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.

Helvetica and the New York City Subway System: A Talk by Paul Shaw

Society of Printers Annual Meeting
The Club of Odd Volumes
77 Mt. Vernon Street
Boston, Massachusetts
Wednesday, 4 May 2011
(members only)
The Society of Printers is the oldest graphic arts organization in the United States. I will be speaking on Helvetica and the New York City Subway System at their annual meeting.


Ciao means both goodbye and hello in Italian. This is hello for Blue Pencil as part of my new website [nicknamed Shaw*] and goodbye for Blue Pencil as a standalone blog. This website gathers together all of my myriad activities under a single umbrella in a manner that makes clear how they all stem from my deep and abiding love of letters in all of their variegated forms and uses. It is about making letters, designing with them, studying …
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TDC Midtown South Walking Tours on May 10 and 12, 2011

Midtown South is the area between 42nd Street and 23rd Street. Some of it is familiar to tourists, but much of it is not. The two One Club tours will try to cover this area, if not from river to river, at least from Third Avenue to Ninth Avenue. The neighborhoods in this area are home to a variety of lettering styles, materials and techniques to see. These tours represent an opportunity to go beyond …
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TDC West Village Walking Tour on April 10, 2011

Last Spring the TDC New York City Lettering Tour valiantly tried to cover Soho and Greenwich Village—and failed. We had a great time in Soho and ran out of time (and good weather) before we could get to the Village. This April we will try again to see what lettering jewels (and junk) the West Village has to offer. If time allows, we will continue to the Gansevoort Meat Market district to see what has survived there from the area’s …
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Spoonbill and Sugartown, Booksellers

Paul Shaw, author of Helvetica and the New York City Subway System, and Abby Goldstein, book designer, will be appearing for a reading and book signing (with special Subway t-shirts for sale).
Friday, April 8, 2011 at 7pm
Spoonbill and Sugartown
218 Bedford Avenue
Brooklyn, NY
718 387-7322

Pasta, Wine and Serifs

You are invited to an illustrated talk by Alta Price and I about looking for lettering in Italy at the Type Directors Club on Wednesday, March 30 at 6 pm. The evening is free and there will be wine—but no pasta. And some serifs and some sans serifs. If you are curious about the Legacy of Letters tour this is your chance to see what all the fun and fuss is about. We hope to see you there.

You …
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2011 Legacy of Letters Tour of Northern Italy

The tour covers the Veneto and Emilia-Romagna regions of Northern Italy, from Parma to Venice. It focuses on lettering in all of its manifestations: inscriptions from ancient Rome to the Fascist era, Renaissance manuscripts and incunabula, the typefaces of Giambattista Bodoni, 19th-century Italian wood type and more. There will be informal conversations with several contemporary Italian calligraphers, typographers and graphic designers.  And, naturally, there will be opportunities to enjoy the great food and wine of these gastronomically rich regions. The …
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2011 Legacy of Letters Tour Sites in Italy

Wednesday | June 29
Introduction of tour leaders and participants. Information about hotels, meals, meeting times, train and bus tickets, museum tickets, proper dress in churches and other sacred sites, photography advice and regulations, rubbing methods and protocol, language advice, etc. Introduction to the history of Roman letters. Then group dinner and an opportunity to enjoy the city’s famous prosciutto and parmigiano.

Thursday | June 30
Biblioteca Estense · Museo Lapidario Estense
We begin the tour by taking …
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2011 Legacy of Letters Tour Registration

Tour Price
The price of the 8-day tour is $3950 ($3450 for students)*. This includes all hotels, breakfast, special dinners, buses and other ground transportation, museum and other admission fees. It does not include the cost of air travel to and from Italy or meals other than those specified above.
The price of the 3-day workshop is $500 ($450 for students). It includes all materials and a special dinner, but does not include lodging. Accommodations in Valdobbiadene (and transportation to and from …
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2011 Legacy of Letters Tour Leaders

Paul Shaw is widely known and respected as a guide to urban lettering. With Garrett Boge he co-founded and led the original Legacy of Letters tours of Rome, Florence and Tuscany from 1997 to 2000. On his own he has led regular walking tours of lettering in New York City since 2005 for the Type Directors Club and other organizations. He has also led similar tours of Boston, Buffalo, Atlanta and …
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Bodoni Is Not Bodoni: A First-Hand Look at Classical Typefaces

Paul Shaw
Thursday, March 24 and April 7, 2011
5:30–7:30 pm
Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Butler Library, Columbia University
Garamond No. 3 is not Garamont. Bauer Bodoni is not Bodoni. This two-session course is a first-hand exploration into finding out why these statements are true. It is a chance to look at the “real thing”, the sources of classical typefaces up close and in detail. Books printed in the typefaces of Nicolas Jenson, Francesco Griffo, Claude Garamont, Robert Granjon, William Caslon, John Baskerville, …
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2010 Legacy of Letters Highlights

A day-by-day photo album of the 2010 tour is available as a PDF that can be downloaded for free – click here.

Past Tour Testimonials

2010 Tour of the Veneto and Emilia-Romagna
“This was truly the tour of a lifetime. I’ve spent months in Italy, but on this trip I was introduced to numerous lettering and other aesthetic treasures that I otherwise would never have known about. We were treated to numerous helpings of Italian heaven thanks to Paul and Alta, both of whom know Italy very well. I can’t recommend the Legacy of Letters tours highly enough. Not to be missed!”
Lucia McCreery, typesetter and proofreader, …
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