The TCL Time Machine: Stepping Up to the Plate

In the spring of 1975, Touro College saw its first class of 41 men graduate.  That fall, as the young school entered its fifth year, designs were submitted for custom bookplates to be used in the steadily growing library. Rough sketches found in the Touro Archives show some of the designs that did not make the cut:

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To be fair, the fifth one, with a striking vertically repeating font that captures the aesthetics of the 1970s so well, did wind up being used for a number of promotional brochures the school issued over the next few years.

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The vertically repeating motif was one that was widely used in the early 1970s, everywhere from television shows to Broadway musicals to record sleeves.

The-Mary-Tyler-Moore-Show-classic-television-revisited-5128918-1024-768It’s not surprising that this design was used for a television series, given the vertical hold problems many TV sets were plagued by back in the 1970s. (Image retrieved from www.fanpop.com, February 2014)

ChorusLineThe repeating theme must have been good luck; A Chorus Line was still the longest running Broadway show two decades after its opening in 1975. (Image retrieved from Wikipedia, February 2014)

carpnweeveonlyThe vertical theme again, taken for another spin in the early 1970s. That’s a 45 rpm record, in case you were wondering. (Image retrieved from www.musicstack.com, February 2014)

But, in the end, Touro’s administration of the 1970s wisely chose a tastefully restrained bookplate featuring the school’s colors of blue and white.  It was a symbol which would endure along with the institution, and was the earliest version of a logo which can still be seen today.

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At left, the classic TCL bookplate that started it all.  At right, our current TCL NY logo.

All images provided by and property of the Touro College and University System Archives, unless otherwise noted.

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