Sign for Savoy Taylors Guild Ltd., The Strand, London (c.1906).

Sgraffito on a wall in the Giudecca section of Venice.

Detail of a neon sign for a barbershop in Grottaferrata, Italy.

Detail of page from Les Ecritures Financiere, et Italienne-Bastarde (1647) by Louis Barbedor, a French writing master.

Detail of store sign for Cortese Frizzoti in Venice. The letters in black have been painted over a gold ground which covers a former store name in mosaic tile.

Medieval inscription in Round Gothic capitals. In the cloister of S. Giovanni in Laterano in Rome.

Capital E and G stencils from collection of Eric Kindel, Reading, England.

Ghost signs with printer’s fist on wall of Rue de la Commune in Montreal.

Detail of painted directional sign for Coney Island covering mosaic sign indicating Up Town Trains. 53rd Street station of the R line in Brooklyn.

Punches for punctuation cut by Giambattista Bodoni at the Museo Bodoniano in Parma, Italy.

Detail of cover of Warren’s Standard Printing Papers specimen book by S.D. Warren (1929). Design, ornament and lettering by W.A. Dwiggins.

Blue Pencil

The Definitive Dwiggins no. 23—Brownies

The Boston Public Library is the repository of the Dwiggins Collection. In the initial deposit of 1974 (Box 35, Folder 14) there are some items from Dwiggins’ childhood and adolescence. One is a set of four small sheets of paper tied together at one corner by a decorative yellow twill cord. On each sheet there is a single drawing in pencil signed with a script “WAD”. There is no title nor text except on one sheet where “William Addison Dwiggins …
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Blue Pencil

Ansprache im Goethejahr 1949

I stopped into Argosy Books last week for the first time in several decades. In the $10 bin near the cash register I came across a dog-eared copy of Toward Balzac by Harry Levin (New York: New Directions, 1947) with a cover design by Alvin Lustig (in blue rather than the beige usually seen). Before I could decide whether to buy it or not, my attention was distracted by the next item in the bin: Ansprache im Goethejahr 1949 by Thomas …
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Blue Pencil

The Rchive no. 21—Poets’ Row in Denver

In August I conducted a lettering walk in Denver for TypeCon 2015. As part of my preparation I spent the day before walking and driving around the city. My chauffeur and cicerone was Diane Wray Tomasso, former New York graphic designer and Denver preservationist, an excellent repository of knowledge of the city’s architectural heritage past and present. One part of the city which we visited but which did not make it into the TypeCon 2015 lettering walk was Poets’ …
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