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.


I am excited to announce that John Boardley, publisher of the popular website ilovetypography, has asked me to serve as editor of the second issue of his print publication Codex.
Codex: The Journal of Typography (Issue 1, Spring 2011). Front cover.
For those unaware of Codex, its debut issue, published in spring 2011, contains a wonderful mix of material, both high and low, scholarly and popular: a review of the typeface Huronia, a paean to Ottmar …
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Vacation for lettermaniacs

Wood type at the Tipoteca. Photograph by Carlo Scherer (2010). The 2012 Legacy of Letters Tour and Workshop is shaping up quickly. Five people—a healthy mix of calligraphers, graphic designers and letterpress printers—are signed up and with one more participant the tour will become a reality. The tour is deliberately kept small—twelve people maximum, six minimum—in order to enhance the experience for everyone involved. This edition of Legacy of Letters broadens the workshop experience to encompass half …
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AIGA Chicago: Helvetica and the New York City Subway System

AIGA Chicago presents Designer as Author
Helvetica and the New York City Subway System: a talk and book signing
Paul Shaw
Getty Images
122 South Michigan Avenue, Suite 900
Wednesday, November 16
Registration 6–6:30 pm; Presentation and book signing 6:30–8:30 pm
AIGA Chicago is pleased to present Paul Shaw in our next installment of Designer as Author, an ongoing series devoted to discussing written works with the designer-authors who create them.
The story of signage on the New York City Subway System is both a long and …
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Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum Wayzgoose 2011

Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum
Wayzgoose 2011
November 4–6Wayzgoose 2011 is coming, and we’re full up! If you’d like to be on a waiting list in the event of a cancellation you can email Jim Moran at Throughout the day Friday, November 4th we’ll be hosting casual demonstrations as part of our open house. Paul Shaw, Stan Nelson, and our very own Mardell Doubek and Norb Brylski will be scribing, cutting and punching type while you tour the museum. …
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Legacy of Letters Workshop & Tour 2012

Legacy of Letters Workshop & Tour
Milan · Parma · Cornuda· Aquileia · Venice · Rovereto · Verona
Paul Shaw · Alta Price · Luca Barcellona · Lucio Passerini · James Clough · Sandro Berra
Tipoteca Italiana Fondazione
18–28 July 2012
Legacy of Letters 2012
In 2012 Legacy of Letters will again be a combination workshop and tour, but this time the emphasis will be on the former. The workshop, focusing on calligraphy, typography and letterpress printing, will take place over the course of a …
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Helvetica and the New York City Subway System

The Art Directors Club of Tulsa and the Philbrook Museum of Art present
Helvetica and the New York City Subway System
An illustrated talk by Paul Shaw Thursday, October 20, 2011 There are many strange sights on the New York City subway… but one that has nagged type nerds for decades is the hodgepodge of lettering styles on the signage! Delve into the rich history of the sign system with Paul Shaw—award-winning designer, historian and author of Helvetica and …
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Type Walk Berlin

One of the highlights of my brief visit to Berlin in July was a short type walk led by Florian Hardwig. The highlight of the highlight was a visit to the Jerusalem und Neues Kirchen cemetery (part of a complex of six cemeteries called Friedhöfe vor dem Halleschen Tor). Here are a few of the most interesting items that Indra Kupferschmid and I came across after we broke away from the rest of the group.
Thefirst is a gravestone for …
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TDC Type Walk: Fort Greene & Clinton Hill, Brooklyn

The fall 2011 TDC type tour will return to the borough of Brooklyn. This time we will explore the neighborhoods of Fort Greene and Clinton Hill. These are brownstone neighborhoods where the lettering excitement is going to come primarily from small businesses along with churches and a few institutions such as Pratt Institute. They have been revived but not completely gentrified so there are still older signs to see.

Paul Shaw Book Talk

South Ferry station (2009)The Skyscraper Museum
39 Battery Place, New York City
6:30 pm, Wednesday, 5 October 2011 Paul Shaw looks at how the subway’s signage system has evolved over the past forty years in his book, Helvetica and the New York City Subway System. The resulting story is more than a tale of a typeface. It is a look at the forces that have molded a signage system.

Tale of a Typeface: Paul Shaw’s “Helvetica and the New York City Subway System”

Porcelain enamel 8th Avenue IND sign (1930s)Transit Museum
Corner of Boerum Place and Schermerhorn Street, Brooklyn Heights
6 pm, Thursday, 22 September 2011 Graphic designer, typographer, calligrapher, and author Paul Shaw—for whom letters and words are everything—will present a new edition of his acclaimed book, Helvetica and the New York City Subway System (The MIT Press). It features additional photos and annotations. The resulting story is more than a tale of a typeface; it’s a look at the …
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TDC2 2012

James Montalbano and I created TDC2, the Type Directors Club Type Design Competition, in 1998. Now, for the first time, I will have the opportunity to be a judge of the competition. I am honored to be part of an august panel that includes Roger Black, Matthew Carter and Erik Spiekermann. Maxim Zhukov is the chairman. The deadline for submission is Friday, 16 December 2011. For more details on TDC2 go to the Type Directors Club website.

WNYC The Leonard Lopate Show

On August 4th, guest host Richard Hake interviewed me on The Leonard Lopate Show on WNYC about my book Helvetica and the New York City Subway System. It’s too late to hear me live, but you still hear me online.

From the Street to the Sky

Taxi stand, Leiden
I gave my talk “From the Street to the Sky” at the Hochschule RheinMain / University of Applied Sciences in Wiesbaden on July 6th for students in the Design Informatik Medien department. The talk was at the invitation of Prof. Gregor Krisztian. “From the Street to the Sky” is a survey of the many places that lettering can be found in the urban environment—from manhole covers in the street to neon signage on the rooftops of buildings. …
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Author @ the Library presents: “Helvetica and the New York City Subway System,” with Paul Shaw

Middletown Road station (no. 6).

Mid-Manhattan Library, New York Public Library
6:30 pm, Monday, 23 May 2011
This visual lecture will show how the signs in the New York City subway system have evolved over the past forty-five years, from the first attempt by Unimark to create a coherent, cohesive and modular system in 1966 to its incarnation today.  The resulting story is more than a tale of a typeface; it is a look at the forces that …
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Paul Shaw and Jan Conradi: A Conversation about Design and the New York City Subway System

Strand Books
828 Broadway
New York City
Wednesday, 11 May 2011
7–8 pm
Unimark International, formed in 1965, was a new kind of design firm, one that sought to wed American marketing know-how with European modernist design. Over the course of a decade it transformed graphic design and corporate identity, creating a new paradigm of how design and business worked together. Among its major clients was the New York City Transit Authority for whom it created a new subway sign system between 1966 and …
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The Heritage of Printing: Treasures from the Archives of the Imprimerie Nationale

This is an early notice of what promises to be one of the seminal typographic exhibitions of 2011/2012.
In December 2011 The Grolier Club of New York will host an exhibition on the history of the French national printing establishment, the Imprimerie Nationale, arguably the most important printing house in Europe.  Drawn from the vast and comprehensive archives of the Imprimerie Nationale, the exhibition will document the significant influence of the press, not only on printing and the book arts, …
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