Writings

Writings comprises commissioned articles (including those for other websites) and books.

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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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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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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Paper Is Part of the Picture no. 3—Strathmore Quality and the Origins of the Thistle

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 (Mittineague Paper Co., 1910). Designer unknown. Photograph by Vince Giordano.
The Strathmore name and its thistle mark predate the company name. Company accounts …
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Paper Is Part of the Picture no. 2—A Tale of Two Mills 1892–1911 (Part III)

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.
Alexis Cover Papers sample book from Mittineague Paper Co. (c.1899). Designer unknown. The title is set in Bradley Text. Photograph by Vincent Giordano.
Fairfield Parchment sample …
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Paper Is Part of the Picture no. 2—A Tale of Two Mills 1892–1911 (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.
The Colonial Book of the Towle Mfg. Co. (Newburyport, Massachusetts: Towle Mfg. Co., 1898). Title page design by Will Bradley.
Bradley’s designs for Mittineague were very different …
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Paper Is Part of the Picture no. 1—Preface

This is the first blog post in a series intended to accompany 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 and the Evolution of American Graphic Design by Paul Shaw. Catalogue title page design by Jennifer …
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Paper Is Part of the Picture no. 2—A Tale of Two Mills 1892–1911 (Part I)

This is the second blog post to accompany 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 The Inland Printer vol. XIII, no. 5 (August 1894). Design by Will Bradley.
Cover of The Inland Printer vol. XIV, no. 6 (March 1895). Design by Will Bradley.
Will …
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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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Move Over, Helvetica. Here Comes Trajan.

Note: This text was originally written for the Huffington Post website at their request last February. For some unexplained reason they have never run it. Thus, I am posting it here.
Eros (Summer 1962). Cover design by Herb Lubalin. Lettering by Tom Carnase.
Move Over, Helvetica. Here Comes Trajan.
Eight years ago the design world was abuzz over the 50th anniversary of Helvetica, the sans serif typeface designed by Max Miedinger and Eduard Hoffmann for the Haas typefoundry in Switzerland. The event …
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Script Type Terminology: A preview of a new book

These pages are from The Roots of Script, the working title for a book on script typefaces that Abby Goldstein and I have been writing since 2010. They are part of the opening section titled “How to Look at Scripts.” Scripts are not like other typefaces. There is almost no existing terminology to describe their letter parts other than terms used in the world of calligraphy. We adopted many of them, but still ended up inventing others.
The first three sheets …
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