Blue Pencil no. 49—Melure

This is the complete text that appears below the heading “Melior (all sizes—see Melure)” in a 1965 specimen book or advertisement from Headliners. I have copied it from the WRU+1 PDF supplied to me by Nikolaus Weichelsbaumer.

We call it Melure.

Now you can specify Melior to fit areas, not just lines.

Now you can get all sizes in five different weights, three proportions, matching italics and open face.

Now you can keep the clean, precise look of Melior in tight display headings.

For Melure is unique.

It’s a new, completely redesigned alphabet by a top artist to fit all the special needs of process-lettering.

See for yourself in our new eight-page folder.

Call any of the 21 Headliners offices throughout the U.S.

Or write us here in New York at 216 E. 45th St., N.Y. 17.

Ask for Melure.

Melior is now old-fashioned. (p. 180)

That last line must have been a kick in the gut to Hermann Zapf, even worse than the blatant pirating of his typeface.

The “top artist” was apparently Leslie (Les) Usherwood (1932–1983). The short biography of Usherwood on the Identifont website says, “He designed his first typeface, Melure for Headliners International in New York in 1965 and went on to set up Typesettra Limited in Toronto in 1968.” This information appears in several other places online and is probably derived from Hans Reichardt’s list of Usherwood’s typefaces which includes Melure*, but does not show it.

*Melior is “better” in Latin. The name Melure was probably concocted from the French “meilleur / meillure” meaning “better”. But contrary to Headliners’ claims, Melure is definitely not better than Melior.