Detail of cast stone sign for “Dairy Supply Company Limited”, Coptic Street, London (1888).

Rubbing of letters from tombstone of Elisabeth Stoute (d. 1764), Trinity Church cemetery (New York City). Carved by Uzal Ward.

Detail of doorway sign for Ninth & Broadway Building (1929) in downtown Los Angeles. Designed by Claud Beelman.

Detail from a cutting from a 15th c. Italian chorale, a large manuscript intended for use by a choir. The script is Rotunda, a rounded form of blackletter mostly found in Italy and Spain. The music notes are square and rhombic.

Detail of an inscription (c. 1462) on the facade of S. Anastasia in Verona.

Neon sign for Crown Caterers Deli Restaurant in the Borough Park neighborhood of Brooklyn. The sign dates from the 1930s or 1940s.

Tombstone of Stefano Giuseppe Brion (d.1906) in the Cimiterio Brion-Vega, San Vito d’Altivole, Italy. Designed by Carlo Scarpa (1970–1972). The name is hidden in the “keys”.

Tours & Events

Tours & Events lists all lettering walks, Legacy of Letters tours, public lectures, talks, panel discussions, workshops, calligraphic demonstrations, etc. that I am engaged in.

Tipo Cibo Vino (Legacy of Letters 2019)—Part 11: Celebration

July 12, 2019 | End of Legacy of Letters 2019 Tipo Cibo Vino
Legacy of Letters has always ended with a celebratory dinner. It was particularly deserving this year following the frenetic push to get the menu book pages printed and scored—and to return all type and type material to its original place and get the Tipoteca cleaned up by 7 pm. Once we had accomplished that we posed for several final group photographs before heading to Le Corderie to celebrate.
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Tipo Cibo Vino (Legacy of Letters 2019)—Part 10: Letterpress Workshop Day 5

Prints drying on presses and cabinets in the machinery exhibition room.
July 12, 2019 | Day 4 of the project
Friday was the last day of the letterpress project. It was chaotic and frantic, as it had been with Alan Kitching in 2015 and with Erik Spiekermann in 2017. As in the past, those who finished printing their page early pitched in to help those who were lagging behind. This spirit of cooperation is always one of the most pleasing aspects …
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Tipo Cibo Vino (Legacy of Letters 2019)—Part 10: Letterpress Workshop Day 5 continued

From left to right: Lucio, Sandro, and Daniele working on the title page print. In the background, Peter is amused by Lucio’s boundless energy.
July 12, 2019 | Day 4 of the project
Daniele Facchin, Lucio Bottaselle, Leonardo Facchin, and Sandro Berra
Without the assistance of Daniele, Lucio, Leonardo, and Sandro, the printing would never have been completed on time. Daniele and Lucio, the two Tipoteca “technicians”, helped everyone out with typesetting as well as running the presses as they have done …
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Tipo Cibo Vino (Legacy of Letters 2019)—Part 9: Food Interlude

From left to right: Claire, Jason, Lucia, Shaina, and Sara sharing a joke at lunch.
July 11, 2019 | Lunch
The Italian practice of taking a leisurely lunch in the middle of the day and then making up for lost time by working until 7 pm is one that we at Legacy of Letters have embraced during our letterpress workshops. The lunches, whether a simple panini at the cafè across the canalin Crocetto di Montello, as we did in the early …
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Tipo Cibo Vino (Legacy of Letters 2019)—Part 8: Letterpress Workshop Day 4

July 11, 2019 | Day 3 of the project
On Thursday, the page designs began to more clearly take shape as additional colors were printed. They continued to evolve as participants discovered the limitations of letterpress in general as well as of the typefaces available at the Tipoteca. There was also the constraint (pressure) of creating a design in a short amount of time. But these obstacles were treated as challenges to be overcome.
Here are some scenes from the day, chosen …
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Tipo Cibo Vino (Legacy of Letters 2019)—Part 7: Letterpress Workshop Day 3

Legacy of Letters participants hard at work setting type at the Tipoteca.
Work on the menu project began to speed up on Wednesday as the participants finished up their text type requirement and moved on to the interpretive part of the assignment. The approaches they took were gratifyingly varied. James, Jason, Laura, Lucia and Lucille simply played with typographic forms and color; Shaina and Claire opted for typographic “pictures”; Janine and Emmy incorporated pressure prints into their designs; and Jane …
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Tipo Cibo Vino (Legacy of Letters 2019)—Part 6: Letterpress Workshop Day 2

The letterpress project was a bound book (though we failed to get the binding done while at the Tipoteca) composed of designs for each course of an Italian meal: aperitivi (Shaina Pruden), antipasti (Jason Stadnik), vini (Janine Wong), primi piatti (Emmy Yamaguchi), secondi piatti (Lucia McCreery), contorni e insalate (Lucille Tenazas), formaggio (James Stroud), dolci (Jane Pirone), caffè (Claire Lukacs), and digestivi (Laura Thoms). The endpapers were designed by Sayre Gaydos who also came up with the book structure. The …
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Images of Tipo Cibo Vino (Legacy of Letters 2019)—Part 5: Letterpress Workshop Day 1

