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.

Legacy of Letters 2023—Museo Bodoniano

The Pilotta complex in Parma which houses the Museo Bodoniano. Photograph by Lauren Huber 2012.
One of the highlights of Legacy of Letters 2023 will be a morning at the Museo Bodoniano in Parma. I first visited the museum in 1991. It was the first stop on my first trip to Italy. I bypassed Rome, Florence, and Venice and headed straight for Parma. I spent three days at the Museo Bodoniano. Although Angelo Ciavarella was the director at the time, …
Continue reading

David Shields on Legacy of Letters

David Shields (Legacy of Letters 2012):
It is staggering to think this year is the 10th anniversary of my first Legacy of Letters trip! It was a marvelous way to see Italy, see letterforms in context, eat good food, and hang out with great people. I am surprised (though I suspect I shouldn’t be knowing Paul) by the impact that trip had on my thinking about typography and letterforms, and how much it changed the way I approach teaching typography …
Continue reading

Judith Mayer on Legacy of Letters

Judith Mayer (Legacy of Letters 2013):
My Legacy of Letters experience was unforgettable—more than just an amazing tour around Italy, expertly led by Paul and Alta. I met many generous artists; visited printshops, libraries, a printing museum, and an inscription museum; viewed Bodoni artifacts, Giotto frescoes, castles, fountains, piazzas, and even a [Carlo] Scarpa cemetery. I experienced more than I can list here. Culminating with a collaborative printing project at the Tipoteca, there were also the unexpected joys of traveling …
Continue reading

Lucia McCreery on Legacy of Letters

Lucia McCreery (Legacy of Letters 2010 and Legacy of Letters 2019):
These tours are not to be missed! The two I’ve been on were tremendously enriching and enjoyable. I would never have known about—let alone got to—most of those lettering and type shrines on my own, nor had such outstanding food and wine in primo Italian settings. The others on the tour were great people, and we could not have had a better leader than Paul Shaw.
Legacy of Letters …
Continue reading

“oooo – ahhhh!”—An old sign that caught our eye

G. Facco Meccanica Agricola-Industriale. Alexander Trubin is standing at the right. Photograph by Paul Shaw 2012.
Detail of G. Facco sign. Photograph by paul Shaw 2012.
When Maureen sent me her memory of the 2012 Legacy of Letters tour with the anecdote about an old sign, I was unable to recall it. However, in searching through unlabeled photographs from the tour taken by Patricia Vining, I found some for a business called G. Facco Meccanica Agricola-Industriale. It seemed to be what …
Continue reading

Maureen Hoffman on Legacy of Letters

Maureen Hoffman (Legacy of Letters 2012)

Such satisfaction to travel with companions that swoon equally over signage, typography, letterpress and the combinations thereof.
When I attended Legacy of Letters, we had a van, followed by a car, transporting all of us participants. Riding in the car through a little town in northern Italy, we all went “oooo – ahhhh!” at an old sign that caught our eye. “Darn. I wish we could have photographed that!”… Just up ahead, the van …
Continue reading

Scholarships for Legacy of Letters 2023

In 2022 Mark Simonson Studio and Occupant Fonts sponsored scholarships for designers under the age of 30. I am pleased to announce that Legacy of Letters will be able to offer several scholarships again this year due to the generosity of both firms and additional pledges of funds from Typotheque, Type Together, Jeremy Tankard, and a private individual.
This year I have raised the qualifying age to 35 to accommodate the educational and professional disruptions caused …
Continue reading

Letterforms Study Group—Fourth session 2 February 2023: Psychedelic Posters

The fourth Letterforms Study Group session was held on February 2, 2023 at Jack Rennert’s Gallery in Manhattan, one of the world’s leading poster dealers. The attendees were Marcos Baer, Patricia Belen, Patricia Childers, Greg D’Onofrio, Sam Henri-Gold, Earl Kallemeyn, Scott Santoro, Alex Tochilovsky, Beth Tondreau, and Carmile Zaino.
The fourth Letterforms Study Group session at Jack Rennert’s Gallery. From left to right: Marcos Baer, Earl Kallemeyn, Scott Santoro Sam Henri-Gold, Greg D’Onofrio, Patricia Belen, Paul Shaw, Patricia Childers, and …
Continue reading

