Items available for purchase. Please note: U.S. shipping costs will be added in the PayPal checkout. For International customers, please contact me before purchasing for shipping and handling costs as international mail can be quite expensive.

  • Page 1 of 2
  • 1
  • 2
  • >

Demystifying the Ruling Pen

by Paul Shaw. Excerpt from Letter Arts Review vol. 13, no. 2 (1996). 27 pp.; 52 images (in black-and-white and color); page design by Rick Cusick.

“Demystifying the Ruling Pen” is a lengthy article I wrote for Letter Arts Review vol. 13, no. 2 (1996), pp. 10–22 and 41–54. Although the use of the ruling pen and similar tools such as folding pens has exploded in the past twenty-five years, the article remains the most important one on the subject. It explains the history of the ruling pen as an artistic tool rather than part of the kit of an engineering or architectural draftsman, discusses different techniques for using the tool, and provides samples of work by a range of contemporary American, British and European calligraphers. This is a PDF made from a scan of the published article.

$7 (no shipping)

Philip Grushkin: A Designer’s Archive

by Paul Shaw. New York: Glenn Horowitz Bookseller, Inc., 2013. Designed by Kind Company.

Philip Grushkin (1921–1998) was a calligrapher, book jacket designer and book designer. He studied calligraphy and book design under George Salter at Cooper Union, graduating in 1941. After a stint in the United States Army as a cartographer during the war, he set up as a freelance book jacket designer in New York. In 1956 Grushkin became an assistant book designer to Abe Lerner at World Publishing. Two years later he moved to Harry N. Abrams, Inc., the pioneering art book publishers, where he became art director and eventually vice president. The most famous book he designed while at Abrams was The History of Art by H.W. Janson (1962). Grushkin left Abrams in 1969 and spent the remainder of his life as a freelance book designer and publishing consultant.

This catalogue of the Philip Grushkin archives contains an essay on Grushkin’s life and career and a generous helping of images of his work as a book jacket designer, including roughs, comps and mechanicals. The archives have been acquired by the Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Columbia University.


Legacy of Letters T-Shirt

Legacy of Letters T-shirt with logo in Spencerian script. Handlettered by Tony Di Spigna; digitized by C.J. Dunn; screenprinted by Ink Brigade (Portland, Oregon) who miraculously held the hairlines. White ink on asphalt gray. 100% cotton. American Apparel. Sizes XL, L, M and S. Contact Paul Shaw with your size request after your purchase. This shirt is out-of-print. 


A Chronology of the Lettering Arts from 1850 to 2000: A Work in Progress

by Paul Shaw. Alphabet vol. 25, no. 3 (Spring 2000) and Scripsit vol. 24, nos. 1 and 2 (Summer 2000). 64 pages; 8.25 × 11 inches; 13 images (B&W); paperback; designed by Paul Shaw. Out of Print.

A dense guide to the history of lettering since the middle of the 19th century. Includes lists of books, magazines, articles, exhibitions, conferences, films, and events. There is also a separate list of key figures. An essential source for anyone wishing to research modern lettering, calligraphy and stonecarving.

A Chronology of the Lettering Arts from 1850 to 2000: A Work in Progress: The Pictorial Sequel

by Paul Shaw. Alphabet vol. 26, no. 2 (2001) and Calligraph vol. 23, no. 2 (2001). 64 pages; 8.25 × 11 inches; 230 images. (B&W); paperback with full color cover; designed by Paul Shaw.

A visual companion to A Chronology of the Lettering Arts from 1850 to 2000  with corrections and additional information.


Blackletter: Type and National Identity

New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 1998. Edited by Peter Bain and Paul Shaw with essays by Lawrence Mirsky, Philipp Th. Bertheau, Christopher Burke, Philipp Luidl, Yvonne Schwemer-Scheddin and Hans Peter Willberg. 72 pages; 107 images (B&W); set in Stempel Garamond; paperback; designed by Stephanie Reyer and Mindy Lang.

The monograph accompanying the ground-breaking 1998 exhibition of the same name at Cooper Union has been a must-have item for anyone interested in blackletter type.


