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April 11, 2018

Let’s face it—everyone right now could use a good laugh right about now. On the one hand, the internet makes it extremely easy to spread the unfortunate word of tragedy, so we thought we’d try to help balance the dreary with some lighthearted, humorous and laugh-able buttons from the Button Museum.

That’s right, just some good clean fun to show your grandma, niece, boss, or whomever!

Allergies are nothing to laugh at, however you can’t help but smile a little and totally feel for Allergy Annie. Global warming has had Chicago fluctuating from snow flurries to sandal weather, which has a lot of people reaching for the next tissue.

Allergy Annie was originally a character developed by Honeywell HVAC to promote a variety of their cleaning supplies. For allowing Honeywell to do a cleaning demonstration in your home, your prize was a doll and coloring book featuring little sniffy, red-eyed Annie here.

And no—we’re not sure why there’s a bird on this button.

Trying to budget this year? Do you owe a lot of taxes this year? Need to save money for your next trip aboard? Then try taking the advice of this pin!

You’ll save loads when your good buddy is covering all your living expenses. Just don’t make too much noise—otherwise they’ll figure out you moved in.

It is obvious that the human that made this button is trying to tell the other humans that they are different. That no other human understands their intentions or behaviors, and therefore the only safe place in this world is in the nonjudgemental interaction between them and the monitor. Computers = Life.

Hashtag relatable, am I right??

The best part about this button is that it so sensitively depicts what it’s like in a busy office. Sometimes to get projects moving you have to break them down into sizable chunks on your to-do list. No shame in figuring out the baby steps to reach the bigger goal—we get you!

This pinback doesn’t laugh at the fact that everyone makes mistakes. Rather is shows that even those leaders, idols, and entrepreneurial types are steppin’ on tacks as the pave their path to success.

Huh, guess this button is more enlightening than funny.

Not to be confused; Winnie the Poo is the cousin of the adorable Disney character who lives in the Hundred Acre Woods. After years of not being able to get cast in the big Hollywood roles, Poo decided that a toupée would be the best option to land a gig.

Rumors started, and with the cousins’ names being so similar Pooh began to get teased in public. Pooh tried to explain to the trolls that it was indeed his cousin Poo who had lost his hair, but it wasn’t until Pooh made these buttons to hand out that the air cleared.


Share this post to spread some good, clean, fun out onto the internet today.

March 28, 2018

Do you smell that? Fresh cut grass, newly laid chalk lines, hotdogs on the grill? That’s right—it’s baseball season! And more exact, Cubs season here in Chicago. Now that Spring Training has wrapped and baseball season has officially begun, we wanted to take a look at the history of Chicago’s north-side team with Cubs buttons—through the goat curses and all!

As part of the 1932 Orbit Gum baseball button series Kiki Cuyler (Hazen Shirley Cuyler), along with his 53 other team mates, were featured in the gum company’s pack called “Tattoo.” The buttons feature an illustration of the player’s face and jersey number on a 3/4 inch round litho button.

Culyer’s career lead him to 7 seasons with the Cubs and eventually brought him to coach the team for a couple seasons before he passed away from a heart attach in 1951. In 1968 Kiki was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Frame and in 1981 was included in the book, “The 100 Greatest Baseball Players of All Time” by Lawrence Ritter and Donald Honig.

This button with a pennant attached features the image of William Crutcher Lee, otherwise known as Big Bill Lee. He was a right-handed pitcher for the Cubs from the years 1934 to 1943, and then again in 1947. Big Bill Lee brought the team 139 wins, which is still ranked the 9th longest streak in the franchise’s history. Lee also brought the Cubs to the World Series in 1938.

An homage to the 1969 song, “Hey Hey! Holy Mackerel!” which was originally recorded by several players on the team. The song features some fan-favorite inside jokes like Cubs’ announcer Vince Lloyd’s catch phrase, “holy mackerel.”

The term “Cubs Power” and this cute cub drawing were put onto buttons, bumper stickers, and Chicago Cubs Merch ingraining the slogan into the Cubs Culture. While 1969 was a fun year for the fans and the city, the Cubs lineup that featured key-players like Ron Santo, Billy Williams, and Ernie Banks is now remembered mostly for their 17 game losing streak.

