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. 66—Modern Color

Modern Color by Carl Gordon Cutler and Stephen C. Pepper (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1923) is a book that lies at a crucial juncture in the life and career of W.A. Dwiggins. [1] It was published in 1923, the year that Dwiggins made the decision to shift his work from advertising design to book design. [2] It was a time when he was in the midst of his experiments with using wooden stamps to create decorations and other designs; …
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Blue Pencil

Paper Is Part of the Picture no. 6—The Thistle 1912–1919

This is one in a series of blog posts accompanying Paper Is Part of the Picture: Strathmore Paper and the Evolution of American Graphic Design 1892–2017, an exhibition that I have curated at The Opalka Gallery of The Sage Colleges in Albany, New York. The exhibition runs from October 3 to December 15, 2017.
Blandford Deckle-Edge Book-Paper sample book (Strathmore Paper Co., 1918). Cover design by T.B. Hapgood. Photograph by Vincent Trinacria.
Although over 280 different iterations of the thistle have …
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Blue Pencil

The Definitive Dwiggins no. 63—The Merrymount Press, W.K. Bixby, and Toile du Jouy

A Letter from Benjamin Franklin on Balloons (St. Louis: Privately printed, 1922). Cover design by W.A. Dwiggins. Printed by The Merrymount Press.
One of Daniel Berkeley Updike’s most faithful clients from the mid-1910s through the end of the 1920s was William K. Bixby, a wealthy St. Louis industrialist, philanthropist, collector, and traveler. He collected art, rare books, manuscripts, and autographed letters. The latter two items were often printed in facsimile form by The Merrymount Press as gifts for Bixby …
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