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. 26—New Light on Updike’s Dislike of Goudy

Both D.B. Updike and Stanley Morison disliked Fred Goudy and Goudy’s typefaces. In their correspondence they reveled in tossing insults at both. One of the more notable (and memorable) instances is this passage from Updike to Morison:
Poor man, I have never seen anybody with such an itch for publicity, or who blew his own trumpet so artlessly and constantly. He once asked me why I did not employ him for decorative work instead of Dwiggins, for “I taught Mr. Dwiggins …
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Blue Pencil

The Definitive Dwiggins no. 25 addendum no. 2—Bewick, Updike and Dwiggins

As I have already written, much of the illustrative and decorative work that W.A. Dwiggins did for D.B. Updike and The Merrymount Press involved copying and adapting older work.  A good instance of this is the vignette on the title page of Letters of Bulwer-Lytton to Macready 1836–1866 edited with an introduction by Brander Matthews (Newark: The Carteret Book Club, 1911).
Title page of Letters of Bulwer-Lytton to Macready 1836–1866 (Newark: The Carteret Book Club, 1911). Designed by D.B. Updike and printed …
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The Definitive Dwiggins no. 25 addendum: Imitation vs. assimilation

In tracking down potential sources of influence on Dwiggins as an illustrator I got in touch with Roger Reed of Illustration House, Inc. He is the son of Walt Reed (1917–2015), founder of Illustration House and author of many books on the history of illustration, including The Illustrator in America (2001, third edition). Reed, who has inherited his father’s expertise, suggested I look at the “Chicago School” of illustrators such as J.C. Leyendecker, Harrison Fisher and Henry Hutt
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