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. 75—Eternal Rome

In 1918 Carl Purington Rollins (1880–1960) sold the equipment of his Montague Press to Yale University and became the manager of the manufacturing department of the Yale University Press and the university’s printing office. Two years later he was appointed Printer to Yale University, a position he held until 1948. [1] Rollins was responsible for overseeing the production of all of the printed ephemera (e.g. invitations to events, bookplates for the library, diplomas, etc.) that the university needed.
From the very …
Continue reading

Blue Pencil

The Definitive Dwiggins no. 70—Two Parodies of Bruce Rogers’ Printer’s Device

Parody of Bruce Rogers device by W.A. Dwiggins. From Barnacles from Many Bottoms Scraped and Gathered for B.R. edited by Paul Bennett (New York: The Typophiles, 1935).
For Barnacles from Many Bottoms Scraped and Gathered for BR (New York: The Typophiles, 1935), a festschrift in honor of the 65th birthday of Bruce Rogers (1870–1957), W.A. Dwiggins contributed a four-page signature with the drawing above and the following explanation:
IL TEMPO PASSA—H.P. [Hermann Püterschein] reports: “A singular change has taken place in the …
Continue reading

Blue Pencil

Paper Is Part of the Picture no. 15—Strathmore Artists’ Series (1923)

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.
4 Men & Strathmore envelope (1923). Design by Oswald Cooper. Photograph by Annie Schlechter.
The third (and last) of the Strathmore Artists’ Series was mailed out in …
Continue reading