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.


3 Lectures in London June 2024—Type Specimens, W.A. Dwiggins and Bartolomeo Sanvito

In June 2024 I will be in London to deliver three talks on three wildly disparate topics, a reflection of my varied interests over the past 40+ years: W.A. Dwiggins, Bartolomeo Sanvito, and type specimens. The thread that binds these topics is letterforms. Sanvito was a calligrapher; Dwiggins was a calligrapher, lettering artist, and type designer; and type specimens—of course—display typefaces (among other things).
Patent Shaded Four Lines Pica and Patent Shaded two Lines Double Pica from D. …
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Letterforms Study Group

Letterforms Study Group at the Tipoteca 2025—Wood Type Workshop

Although Legacy of Letters came to an end with Legacy of Letters 2023: Letterpress Extravaganza, my engagement with letters inscriptional, calligraphic, and typographic in Italy is not over. In 2025 I will lead a workshop version of the Letterforms Study Group at the Tipoteca. The workshop will be focused on investigating an unidentified wood type (see below) in the Tipoteca’s collection.
Capitals (from left to right: B A / O N M  / Y Z) of the unidentified corsivo …
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The Frank Holme Chronicles no. 3—Never Idle: The Tragically Short but Jam-Packed Life of Frank Holme (Chicago, November 16, 2023)

On November 16, 2023 I gave a talk on the life of Frank Holme (1868–1904) at the Palette and Chisel Academy of Art (formerly the Palette and Chisel Club) in Chicago entitled Never Idle: The Tragically Short but Jam-Packed Life of Frank Holme. The talk was co-sponsored by The Caxton Club. The location was chosen because Holme was an integral member of the Palette and Chisel Club in the early years of its existence, when it is was still …
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