Letterforms Study Group—Third session 12 January 2023: Color and Letters

Spread from A Grammar of Color by A.H. Munsell (Mittineague: The Strathmore Paper Company, 1921). Illustration by Helen Dryden. Photograph by Vincent Giordano. Image courtesy of Mohawk Paper Company.
The third Letterforms Study Group session was held on January 12, 2023 at the Rare Book & Manuscript Library of Columbia University. Our host was Jane Siegel, Librarian for Rare Books & Bibliographic Services. The attendees were Patricia Childers, Liz DeLuna, Sam Henri-Gold, Steve Kennedy, Claire Lukacs, Scott Santoro, Rebecca Lehman Sprouse, Beth …
Continue reading

Mad, Bad (but Good to Know): A survey of type specimens offline and online

Sonoma Plaza (Bear Flag Republic) from Historia: A Type Specimen (Berkeley, California: Emigre Fonts, 2010), pp. 20–21. Design by Rudy VanderLans.
Mad, Bad (but Good to Know): A survey of type specimens offline and online
Type@Cooper
13 February 2023
This is a list of the type specimens included in my Type@Cooper talk. Those that have been digitized and available online are marked in red. Where multiple digitized versions of specimens exist I have chosen either the one with the best visual quality or …
Continue reading

Legacy of Letters 2023—The Ambrosiana Library in Milano

Frontispiece from De bello Gallico by Julius Caesar (Biblioteca Ambrosiana MS A 243 inf).
On orientation day of Legacy of Letters 2023 there will be an option to visit the Biblioteca Ambrosiana in Milano. Lettering and type historian James Clough will join us. I asked James what is special about the Ambrosiana for type and lettering enthusiasts. He sent me these comments:
The Ambrosian Library
The Ambrosian Library (Biblioteca Ambrosiana) was founded by Cardinal Federico Borromeo in 1607. It is located …
Continue reading

Legacy of Letters 2023—The Trivulziana Library in Milano

 
Detail of Divina Commedia by Dante Alighieri (1337) (Biblioteca Trivulziana Cod. 1080), Written out by Francesco di ser Nardo da Barberino in a “minuscola cancelleresca”.
In the afternoon of the first day of Legacy of Letters 2023 there will be an option to visit the Biblioteca Trivulziana in Milano with lettering and type historian James Clough as our guide. As with the Braidense, I asked James why the Trivulziana was important for type enthusiasts. He responded with this note:
The …
Continue reading

Legacy of Letters 2023—The Braidense Library in Milano

Detail from All’Immortale Iperide Foceo broadside by Giambattista Bodoni (1781).*
In the morning of the first day of Legacy of Letters 2023 we will be visiting the Biblioteca Braidense in Milano with lettering and type historian James Clough as our guide. I asked James why the Braidense was important for type enthusiasts. He sent me this overview:

The Braidense library for type afficionados
During the eighteenth century Milan and the Lombardy and Veneto regions were under Austrian rule and in 1770 …
Continue reading

Letterforms Study Group—Second session 15 December 2022: Holiday Greeting Cards

Holiday card by Victor Trasoff (1952).
The second Letterforms Study group session took place on 15 December 2022 at the Herb Lubalin Center of Design and Typography at The Cooper Union. Curator Alex (Sasha) Tochilovsky graciously provided the meeting space again and also helped me sort through the Center’s collection of holiday greeting cards, the theme of the session. Although I had expected a large number of calligraphic cards, given Cooper Union’s longtime history of including calligraphy in its curriculum, we …
Continue reading

Tipo Cibo Vino (Legacy of Letters 2022)—Part 14: The binding bee

We organized a binding bee in New York in order to complete the books that were printed at the Tipoteca during Legacy of Letters Tipo Cibo Vino 2022. The bee took place the weekend of December 3 and 4, 2022 at Peter Kruty Editions in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. Erica Carras, Sonia Biancalani Levethan, Angelina Lippert, Claire Lukacs, Anita Merk, James Stroud, and Janine Wong joined Peter Kruty, Sayre Gaydos, and myself there. Sayre conceived the binding structure of the book …
Continue reading

Tipo Cibo Vino (Legacy of Letters 2022)—Part 13: Departure Day

Luggage from the Legacy of Letters participants outside the Villa Bolzonello awaiting the van to the train station in Treviso and Aeroporto Marco Polo.

July 19, 2022 | Departure Day
With Cooking Day, Legacy of Letters Tipo Cibo Vino 2022 came to an end. Today everyone scattered, either to continue traveling in France and Italy; or back home to England, Canada, and the United States. But before that happened, James Stroud of Center Street Studio displayed the a–z portfolio of letters …
Continue reading