W. A. Dwiggins: The Experimental Type Designs
Dwiggins (1880–1956) spent the last three decades of his long career enraptured with type design. Informed by his long years of experience working as a calligrapher, illustrator, and advertising designer, Dwggins often found the initial spark for his designs in historic models, but made his finished types very much his own. His fruitful relationship with Mergenthaler Linotype resulted in the production of five typefaces, plus the suite of Caravan ornaments, but these constitute only the minority in the grand total of his ideas.
Bruce Kennett, author of the first comprehensive biography of Dwiggins (Letterform Archive, 2017), will guide us through the landscape of Dwiggins’s lesser-known designs — quirky explorations, trials, and false starts, none of which made it to full commercial release at Linotype. In addition to WAD’s many types intended for slug composition, Bruce will present Dwiggins’s work for typewriter manufacturers, condensed headline types for newspapers, paste-up headletter alphabets for magazines, music notation, and a kaleidoscopic array of decorated initials.
The Herb Lubalin Lectures are recorded and made available here and on Vimeo with the generous support of Hoefler&Co.