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 Definitive Dwiggins no. 210 addendum no. 2—A correction

I recently discussed Joseph Sinel’s redrawing of marks for A Book of American Trade-Marks & Devices with Bruce Kennett. In the course of our exchange he sent me several pairings of Dwiggins’ marks from different sources. One of them was the scribe mark designed by Dwiggins for the Society of Calligraphers. [1] When I saw the two versions I immediately realized that I had made a mistake in The Definitive Dwiggins no. 210 post on 22 Printers’ Marks and Seals. The …
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Blue Pencil

Blue Pencil no. 46—Yet more on the early history of the term “graphic design”

Alex Jay, who has provided me with material in the past on aspects of graphic design history, has recently sent me two emails with new information on the issue of the early uses of “graphic design” as a term. I have summarized his discoveries below.
“Graphic Design”: More on the terminology of a profession (June 2014) mentioned a snippet that Alex Jay found from The Sierra Educational News about graphic design. The issue is now fully available online and Alex has …
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Blue Pencil

The Definitive Dwiggins no. 211—A Book of American Trade-Marks & Devices

In The Definitive Dwiggins no. 209, I quoted Edmund G. Gress, the editor of The American Printer, in praise of A Book of American Trade-Marks & Devices by Joseph Sinel:
American trademarks and devices have never been set forth so attractively…. A great many emblems are shown in posteresque style, one to a page, and others are grouped four or more on a page in an attractive manner. With black there are combined such colors as blue, brown and plum. …
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