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.


Type Specimens, Type Specimen and More Type Specimens—Letterforms Study Group in San Francisco August 21–23, 2023

There are still places available for these inexpensive special study sessions about type specimens led by Paul Shaw. Registration ends August 18. Scroll to the bottom for prices and payment options.
Page from a specimen of Grobe Kabel Kursiv by Rudolf Koch (Gebr. Klingspor 1930) reproduced in Type. A Visual History of Typefaces & Graphic Styles vol. 2 edited by Cees W. de Jong, Alston W. Purvis and Jan Tholenaar (Köln: Taschen, 2010).
About Type Specimens
At first glance type specimens are innocuous …
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Letterforms Study Group in San Francisco—A Type and Type Specimen Trifecta August 21–23, 2023

The Letterforms Study Group is coming to San Francisco this summer. From August 21 to August 23, 2023 I will host three study sessions focused on type specimens. These are not lectures. They are participatory, collaborative investigations of physical items (books, periodicals, broadsides, etc.) which are linked thematically. My role in these events is to act as a facilitator and an informed guide rather than as an all-knowing authority.
Participants do not need to have prior familiarity with type design or …
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Tours & Events

Calligraphy & Letterpress Workshop with Grendl Löfkvist August 26, 2023

Participants cutting out their stencils during the Blackletter without Blackletter workshop at the 2019 Hamilton Wayzgoose.
Grendl Löfkvist and Paul Shaw will lead another calligraphy & letterpress workshop on August 26 at the CODEX Foundation in Berkeley, California. They have done two combination calligraphy/letterpress workshops before: Neuland at the 2019 Hamilton Wayzgoose and Rudolf Koch’s blackletter via Zoom during the Covid-19 pandemic as part of the 2020 Hamilton Awayzgoose.
Blackletter by F.H.E. Schneidler’s students (n.d.). Image courtesy of the Letterform …
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