Long before I even thought of growing a beard, I fell in love with this typographic masterpiece (and many others by Lubalin) when I was researching Herb Lubalin for an art school project. It wasn't until recently that I found out that the actual letterforms were created by Alan Peckolick.
Alan Peckolick had a close and influential relationship with Herb Lubalin, a graphic designer who was widely considered one of the most influential designers of the 20th century. Lubalin was Peckolick's mentor and employer at the renowned design studio, Sudler & Hennessey, where Peckolick worked for several years.
Under Lubalin's tutelage, Peckolick developed his design philosophy, which was based on simplicity, clarity, and visual impact. He also learned the importance of typography and how it could be used to enhance the overall design.
Among his many works, one of his most celebrated projects was the cover design for the book "Beards" by Reginald Reynolds.
Published in 1975, "Beards" is a comprehensive study of facial hair, examining its historical and cultural significance. The cover design by Peckolick is a masterpiece of simplicity and elegance. It features a black and white photograph of a man's face, with the focus on his thick beard. The typography is bold and minimalistic, with the title "Beards" set in white sans-serif typeface against a solid black background.
I give words their own language by designing letters that graphically suggest meaning… not only do I make type talk, I give it a mood—sometimes a temper. It can be violet or peaceful, irreverent or polite, severe or whimsical. -Alan Peckolick
The cover design for "Beards" has stood the test of time, remaining relevant and impactful even after almost five decades. Peckolick's work continues to inspire and influence designers around the world, who appreciate his uncompromising commitment to simplicity, clarity, and visual impact, and his deep respect for typography as an art form.