Archive is a repository for my writings (1980–2010) that predate the introduction of Shaw*.

“Stop Making Type”: The Quixiotic Quest of the National Board on Printing Type Faces

In 2007 I wrote an article for Print magazine (LXI:V) titled “Stop Making Type” about an organization called the National Board on Printing Type Faces and its doomed attempt in 1929/1930 to limit the number of new typefaces being produced. Since the article is not available on Imprint I am posting my original text and some images from the issue here. I am doing it because I have come across some additional material about the organization at the Newberry Library in …
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Fascism on the Facade (2004)

Once again, I have stumbled across an old article of mine online. It is “Fascism on the Facade” in Print LVIII:III May/June 2004, the 2004 European Design Annual. It can be found on the website (under Lesson Plans) of graphic designer Brian R. Williams as part of his course “Defeating the Ideal: Art and Propaganda, from the Third Reich to the CIA” (HNLA101). I am adding the PDF of the article here Fascism on the Facade-Shaw and also displaying the pages.

The images are …
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Book Reviews—Typeforms and Breaking the Rules

This review of Typeforms: A History by Alan Bartram (New Castle, Delaware and London: Oak Knoll Press and The British Library, 2007) and Breaking the Rules: The Printed Face of the European Avant Garde 1900–1937 by Stephen Bury, ed. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2007) appeared in the Journal of the Printing Historical Society New Series no. 12 (2008).
Typeforms: A History
Alan Bartram
London: The British Library and New Castle: Oak Knoll Press, 2007
In …
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Book Review—Typography Papers 8

Typography Papers 8
Modern Typography in Britain: Graphic Design, Politics, and Society
edited by Paul Stiff
with contributions from Matthew Eve, Robin Fior, Stuart Hall, Sally Jeffery, Robin Kinross, David Lambert, Petra Cerne Oven and Paul Stiff
London: Hyphen Press, 2009
Typography Papers, edited, designed and “prepared for press” by the Department of Typography & Graphic Communication at the University of Reading in England, has always been a somewhat misnamed journal as it has rarely stuck to the subject of typography. That is nowhere more evident in the …
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Book Review—Jan Tschichold, Designer: The Penguin Years

Jan Tschichold Designer: The Penguin Years. Jacket design by Geoffrey E. Matheson.
The idea for Blue Pencil began with my dissatisfaction with Jan Tschichold, Designer: The Penguin Years by Richard Doubleday. Upon realizing how flawed the book was, I wrote to the publisher to urge them to recall it from bookstores and fix the many grammatical, typographical and factual gaffes. I received no response. So, I reluctantly reviewed it for Print. However, due to space limitations, the review did not say everything I …
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From A to Big Apple

Cary Building (King & Kellum, 1857) 105–107 Chambers Street. Cast iron facade, including the lettering, by D.D. Badger’s Architectural Ironworks.
For nearly 30 years, I have been photographing lettering I see during the course of my daily ramblings in New York. Until last year, the process had been random, driven by the vagaries of where I was, what happened to catch my attention, and whether or not I had my camera—originally a heavy Nikon FE7 and later a lightweight Olympus—with …
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Art Deco New York in Letters: A Quick Tour

Looking for letters in New York City is different from looking for them in Rome, Paris and London and other European cities. Not only is New York’s history much shorter, but it is one of constant renewal as the old quickly makes way for the new. The rapid pace of construction and its attendant demolition has accelerated since 2001. It can be fairly said that New York is currently undergoing its most massive facelift since the 1920s and early 1930s. …
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