Talks

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The Definitive Dwiggins no. 36—Knopf Colophons

Recently, I gave a talk at The Book Club of California titled Beyond the Spine: A Closer Look at the Book Designs of W.A. Dwiggins for Alfred A. Knopf. While preparing the talk a few months ago, Jennifer Sime, the executive director of the club, asked me if I could prepare an article on short notice for the club’s quarterly newsletter. I jumped at the offer because it gave me an opportunity to write in depth about the colophons in …
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The Definitive Dwiggins no. 24—Talks on Dwiggins

For the past decade I have been giving talks on W.A. Dwiggins as a means of spreading the discoveries I have made about his life and career while my magnum opus remains in gestation. Below is a chronological list of the talks I have already given, including some in which Dwiggins is a player but not the main subject. They cover a wide range of topics since Dwiggins had a multi-faceted career. There are many other topics* that I have …
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Poggio Bracciolini, an Inscription in Terranuova & the Monument to Carlo Marsuppini: A Theory

NOTE: This is the text of a short talk that I gave at the CAA Calligraphy/Epigraphy Session of the College Art Association 104th Annual Conference in Washington, DC on February 5, 2016. The session, officially entitled Forming Letters: New Research in Renaissance Calligraphy and Epigraphy, was chaired by Debra Pincus and included presentations by David Boffa, James Fishburne, Roberta Ricci, Philippa Sissis and myself with William Stenhouse as the respondent. Jonathan J.G. …
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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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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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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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Designing with Letters

In January I will be traveling to the Midwest to teach, first in Bloomington, Indiana and then in Chicago. The workshop at the School of Fine Arts, Indiana University, organized by Paul Brown and Tom Walker, is not yet determined. However, the workshops in Chicago have already been announced. They will both be on the topic of Designing with Letters. The Society of Typographic Arts, in conjunction with the School of Media Arts, Columbia College Chicago, is hosting a one-day …
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APHA Conference 2012 Talk

Inland Printer (July 1901). Cover design by Frederic W. Goudy (border and masthead) and W.A. Dwiggins (illustration)
At the Crossroads: Living Letterform Traditions
2012 American Printing History Conference
Columbia College Chicago, Center for Book and Paper Arts
October 12–13, 2012
I will be speaking at this year’s APHA Conference in Chicago (as part of Panel One between 9:45 am and 11 am on Saturday, October 13) on “The Roots of the Big Three: Goudy, Cooper, Dwiggins and the Frank Holme School of Illustration”. My talk is only …
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Gorey, Huerta and Di Spigna

For New York lettering enthusiasts or those who will be visiting the city this summer there are two unheralded exhibitions that are a must-see. The first is “Gorey Preserved” at Columbia University’s Rare Book and Manuscript Library (Butler Library, 6th floor, 114th Street and Broadway). It is on display until July 27. The other is “The Tony & Gerry Show” at Pratt Manhattan, GradComD Exhibition Space (144 West 14th Street, 7th floor). It ends August 9.Edward Gorey …
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Type Americana 2

Type Americana 2, a conference devoted to the history of American type design, will take place May 4–6 at the School of Visual Concepts in Seattle, Washington. It will include talks by Paul F. Gehl, Custodian of the John M. Wing Foundation at the Newberry Library, on Robert Hunter Middleton and Douglas McMurtrie, two of the key figures behind the type design program at Ludlow Typograph; Cathleen A. Baker on the Roycroft career of papermaker and paper historian …
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Helvetica and the New York City Subway System in New Paltz

At the invitation of Aleanna Lüthi-Garrecht, Arthur Hoener and Amy Papaelias, professors in the Art Department at SUNY New Paltz, I was invited to speak to their design students on Helvetica and the New York City Subway System on March 7.
Poster design by Aleanna Lüthi-Garrecht
The invitation gave me a great excuse not only to see an old friend (Aleanna and I met on one of the Legacy of Letters tours of Rome in the late 1990s), but …
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AIGA Chicago: Helvetica and the New York City Subway System

AIGA Chicago presents Designer as Author
Helvetica and the New York City Subway System: a talk and book signing
Paul Shaw
Getty Images
122 South Michigan Avenue, Suite 900
Wednesday, November 16
Registration 6–6:30 pm; Presentation and book signing 6:30–8:30 pm
AIGA Chicago is pleased to present Paul Shaw in our next installment of Designer as Author, an ongoing series devoted to discussing written works with the designer-authors who create them.
The story of signage on the New York City Subway System is both a long and …
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Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum Wayzgoose 2011

Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum
Wayzgoose 2011
November 4–6Wayzgoose 2011 is coming, and we’re full up! If you’d like to be on a waiting list in the event of a cancellation you can email Jim Moran at jim.moran@woodtype.org Throughout the day Friday, November 4th we’ll be hosting casual demonstrations as part of our open house. Paul Shaw, Stan Nelson, and our very own Mardell Doubek and Norb Brylski will be scribing, cutting and punching type while you tour the museum. …
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Helvetica and the New York City Subway System

The Art Directors Club of Tulsa and the Philbrook Museum of Art present
Helvetica and the New York City Subway System
An illustrated talk by Paul Shaw Thursday, October 20, 2011 There are many strange sights on the New York City subway… but one that has nagged type nerds for decades is the hodgepodge of lettering styles on the signage! Delve into the rich history of the sign system with Paul Shaw—award-winning designer, historian and author of Helvetica and …
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TDC Type Walk: Fort Greene & Clinton Hill, Brooklyn

The fall 2011 TDC type tour will return to the borough of Brooklyn. This time we will explore the neighborhoods of Fort Greene and Clinton Hill. These are brownstone neighborhoods where the lettering excitement is going to come primarily from small businesses along with churches and a few institutions such as Pratt Institute. They have been revived but not completely gentrified so there are still older signs to see.

Paul Shaw Book Talk

South Ferry station (2009)The Skyscraper Museum
39 Battery Place, New York City
6:30 pm, Wednesday, 5 October 2011 Paul Shaw looks at how the subway’s signage system has evolved over the past forty years in his book, Helvetica and the New York City Subway System. The resulting story is more than a tale of a typeface. It is a look at the forces that have molded a signage system.

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