Letterform Archive Dwiggins

Surprised no one has mentioned it here, and ICYMI, everyone’s friend Bruce Kennett’s biography of W.A. Dwiggins, over a decade in research and writing, and photographing the most amazing array of graphic design, has launched on Kickstarter.

If you like type design, typography, lettering, calligraphy, science fantasy and critical writing, or even marionettes, you need to get a copy of the first comprehensive illustrated biography of the guy who coined the term “Graphic Designer” when your great-grandfather was still in short pants.


Heck, Paul Shaw has even thrown down for a copy.

If you’d like to see some of what it took to set most of the deluxe portfolio in several of WADs own faces, check it out here:


If you’re on twitter, follow @WADwiggins for lots of inspirational images.


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Funny thing is that in a very general sense WAD’s designs didn’t catch on so much in the UK and maybe one might also say that of Europe generally. Perhaps that’s a compliment is a sense that they are often ‘American’ in flavour. There is,
or was before computers, a definite difference in typographic taste either side of the pond, tho’ I couldn’t define it, nor say why. After all we share type dimensions, proof correction marks, the lay of case and so forth. (And microfiche standards)

Perhaps is shows the influence of England’s first well know printer, William Caxton, who printed most of his books in a script type which we now refer to as Old English.