Designing with Letters

In January I will be traveling to the Midwest to teach, first in Bloomington, Indiana and then in Chicago. The workshop at the School of Fine Arts, Indiana University, organized by Paul Brown and Tom Walker, is not yet determined. However, the workshops in Chicago have already been announced. They will both be on the topic of Designing with Letters. The Society of Typographic Arts, in conjunction with the School of Media Arts, Columbia College Chicago, is hosting a one-day …
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APHA Conference 2012 Talk

Inland Printer (July 1901). Cover design by Frederic W. Goudy (border and masthead) and W.A. Dwiggins (illustration)
At the Crossroads: Living Letterform Traditions
2012 American Printing History Conference
Columbia College Chicago, Center for Book and Paper Arts
October 12–13, 2012
I will be speaking at this year’s APHA Conference in Chicago (as part of Panel One between 9:45 am and 11 am on Saturday, October 13) on “The Roots of the Big Three: Goudy, Cooper, Dwiggins and the Frank Holme School of Illustration”. My talk is only …
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Gorey, Huerta and Di Spigna

For New York lettering enthusiasts or those who will be visiting the city this summer there are two unheralded exhibitions that are a must-see. The first is “Gorey Preserved” at Columbia University’s Rare Book and Manuscript Library (Butler Library, 6th floor, 114th Street and Broadway). It is on display until July 27. The other is “The Tony & Gerry Show” at Pratt Manhattan, GradComD Exhibition Space (144 West 14th Street, 7th floor). It ends August 9.Edward Gorey …
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Type Americana 2

Type Americana 2, a conference devoted to the history of American type design, will take place May 4–6 at the School of Visual Concepts in Seattle, Washington. It will include talks by Paul F. Gehl, Custodian of the John M. Wing Foundation at the Newberry Library, on Robert Hunter Middleton and Douglas McMurtrie, two of the key figures behind the type design program at Ludlow Typograph; Cathleen A. Baker on the Roycroft career of papermaker and paper historian …
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Helvetica and the New York City Subway System in New Paltz

At the invitation of Aleanna Lüthi-Garrecht, Arthur Hoener and Amy Papaelias, professors in the Art Department at SUNY New Paltz, I was invited to speak to their design students on Helvetica and the New York City Subway System on March 7.
Poster design by Aleanna Lüthi-Garrecht
The invitation gave me a great excuse not only to see an old friend (Aleanna and I met on one of the Legacy of Letters tours of Rome in the late 1990s), but …
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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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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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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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