Blackletter: Type and National Identity – Special double issue of Printing History

Special double issue of Printing History 38/39 vol. XIX, no. 2 and vol. XX, no. 1 (1999). Edited by Peter Bain and Paul Shaw. 80 pages; 172 images (B&W); set in Schneidler Medieval; paperback; designed by Peter Bain and Paul Shaw.

This scarce catalogue of the 1998 Cooper Union exhibition is as essential, if not more so, than the monograph. OUT OF PRINT November 2020.

The Calligraphic Tradition in Blackletter Type

by Paul Shaw. Scripsit vol. 22, nos. 1 & 2 (Summer 1999). 48 pages; 156 images (B&W); set in Trajanus; paperback; designed by Paul Shaw and Alessandro Colizzi.

This is the final part of the blackletter trilogy. Out-of-print; a PDF is available.

$10 (no shipping)

Sans Serif and Other Experimental Inscribed Lettering of the Early Renaissance

by Nicolete Gray. Motif 5 (1960) expanded reprint edited by Paul Shaw. Seattle and New York: Legacy of Letters, 1997. 14 pp. plus a center gatefold and cover gatefold; 11 images (B&W); paperback 6 × 9 inches; set in Sabon; designed by Paul Shaw.

An updated reprint of Nicolete Gray’s seminal article on 15th c. sans serif lettering published as a promotional vehicle for The Florentine Set of typefaces.


Alphabet vol. 26, no. 1 (Fall 2000) [F.H.E. Schneidler Der Wassermann issue]

Essay by Georgiana Greenwood. Edited by Paul Shaw. 32 pages; 32 illustrations (B&W); set in Schneidler Medieval; designed by Paul Shaw.

This issue of Alphabet is a sampler of work from F.H.E. Schneidler’s rare four-volume portfolio Der Wassermann.


Alphabet vol. 26, no. 3 (Spring 2001) [the Gerrit Noordzij issue]

by Gerrit Noordzij, edited by Paul Shaw. 32 pages; 51 illustrations (B&W). Also contains an interview with Hermann Zapf by Katharina Pieper; set in Sudum and Tret; designed by Gerrit Noordzij.

This issue of Alphabet is a collection of essays by famed Dutch typography teacher Gerrit Noordzij that are unavailable elsewhere.


Werner Schneider Schriftkunstler

by Paul Shaw. 32 pages; 8.5 × 7 inches; 35 images (6 in color); set in Schneider Antiqua; paperback; designed by Michael Clark.

The only monograph on German calligrapher and type designer Werner Schneider. Out-of-print; a PDF edition with additional images in color is available. 

$10 (no shipping)

Roman Capitals: Five Itineraries in Rome

by Silvano Fassina, trans. Judyth Smith and Paul Shaw. Seattle and New York Legacy of Letters, 1997 containing “Scritturea e comunicazione visiva” by Giovanni Lussu, “Memoria delle lettere romane” by James Mosley, and “Maiuscole romane. Cinque itinerari per le strade di Roma” by Silvano Fassina. First edition of a special double issue of Calligrafia (1995) edited by Kathy Frate, Giovanni Lussu, Anna Ronchi, Daniele Turchi and Mauro Zennaro. Edition of 1000 copies, 72 pages; 2 maps; 65 photographs (B&W) 9.5 × 6.25 inches (oblong); paperback designed by Garrett Boge.

A compact guide to lettering sites in Rome covering material from Ancient Rome to Fascist Rome of Benito Mussolini. This edition has been supplemented by an English translation, maps and a short guide to key letterforms.


Letters from New York 2 (2006)

“Looking for Letters in New York: A Tale of Surprise and Dismay” by Paul Shaw. 80 pages; 5.25 × 8.5 inches; 83 images (B&W); paperback; designed by Christopher Calderhead.

This single essay issue of Letters from New York is the only available publication on the environmental lettering of the metropolis. A number of the signs are no longer extant.


Helvetica and the New York City Subway System: The MIT Press

by Paul Shaw. Cambridge, Massachusetts and London: The MIT Press, 2011.

This is the acclaimed account of the tortuous path that led to Helvetica becoming the typeface of the New York City subway system.


Helvetica and the New York City Subway System Poster

Poster for 2011 talk to Tulsa Art Directors Club on Helvetica and the New York City Subway System; 2 colors; heavy paper; designed by Paul Shaw.