Tours & Events

Tours & Events lists all lettering walks, Legacy of Letters tours, public lectures, talks, panel discussions, workshops, calligraphic demonstrations, etc. that I am engaged in.

Strathmore Papers and the Untold History of American Graphic Design

Recently Chris Harrold, Vice President of Business Development/Creative Director at Mohawk, invited me to up to the Albany/Troy area to see the Strathmore Archives that he has been digging into for the past few months. I was lured by the promise of seeing unknown work by W.A. Dwiggins and by the opportunity to do some preparation for my upcoming talk on “W.A. Dwiggins and the Promotion of Paper 1915–1935” at the Type Directors Club on June 3*.
For months both Dan Rhatigan …
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Legacy of Letters 2014 Update

Due to insufficient enrollment the 2014 Legacy of Letters workshop and tour has been cancelled, much to my regret. However, Alta and I are already preparing for the 2015 Legacy of Letters workshop and tour and hope to have details posted before June. Save up your money and clear your calendar. Please contact me at paulshaw@nyc.rr.com to be on our mailing list. Grazie.
House number (Modena).

Gushing over Helvetica and the New York City Subway System

Alexander Cameron has just written an exuberantly positive review of Helvetica and the New York City Subway System for I Love Typography. He especially focuses on the design of the book which both Abby and I appreciate. Some of his comments:
The format size of Helvetica+—285mm (w) x 245mm (h)—immediately suggests that this is primarily a book to study, and not necessarily read in transit. Both the text content (including substantial notes and captions) and that of the photography, illustration and …
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Philip Grushkin Collection

Philip Grushkin: A Designer’s Archive (2013). Cover design by Kind Company.
The Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Columbia University recently announced the acquisition of the Philip Grushkin Collection. Grushkin (1921–1998) was a book jacket designer, book designer and publishing educator and consultant. The collection was acquired from the Grushkin family by Glen Horowitz Bookseller, Inc. I wrote the text for Philip Grushkin: A Designer’s Archive, the catalogue accompanying the collection. It outlines the life and career of Grushkin …
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Legacy of Letters 2014

Alta examining Roman inscription on a wall in Verona (2013). Photograph by Paul Shaw.
The 2014 Legacy of Letters Tour and Workshop will be different from prior ones. I will be leading it on my own since my colleague Alta Price is taking a sabbatical from Legacy of Letters to attend to her burgeoning career as a translator. She will return in 2015. Meanwhile, I am using the occasion to shake up the itinerary a bit.
Legacy of Letters 2014 will …
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Sagmeister unmasked

The TDC lettering walk on Sunday, May 19 was a gray, rainy mess. Although five participants stuck it out to the end, it was a miserable day and the new signage gems that we found in the Woodhaven and Richmond Hill neighborhoods were overshadowed by the difficulty of photographing them in the drizzle. Not only was my camera wet but so were my glasses. I had no idea what I was even looking at as I took photographs—and the results …
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La dolce vita dei caratteri: looking back at Legacy of Letters 2012

In preparation for Legacy of Letters 2013 I was looking through the over 1300 photos that Alexander Trubin sent me from last year’s tour and workshop. I had failed to organize them and last night I found myself bogged down in the tedious task while watching the New York Rangers demolish the Washington Capitals. The tedium was relieved by the opportunity to enjoy and relive the tour afresh: rubbing inscriptions in the courtyard of Sant’Ambrogio in Milano, viewing the moulds …
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Legacy of Letters 2013 Tour and Workshop Options

Legacy of Letters 2013 Tour and Workshop Options
For the first time Legacy of Letters is offering shorter options to its full ten day tour and workshop. Here are the various choices:
Full Tour and Workshops with Tony Di Spigna and Lucio Passerini
Sunday, June 23 through Thursday, July 4
$3775 / €2900 regular price
$3500 / €2690 student discount
Details at http://www.paulshawletterdesign.com/category/tours-talks/legacy-of-letters/
Punches for swash capitals by Giambattista Bodoni.
Optional Post-Tour trip to Parma (Museo Bodoniano)
Thursday, July 4 through Friday, July 5
$360 / €275 single-room occupancy
$300 / €230 …
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Legacy of Letters 2013 profile—Tony Di Spigna

