A Peek in the Vault

More than 16 box trucks moved to MICA from Globe Poster’s last location in the Highlandtown neighborhood of Baltimore, and MICA is currently working to archive the collection in partnership with Johns Hopkins University. The pieces shown here give an idea of the collection’s scope; more of the collection will be added as archiving continues.

The Globe Collection and Press at MICA, in partnership with Johns Hopkins’ Sheridan Libraries, received a CLIR Hidden Collections grant to begin archiving the paper and photo cuts in the collection.
Anita Baker photo cut (flipped) with printed image

Globe created metal-on-wood photo cuts from publicity stills sent by promoters and artists. The more than 20,000 cuts provide a comprehensive overview of Globe’s customers, from the famous to the forgotten.

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Laying Down a Groove

Non-photo cuts, many hand-drawn and hand-carved, gave Globe's posters a distinctive visual style. Blocks like "Live" and "In Person" were often incorporated into posters to add bounce and pop, and headliners' names got the syncopated treatment as well.

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Globe required large quantities of type, both machine-made and hand-carved, to keep up with the high-volume, fast-paced workload. Wood type in the collection ranges from under an inch to several feet high, from highly condensed to super wide.

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All In Person

Posters were Globe’s bread and butter, from small orders for church carnivals to big stacks promoting national tours by music’s biggest stars.

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  • James Brown was a steady Globe customer, from his early days with The Flames to his incarnation as Godfather of Soul.

Beyond posters, Globe printed smaller promotional items including handbills, show tickets and passes, and bumper stickers. Globe’s owners also saved many sketches, hand-cut rubyliths and film used in the printing process, as well as business records that illuminate the inner workings of a large showcard company.

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Letterpress shops have their own vocabulary, with words such as quoin, quoin key, stone, chase, furniture, lockup and Ludlow identifying commonly used tools. Globe’s collection includes many of these, some now at use in MICA’s letterpress studio;

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Explore the Jig used for the Janis Joplin Rainbow Roll


As archiving at Globe progresses, connections between the many objects in the collection appear, giving some insight into the inner workings of Globe Poster and how the artists and printers at Globe used the type and cuts at their fingertips to create a unique style.

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Explore Current Projects

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Special thanks to some of the earliest advocates for Globe at MICA
Original Friends of Globe: Ande Campbell, Elaine Eff, Joe Galbreath, Jack Lapides, John Lewis, Mary Mashburn (Globe Adviser 2011-2016), Steve St. Angelo, Christian Sturgis, Jean Thompson and Sue and Rich Walther
MICA students and graduates Ellen Culpepper, Tara Dahabsu, Allison Fisher (now Globe Coordinator), Colin Ford, Greg Gazdowicz, Michelle Ghiotti, Zoe Keller, Sabrina Kogan, Kailie Parrish, Becky Slogeris and Carolyn Williams; Globe packing support team Colin Benjamin, Taylor Black, Ariel Braverman and Raj Bunnag; Globe at Meyerhoff exhibition team Deana Haggag, Allison Gulick, Chloe Helton-Gallagher and Kelcey Towell; and inagural Globe intern coordinators Ingrid Schindall and Amy Cousins
MICA faculty and staff: Cindy Barth, Meaghan Carpenter, George Ciscle, Gail Deery, Calvin Evans, Dan Gilbert, Alex Heilner, Amy Hodges, Brockett Horne, Mary Anne Lambros, Ellen Lupton, Tim Milner, Michael Molla, Jennifer Cole Phillips, Whitney Sherman, Marian Smith, Anne South, Sarah Tiedeman Gallagher, Jonathan Thomas, Kyle Van Horn
Then-President Fred Lazarus for committing to purchase Globe and Provost Ray Allen for his vision, unflagging support and guidance
Hatch Showprint’s Jim Sherraden, type scholar David Shields, and Hamilton Wood Type’s Jim Moran for their wisdom and inspiration
Roger Gastman for opening a lot of doors
Jordon Steele, Gabrielle Dean and Sonja Jordan Mowery of Johns Hopkins’ Sheridan Libraries
Perry Tymeson and Bruce Baggan for press expertise
Jimmy Jones and crew for the world’s most efficient move in extreme heat
Mike McNeive and the Drexler crew (including expat Kailie Parrish) for their talent and patience as we built this web site
And most of all to Bob and Frank Cicero, for believing in the ragtag group that wanted to find a new home for Globe
Drexler (Hands putting together printing form: Bob Cicero)
Photo credits
Amanda Adams, Raisa Almeida, Evan Christopherson, Sam Culpepper, Frank Hamilton, Chris Hartlove, Allison Fisher, Joseph Hyde, Carolyn Williams
Main headlines were hand set, printed, and scanned using original wood type from the Globe collection.
Body: Alright Sans by Jackson Cavanaugh
Please excuse any omissions and let us know about them right away! [email protected]

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