The Definitive Dwiggins no. 134—Good Morning, America
The Definitive Dwiggins no. 208 surveyed the books that W.A. Dwiggins designed for Crosby Gaige, Publisher. Among them was Good Morning, America by Carl Sandburg (New York: Crosby Gaige, 1928). The book was one of the first works to extensively showcase Dwiggins’ new interest in abstract ornamental designs made via hand-carved celluloid stencils.  For it he created two designs for the spine, and ten for the sections of the book. He also designed a large stenciled cityscape for the title page.  All of them are geometric in style, with only the ornament for “Corn Belt” having some botanical elements. Furthermore, they are among the first such designs where Dwiggins played with color, changing it for each divider with no two alike.  This technique of suggesting a wildly colorful book while maintaining a two-color press run was one that he later employed for Droll Stories by Honorè de Balzac (New York: The Limited Editions Club, 1932).
1. For some other examples of Dwiggins’ stenciled ornaments see The Definitive Dwiggins no. 50 and The Definitive Dwiggins no. 53 about his redesign of Harpers Magazine; The Definitive Dwiggins no. 30 and The Definitive Dwiggins no. 32 about his poster, catalogue, and label design for the 1929 exhibition “The Architect and the Industrial Arts” at The Metropolitan Museum of Art; and The Definitive Dwiggins no. 58 about his design of Seven Novels by H.G. Wells (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1934).
2. The section divider ornaments and those on the spine do not appear in the trade edition of Good Morning, America published by Harcourt, Brace and Company (1928).
3. The colors are violet, olive green, flame red, brown, orange, wine red, spring green, vermilion, and Prussian blue. These untraditional colors are as responsible for the Art Deco flavor of Good Morning, America as the geometrical nature of the ornaments.