Tony Di Spigna has been creating gems of Spencerian script—his term for drawn lettering derived from roundhand and other forms of pointed-pen writing—for over forty years. He learned the skill from Tom Carnase while working for Herb Lubalin & Associates, though I believe he has surpassed his mentor. There are two things that have always impressed me the most about Tony’s Spencerian script: 1. the gracefulness and naturalness of his curves; and 2. his ability to make compositions that hold …
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2013 Legacy of Letters Tour Leaders and Instructors

Meet the Legacy of Letters staff for 2013: Paul Shaw and Alta Price, tour leaders; Lucio Passerini and Tony Di Spigna, instructors; and Sandro Berra, coordinator of the Tipoteca Italiana Fondazione.
Paul Shaw is widely known and respected as a guide to urban lettering.With Garrett Boge he co-founded and led the original Legacy of Letters tours of Rome, Florence and Tuscany from 1997 to 2000. On his own he has led regular walking tours of lettering in …
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Designing with Letters in Chicago: the aftermath

January 16–17 · Indiana University / Bloomington, Indiana
My January trip to the Midwest began with a stop in Bloomington, Indiana to visit Paul Brown, Tom Walker and the Department of Art at Indiana University. Tom and Paul had invited me to do a one-day workshop on calligraphic tools. But first Tom took me to the Lilly Library to see manuscripts, incunabula and material accumulated by the Chicago engrosser Coella Ricketts. Tom and librarian Erika Dowell had ordered …
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Legacy of Letters: “I loved it and would do it every year if I could.”

“I loved that it was a small group, as we got to meet one another. The tour allowed for us to explore the city we were in. The tour included so much I was surprised we managed to fit in everything. I LOVED IT and would do it every year if I could. Thank you for the most enjoyable, informative and exciting 3 weeks. I have met friends that will last a lifetime.
Diana Pasovski, graphic designer, Australia
Diana Pasovski printing …
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Bastard Calligraphy: a workshop

I will be doing a workshop on bâtarde, otherwise known as bastarda, a calligraphic hand that emerged from medieval documents to become a formal style for Books of Hours in northern France, Burgundia and Flanders in the second half of the 15th century. The class will take place over the course of two consecutive Sundays, April 28 and May 5, and is being sponsored by the Society of Scribes, Ltd., the calligraphic society in the New York City metropolitan region. …
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Los Angeles Lettering Walk

I am leading a lettering walk of Downtown Los Angeles on Saturday, March 2 from 10 am to 1 pm. It will be a reprise of one that I did during TypeCon 2010. The walk will take in the usual range of urban lettering sights—carved inscriptions, metal letters, painted signs, plastic signs, vinyl signs, terrazzo letters, vernacular writing, graffiti (maybe)—but most of all we will see lots of neon signs, both active and dead.
Dancing Girls (detail) neon sign.
To register …
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“Grab life by the typographic tail!”

There is still time to sign up for the 2013 Legacy of Letters Tour & Workshop at the early bird discounted price. Join Alta Price and me in Italy this summer and see how much fun you can have with letters. It is the experience of a lifetime.
Paul Shaw 
Alexander practicing Cyrillic calligraphy.
“This ten-day immersion in the world of Latin letterforms, in their native environment, was an unforgettable experience. It was such an amazing time, filled with lots of …
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The Lettermaniac or Literaphiliac Profiled: A Day with Alexandra Horowitz

On Looking: Eleven Walks with Experts. Jacket design by Tal Goretsky.
Alexandra Horowitz, Professor of Psychology at Barnard College (Columbia University) and author of Inside of a Dog (a no. 1 New York Times bestseller) has just written On Looking: Eleven Walks with Expert Eyes (Scribner). One of the eleven “experts” is me, a literaphiliac—someone suffering from a malady that “makes one seek, and see, letters”—in Horowitz’s view. Guilty as charged, though I would have used the term lettermaniac. Anyway, I …
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