The letterpress workshop was led this year by Peter Kruty and Sayre Gaydos of Peter Kruty Editions, a studio in the Sunset Park part of Brooklyn that specializes in innovative work with contemporary artists and writers. Given their background, this workshop attempted to include illustrations instead of being type-centric. Thus, the first day included an introduction to paper and pressure prints by Peter alongside the standard tutorial in composing metal type by hand.
July 7, 2019 | Composing Type and Making …
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Images of Tipo Cibo Vino (Legacy of Letters 2019)—Part 4: Le Corderie

Possibly the highlight of Tipo Cibo Vino was a day of cooking and beverage lessons from chef Cristina Colle and her husband Mauro Drago, the owners of Le Corderie, the restaurant established by the Tipoteca. Mauro instructed us in how to properly make coffee (cappucino, espresso, and iced coffee) and Italian cocktails (the Americano, Negroni, and Ugo); and led a grappa tasting. Cristina taught us how to make baccalà mantecata, risi e bisi, and tiramisù. And we got to eat …
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Images of Tipo Cibo Vino (Legacy of Letters 2019)—Part 3: Cimiterio Brion

Our visit to Altivole to see architect Carlo Scarpa’s masterpiece, the Cimiterio Brion, was not part of the original Tipo Cibo Vino itinerary as there was no time to fit it into the Veneto day. But the Legacy of letters participants were unanimous in their desire to see the cemetery, so Patricia and I figured out a way to squeeze it into the schedule. Our visit ended just as a massive thunderstorm swept through the area.
July 7, 2019 | Altivole
Cimiterio …
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Images of Tipo Cibo Vino (Legacy of Letters 2019)—Part 2: The Veneto

During the first three days of Tipo Cibo Vino we looked at manuscripts, incunabula, Futurist books, and posters. Although we ate terrific food and drank Aperol spritzes, Negronis, and lots of prosecco at lunch and dinner—and beer in Trento—we had not yet begun the official “Cibo Vino” part of the tour. That all changed with our gastronomic tour of the Veneto, orchestrated by Sandro Berra.
July 6, 2019 | Farra di Soligo
Cantina Marchiori
Peter Kruty listening to Sara Marchiori explaining the …
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Images from Tipo Cibo Vino (Legacy of Letters 2019)—Part 1: Treviso, Venice, Rovereto, and Trento

The first iteration of Tipo Cibo Vino, the 2019 Legacy of Letters tour and workshop, was a smashing success. The ten participants and one companion had a marvelous time touring cultural and gastronomic sites in the Veneto, taking cooking and beverage lessons from Cristina Colle and Mauro Drago of Le Corderie restaurant, and then working collaboratively on a letterpress book at the Tipoteca under the guidance of Peter Kruty and Sayre Gaydos of Peter Kruty Editions. The experience was so …
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Legacy of Letters 2019: Tipo Cibo Vino

Tipo
Wood type at the Tipoteca Italiana Fondazione in Cornuda. Photograph by Patricia Vining (2012).
Cibo
Food stall in Venice. Photograph by Patricia Vining (2012).
Vino
Display of antique grappa bottles at the Poli Museo del Grappa in Bassano del Grappa. Photograph by David Wolske (2013).
Tipo Cibo Vino
Legacy of Letters 2019
Letterpress workshop with Peter Kruty Editions
Tipoteca
Cornuda, Italy
July 3–13, 2019
$3850 [$3300 early bird discount]
space limited to 12 participants*
CONCEPT
The 2019 edition of Legacy of Letters will have the theme Tipo Cibo Vino. Our guest artists will be …
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By the Numbers no. 2 addendum—Fat Face in Chicago

Obviously people had difficulty in seeing the address above the doorway. The only solution was to design the house number in a Fat Face so large that it had to be positioned vertically. It looks great except for the screen at the lower portion of the door. I think the numerals are made of steel.
House number in the Lincoln Park neighborhood of Chicago. Photograph by Paul Shaw (2005).

By the Numbers no. 1—third addendum: New York didone stencil

The painted address of the Project Find Clinton Senior Citizen Center (originally known as Harborview Terrace) in New York employs didone stencil letters associated with Le Corbusier. The building was designed by Herbert Mandel in 1977. Whether he was responsible for the decision to use the Le Corbusier stencils for the supergraphics or they were the idea of a hired graphic designer is unknown. Either way, they look terrific—even covered in grime and with their paint peeling.
535 West …
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By the Numbers no. 1—second addendum: Mantova

In searching through my archive of Legacy of Letters photographs I found this wonderful example of a didone address in Mantova with the old house number carved beautifully in stone—the 5 is especially charming—and a newer house number in enamel. The numerals of the latter are condensed. The 3 is notable for its horizontal top.
House number in Mantova. Photograph by Alta Price (2011).