These buttons were a part of a 8 cubs pins series that were available in vending machines in the 1960’s. The buttons showcase the slogan “Cub Power” as well as lovingly refer to dedicated fans as “Bleacher Bums.” The name is in reference to those who came to watch the Cubs play in the bleacher section of Wrigley Field on a regular basis.

Attendees in this section were usually were students of Loyola, DePaul, and Northwestern and were available to spend multiple afternoons at the ball park. In 2006 Bid Light purchased the naming rights to the bleacher section and renamed the seats the “Bud Light Bleachers.”

Not only have the Chicago Cubs remained in the same city their entire history, but they are one of the oldest and still active professional sports teams in the country. The Chicago Cub’s emblem that is featured on this button has been the team’s logo since 1979. This 3.5″ round button features the logo repeated with the famous and recognizable Chicago skyline in the background of this Cubs apparel.

Founded in 1870 under their original name Chicago Stockings, the team changed their name to the Chicago Cubs in 1907. Today, the Chicago Cubs are one of the longest running baseball franchises in the United States. Their legacy extends past being one of the first teams too. Until the 2016 season, hardcore Chicago Cubs fans were convinced the Billy Goat Curse placed on the team in the 1945 World Series would never lift.

Luckily in 2016 the Cubs broke the 71 year curse and won the World Series 8-7 in a game against the Cleveland Indians that lasted 10 innings. Busy Beaver recreated the 1945 Cubs World Series pin with our own one inch round button for the 2016 victory.

Learn more history through buttons and check out our other blog posts!

February 14, 2018

The printed word: over the last 500 years it’s been a necessary tool to spread information, express ideas, and of course create internet memes.  And over time typeface design has evolved from handwritten manuscripts to the eventual ease of the digital age.

Today, with the right knowledge of setting type, you can make your button convey your message in both language and design. We take a look at the Button Museum, our greatest source for inspiration for typeface styles, to see how typography has been used on pins for years.

This 1971 political pin from the National Women’s Political Caucus used the slogan, “Women! Make Policy, Not Coffee” to encourage more women to seek more active roles in politics and elections. Making this message easy to read was important. Futura, along with other geometric typefaces, denotes modernism and utility, making it the perfect candidate to delivery the NWPC’s rallying cry.

Created in 1922 by Oswald Bruce Cooper, Cooper Black can be classified as an Old Style typeface—which simply means some of its characteristics can be linked back to historically used book faces.

In this variation of Cooper Black in this 1956 Kentucky Derby Festival pin, notice the added flair to the descenders of the letters “h” and “s” and the generous use of thick lines for added contrast. Both of which are common in old style lettering techniques.

Similar to the previous button, this “be a good guy” pin features a category of face that falls under a modern typography. Types that are included in this group have a stylish yet dynamic factor to them that comes from the use of thick and thin strokes. Bodoni and Didot for example are modern typefaces that were produced in the late 18th and early 19th century. Prominent names in this style of type were in Giambattista Bodoni, Firmin Didot, and Germany Justus Erich Walbaum.

Sometimes the choice of font can add another layer of irony and humor to the text! “Thou Shalt Not Hassle”, a funny enough phrase itself is accompanied by the decorative script, Wilhelm Klingspor Gotisch is reminiscent of calligraphy. It’s an ornamented typeface that reminds us of a hand-written quality but also has a uniformity that can be used for titles and headers.

There are some typefaces that make their own place in history! Just looking at this locking pin button, anyone can see that the “I’m an Oma!” letters are inspired by the 1968 Olympic logo design. For the world games taking place in Mexico that year, the graphic design team which included Lance Wyman, Beatrice Colle, Jose Luis Ortiz, and Jan Stornfeld, found creative influence from Opt Art of the 60s.

Just like the history of the pinback button, the history of fonts and typography can be traced back hundreds of years ago. For more inspiration for your next button project, check out the rest of our design-centered posts or subscribe to our Design Newsletter.