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.

Blue Pencil

The Song of the Twisted: Being a Tale of Woe Told by the Victim

Frank Holme (late 1890s?). Image courtesy of Special Collections, University of Arizona.
In 2015 I discovered an amusing yet fascinating manuscript of doggerel in the Frederic and Bertha Goudy Collection at the Library of Congress. [1] The manuscript, entitled “The Song of the Twisted: Being a Tale of Woe Told by the Victim” was written, lettered, and illustrated by Frank Holme (1868–1904), the celebrated newspaper artist and proprietor of the School of Illustration in Chicago. It tells the story of how Holme …
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The Definitive Dwiggins no. 131—Reed and Dwiggins, Publishers

Reed and Dwiggins, Publishers letterhead (1906). Design and lettering by W.A.Dwiggins. Image courtesy of Special Collections, Boston Public Library.
For nearly two years, between the time that he left The Village Press in early 1905 and the beginning of 1907 when he fully gained Daniel Berkeley Updike’s trust, W.A. Dwiggins was floundering about professionally. He had a powerful urge to be an artist in the Arts & Crafts manner, producing bibelots, prints, and sundry other artistic items. And at the …
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The Definitive Dwiggins no. 714—The 23rd Psalm

At the end of The Definitive Dwiggins no. 179, dedicated to two editions of The Ninety-First Psalm, I wrote that:

…Dwiggins struggled to sell his copies. Bartlett must have also had difficulty selling his edition since copies were still available for sale nine years later. Maybe the two men should have published The Twenty-Third Psalm instead.

The last line was an oblique reference to a November 11, 1909 entry in Dwiggins’ workbook regarding unspecified work on a “23rd Psalm booklet” for “AB …
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