The book was dated 1953 and most of the companies it references no longer exist.
Each company is stamped with an expired trademark, three of which have been extrapolated to form runs of limited edition t-shirts; just 33 of each.
Article Works says, ‘This rare book turned out to be a graphical treasure trove. It was full of hundreds of arcane symbols used to market steel products. Victorian appropriations of orientalism, hieroglyphics, exotic animals and visual puns, all catalogued by type and company.
‘We wanted to bring this period of industrial design back to life. Project Trade mark is a celebration of the images used to identify, sell, market and distinguish cutlery, files, saws, bars, steel and knives.
Each one has been researched by rifling through archives, address books and business directories, according to Article Works, which is looking ‘to piece together the stories of these forgotten companies, and the people who made them,’ it says.
The history of each company trademark is detailed on the Project Trade Mark site, where you can purchase each design for £25.
It’s an ongoing project and more trademarks are to be turned into t-shirts. They may form part of an exhibition Article Works is developing on the graphic design history of Sheffield industry, which is planned for 2013.