Blue Pencil

Blue Pencil is a “slog”: a slow blog. It does not get updated daily or even on a regular schedule. Instead, it gets updated when there is something of value to be posted. Postings often take a long time to prepare and appear at intervals of a few weeks or even months. Sometimes there is a flurry of postings within the span of a few days. Blue Pencil may be unpredictable in its frequency, but not in its purpose. Blue Pencil is fiercely dedicated to the 3Rs: research, reading and writing.

Paper Is Part of the Picture no. 18—Bert Chambers Joins Strathmore

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.
Saxon Japan swatch book (Strathmore Paper Co., 1932). Illustration by Catherine Mellen (pseud. Alexander King). Photograph by Vincent Giordano.
The paper industry boom of the 1920s continued …
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The Definitive Dwiggins no. 81—Addendum to Two Parodies of Bruce Rogers’ Printer’s Device

My blog post The Definitive Dwiggins no. 70—Two Parodies of Bruce Rogers’ Printer’s Device needs to be amended. When I wrote it I was looking for background information on the history of Bruce Rogers’ device with Father Time hacking at a thistle. I was unable to find an answer online as to its origins and so ordered a used copy of B.R. Marks & Remarks (New York: The Typophiles, 1946) in the hope that it might provide an answer. …
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The Definitive Dwiggins no. 77—The Unitarian Laymen’s League

The Unitarian Laymen’s League was established on April 11, 1919 to provide fellowship to men and support Unitarianism. Within a year the League’s publications began to sport a seal by W.A. Dwiggins. [1] He had been hired by a former client, the Rev. Charles E. Park (1873–1962), minister at First Church in Boston and one of the leading figures in the new organization. The connection between the two men went back fifteen years to Dwiggins’ arrival in Hingham, Massachusetts.
In …
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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 …
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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 …
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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 …
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Paper Is Part of the Picture no. 14—Strathmore Artists’ Series (1922)

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.
Cover of Paper Is Part of the Picture mailer (Strathmore Paper Co., 1922). Design by Ralph Barton. Photograph by Vincent Giordano
Spring and Summer 1922
Strathmore’s “Paper Is …
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Paper Is Part of the Picture no. 13—”Paper Is Part of the Picture”

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.
Paper Is Part of the Picture (Strathmore Paper Co., 1921). Photograph by Vincent Giordano.
Strathmore’s search for a memorable slogan—see Paper Is Part of the Picture …
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Paper Is Part of the Picture no. 17—Dummies and Clip-Art

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.
Inside page from Strathmore Town News no. 2 (1925). Design by Guido and Lawrence Rosa.
Strathmore Town News no. 4 (1926) was titled the “Dummy Issue.” It …
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Paper Is Part of the Picture no. 16—Strathmore Town

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.
Cover of Strathmore Town Stationery (Strathmore Paper Co., 1923). Design by Guido and Lawrence Rosa. Photograph by Vincent Giordano.
Strathmore Town did not exist geographically—though if it …
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Paper Is Part of the Picture no. 12—A Grammar of Color (1921)

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.
A Grammar of Color by A.H. Munsell (Mittineague, Massachusetts: The Strathmore Paper Company, 1921). Cover design by T.M. Cleland. Photograph by Vincent Giordano.
Origins
The Strathmore Mill and …
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Paper Is Part of the Picture no. 11—4-Group Plan Handbook (1926)

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.
Strathmore 4-Group Plan Handbook (1926). Design by George F. Trenholm. Photograph by Vincent Giordano.
In 1912 Strathmore Paper Co., after Will Bradley’s reorganization of the combined Mittineague …
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Paper Is Part of the Picture no. 10—The Golden Era 1921–1930 (Part II)

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.
Strathmore Parquetry Cover sample book (Strathmore Paper Co., 1922). Designer unknown. Photograph by Vincent Giordano.
Although Strathmore had begun to rely on famous artists and designers in …
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Paper Is Part of the Picture no. 9—The Golden Era 1921–1930 (Part I)

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.
Alexandra Japan sample book (Strathmore Paper Co., 1919). Design by W.A. Dwiggins.
The 1920s can fairly be called The Golden Era for the Strathmore Paper Company. During …
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Paper Is Part of the Picture no. 8—Concentration (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.
“The war’s lesson to advertisers…” advertisement for Strathmore Quality Papers in The Inland Printer vol. 62, no. 6 (March 1919).
For various reasons, the exhibition deliberately avoided …
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Paper Is Part of the Picture no. 7—The Search for a Slogan 1913–1920

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.
paper does express insert from Strathmore Paper Co. in The Printing Art Suggestion Book (1916).
During the decade that followed the merger of the Mittineague Paper Co. …
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