Sign for Savoy Taylors Guild Ltd., The Strand, London (c.1906).

Sgraffito on a wall in the Giudecca section of Venice.

Detail of a neon sign for a barbershop in Grottaferrata, Italy.

Detail of page from Les Ecritures Financiere, et Italienne-Bastarde (1647) by Louis Barbedor, a French writing master.

Detail of store sign for Cortese Frizzoti in Venice. The letters in black have been painted over a gold ground which covers a former store name in mosaic tile.

Medieval inscription in Round Gothic capitals. In the cloister of S. Giovanni in Laterano in Rome.

Capital E and G stencils from collection of Eric Kindel, Reading, England.

Ghost signs with printer’s fist on wall of Rue de la Commune in Montreal.

Detail of painted directional sign for Coney Island covering mosaic sign indicating Up Town Trains. 53rd Street station of the R line in Brooklyn.

Punches for punctuation cut by Giambattista Bodoni at the Museo Bodoniano in Parma, Italy.

Detail of cover of Warren’s Standard Printing Papers specimen book by S.D. Warren (1929). Design, ornament and lettering by W.A. Dwiggins.


A Visit to the Meister Museum in Amsterdam

Karina Meister at the door to the Meister Museum. Photograph by Paul Shaw (2006).
The Meister Museum: A Very Private Wunderkammer
I have known Karina Meister, a calligrapher/graphic designer/artist in Amsterdam, for nearly forty years. We first met in 1983 when she was living in the Kinkerbuurt neighborhood of the city, not far from the Vondelpark. In 1991 she moved to her present apartment in the Transvaalbuurt neighborhood. I don’t remember her first apartment very well, but her second one has fascinated …
Continue reading

Blue Pencil

One Hundred [sic] Books [sic] Famous [sic] in [Western] Typography [sic]—A Critique

One Hundred Books Famous in Typography by Jerry Kelly (New York: The Grolier Club, 2021)
This book, with a foreword by Sebastian Carter, accompanies an exhibition held at the Grolier Club from May 12 to July 31, 2021.* The exhibition has been touted by Kelly and the Grolier Club as the seventh in an ongoing series of exhibitions based on the concept of “one hundred books famous in [fill in the blank]”. The first of these, “One Hundred Books Famous in …
Continue reading

Blue Pencil

100 Hundred Books Famous in Typography (the exhibition)—The perspective of a specialist

100 Hundred Books Famous in Typography
The Grolier Club
May 12–July 31, 2021
curated by Jerry Kelly
The Grolier Club is a private club, located on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, devoted to the collecting of books and their appreciation as material artifacts. It regularly hosts exhibitions of books (and sometimes other items like magazines) derived from its members’ collecting passions and, on occasion, traveling exhibitions from libraries and other institutions. To its credit, these exhibitions are not only open to …
Continue reading