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What you will learn at CalRBS History of Type in August 2022—no. 50

I will be teaching the history of type at California Rare Book School (CalRBS) August 8–12, 2022. The 5-day intensive class will be based at the Letterform Archive in San Francisco. Along with lectures, discussions, and hands-on examination of typographic artifacts and materials at the Archive there will be field trips to other Bay Area institutions to look at books, broadsides, and more. The class will be small (7 to 12 people).
Here are 10 things you will …
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What you will learn at CalRBS History of Type in August 2022—no. 22

I will be teaching the history of type at California Rare Book School (CalRBS) August 8–12, 2022. The 5-day intensive class will be based at the Letterform Archive in San Francisco. Along with lectures, discussions, and hands-on examination of typographic artifacts and materials at the Archive there will be field trips to other Bay Area institutions to look at books, broadsides, and more. The class will be small (7 to 12 people).
Here are 10 things you will …
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What you will learn at CalRBS History of Type in August 2022—no. 16

I will be teaching the history of type at California Rare Book School (CalRBS) August 8–12, 2022. The 5-day intensive class will be based at the Letterform Archive in San Francisco. Along with lectures, discussions, and hands-on examination of typographic artifacts and materials at the Archive there will be field trips to other Bay Area institutions to look at books, broadsides, and more. The class will be small (7 to 12 people).
Here are 10 things you will …
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What you will learn at CalRBS History of Type in August 2022—no. 8

I will be teaching the history of type at California Rare Book School (CalRBS) August 8–12, 2022. The 5-day intensive class will be based at the Letterform Archive in San Francisco. Along with lectures, discussions, and hands-on examination of typographic artifacts and materials at the Archive there will be field trips to other Bay Area institutions to look at books, broadsides, and more. The class will be small (7 to 12 people).
Here are 10 things you will …
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What you will learn at CalRBS History of Type in August 2022—no. 7

I will be teaching the history of type at California Rare Book School (CalRBS) August 8–12, 2022. The 5-day intensive class will be based at the Letterform Archive in San Francisco. Along with lectures, discussions, and hands-on examination of typographic artifacts and materials at the Archive there will be field trips to other Bay Area institutions to look at books, broadsides, and more. The class will be small (7 to 12 people).
Here are 10 things you will …
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What you will learn at CalRBS History of Type in August 2022—no. 2

I will be teaching the history of type at California Rare Book School (CalRBS) August 8–12, 2022. The 5-day intensive class will be based at the Letterform Archive in San Francisco. Along with lectures, discussions, and hands-on examination of typographic artifacts and materials at the Archive there will be field trips to other Bay Area institutions to look at books, broadsides, and more. The class will be small (7 to 12 people).
Here are 10 things you will …
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Blue Pencil no. 48—One Hundred Books Famous in Typography, Part 9 [Fifty Typefaces Famous in Typography]

Note: When I began this dissection it was intended as a single post—even as it grew much longer than expected. However, I was forced to break it up into smaller chunks when I ran into an unexplained “failure error” when trying to save the draft one day. Rather than try to break up the dissection into equally sized posts based on word counts, I decided instead to make separate posts based on the divisions used in the Grolier Club exhibition …
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A Visit to the Meister Museum in Amsterdam

Karina Meister at the door to the Meister Museum. Photograph by Paul Shaw (2006).
The Meister Museum: A Very Private Wunderkammer
Introduction
I have known Karina Meister, a calligrapher/graphic designer/artist in Amsterdam, for nearly forty years. We first met in 1983 when she was living in the Kinkerbuurt neighborhood of the city, not far from the Vondelpark. In 1991 she moved to her present apartment in the Transvaalbuurt neighborhood. I don’t remember her first apartment very well, but her second one has fascinated …
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The Definitive Dwiggins no. 93—Laurance B. Siegfried

Laurance B. Siegfried was a first cousin of W.A. Dwiggins on his mother’s side. He was born February 18, 1892 in Montclair, New Jersey to Addison H. and Mary (née Hetrick) Siegfried. Laurance was the youngest—by over a decade and a half—of three children, the other two being Mary (born 1869) and Frederick (born 1876). A little over two years later, on April 17, 1894, his mother died. [1] Seventeen months to the day after that his father died …
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By the Numbers no. 2—Fat Faces in New England Cemeteries

This second installment of By the Numbers is devoted to examples of Fat Faces found on gravestones in cemeteries in Massachusetts and Maine. Fat Faces are neoclassical (didone) types in which the thick strokes have been made even heavier while the thin ones remain thin. They first appeared in England at the beginning of the 19th century. [1] Aimed at advertising and commercial printing, rather than book printing, they quickly spread to other countries, including the United States. Here are …
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Paper Is Part of the Picture no. 15—Strathmore Artists’ Series (1923)

This is one in a series of blog posts accompanying Paper Is Part of the Picture: Strathmore Paper and the Evolution of American Graphic Design 1892–2017, an exhibition that I have curated at The Opalka Gallery of The Sage Colleges in Albany, New York. The exhibition runs from October 3 to December 15, 2017.
4 Men & Strathmore envelope (1923). Design by Oswald Cooper. Photograph by Annie Schlechter.
The third (and last) of the Strathmore Artists’ Series was mailed out in …
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The Definitive Dwiggins no. 29 addendum—Where’s Oz?

After reading paragraphs 122 and 123 regarding the instructions for enumerators of the Twelfth United States census (1900), I decided to see if I could find another instance of someone counted twice. I had in mind Oswald Cooper (1879–1940), designer of the famous (or, depending on your view, notorious) Cooper Black , who had studied at the Frank Holme School of Illustration at the same time that Dwiggins did. Researching his life and work has—like that of Goudy, Updike, Cleland …
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The Definitive Dwiggins no. 3 addendum—Who was Charles Fulton Whitmarsh?

In The Definitive Dwiggins no. 3 post I included one (possibly two) uncredited designs by W.A. Dwiggins reproduced on a page of “trade-marks” from Applied Art by Pedro J. Lemos (1920), a book I stumbled across earlier this year while in the Bay Area to do research at the Letterform Archive. But I found the book while rummaging around at Black Oak Books in Berkeley with Stephen Coles. The title caught my eye as I am constantly trying …
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Addendum to Thoughts on Letterform Nomenclature

Ed Benguiat just let me know that his terminology chart is online at americanliteracy.com. There is a complete scan of Life with Letters as They Turned Photogenic by Edward Rondthaler (New York: Photo-Lettering, Inc., 1981). If you scroll to p. 183 you can find Ed’s chart. It is rotated, much reduced and lacking the subtle color of the original poster, but it is still legible—and thus functional. Thanks, Ed.

The Rchive no. 14—Superior Florists

Superior Florists (Manhattan). Photograph by Paul Shaw (2005).
Superior Florists, established in 1930, is one of the remaining floral and plant businesses in what used to be the thriving Flower District along Sixth Avenue south of Herald Square in Manhattan. The neon sign (script for “Superior” and sans for “Florist”) is dated to 1951 by Tom Rinaldi, author of New York Neon.

“Grab life by the typographic tail!”

There is still time to sign up for the 2013 Legacy of Letters Tour & Workshop at the early bird discounted price. Join Alta Price and me in Italy this summer and see how much fun you can have with letters. It is the experience of a lifetime.
Paul Shaw 
Alexander practicing Cyrillic calligraphy.
“This ten-day immersion in the world of Latin letterforms, in their native environment, was an unforgettable experience. It was such an amazing time, filled with lots of …
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