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. 14—Looking for Goddard (sp?)

Tracking down the ephemeral work of W.A. Dwiggins is a painstaking endeavor that often involves wrong turns and dead ends. An instance of this is my search for “Border, music title, Goddard Collection”, an April 9, 1907 entry in Dwiggins’ account books. The job was for D.B. Updike of The Merrymount Press which suggested the ultimate client was G. Schirmer, the large New York music publisher. For many years Schirmer, and its subsidiary Boston Music Co., commissioned The Merrymount Press …
Continue reading

Blue Pencil

The Definitive Dwiggins no. 13—Duo-Art

W.A. Dwiggins did a small number of jobs for music companies between 1917 and 1924. They were done via printing companies in Philadelphia (Franklin Printing) and Cleveland (The Caxton Company). Trying to find examples of the work has been extremely difficult as the references I have are partial and the material clearly ephemeral. But this morning I hit the jackpot. I found two 8-page booklets for the Duo-Art online that Dwiggins worked on: The World’s Supreme Artists and What Possession …
Continue reading

Blue Pencil

The Definitive Dwiggins no. 9 continued—Towards a Reform of the Paper Currency…

Towards a Reform of the Paper Currency Particularly in Point of Its Design by W.A. Dwiggns (Cambridge: Kat Ran Press, 2014). Wrapper: typography by Michael Russem; pattern by Cyrus Highsmith.
Towards a Reform of the Paper Currency Particularly in Point of Its Design
W.A. Dwiggins
New York: The Typophiles; Boston: David R. Godine, Publisher; Kat Ran Press: Cambridge, 2014
This is a reprint of a text originally published by The Limited Editions Club in 1932, now with an introduction by Bruce Kennett. Dwiggins’ …
Continue reading