saturday, 12pm-6pm, until December 22nd, 2012, at Mota Italic Gallery in Berlin’s Prenzlauer Berg.