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. 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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The Definitive Dwiggins no. 67—Drawings that Sell Goods

In the spring of this year I traveled to Boston to hear Bruce Kennett deliver the annual W.A. Dwiggins Lecture at the Boston Public Library. It was a good talk. Although there were a few mistakes, I learned some new things about Dwiggins. One of them was that Dwiggins had parodied three of his contemporaries in an article he had written (under the name of his alter ego) about illustrations in  advertising. I had read  “Drawings that Sell Goods” by …
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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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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 Giordano.
Although over 280 different iterations of the thistle have …
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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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Paper Is Part of the Picture no. 5—Consolidation 1912

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.
Woronoco Bristols sample book (Strathmore Paper Co., 1912). Cover design by Will Bradley. Photograph by Vincent Giordano.
In June 1911 Horace A. Moses announced that he was …
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Paper Is Part of the Picture no. 4—Woronoco Quality

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.
Fairfield Covers sample book (Woronoco Paper Co., c.1909). Photograph by Vincent Giordano.
In 1907 the Woronoco Paper Co. began touting the quality of its papers in the …
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