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Century Expanded: Paul Shaw on W.A. Dwiggins & Paper Promotion 1915–1935
June 3, 2014 @ 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
W.A. Dwiggins is best known for the typefaces he designed for Mergenthaler Linotype (now available through Monotype) and the books he designed for Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. However, when he was awarded the AIGA Gold Medal in 1929 it was for neither of those activities. It was for his work in advertising. The most important advertising work that Dwiggins did was for the papermaking industry in upstate New York and New England. From c. 1915 until the mid-1930s he did a range of design work for at least a dozen different paper companies, chief among them Strathmore Paper (now Mohawk Papers) and S.D. Warren (now Sappi). This talk will look at the crucial moment in the history of the papermaking industry when companies first began to aggressively market their wares and turned to Dwiggins and others in the new profession of graphic design to help them do that.
Paul Shaw is a designer and design historian. He teaches typography and calligraphy at Parsons School of Design and the history of graphic design at the School of Visual Arts. He is the co-author of Blackletter: Type and National Identity (1999) and the author of Helvetica and the New York City Subway System (2009). He has been working on a critical biography of W.A. Dwiggins for over thirty years. During that time he has written several articles and delivered nearly a dozen talks on various aspects of Dwiggins’ multifaceted career.