About Paul Shaw

Paul Shaw is a letter designer and design historian. He is the recipient of many design awards as well as fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Smithsonian Institution. He currently teaches at Parsons The New School for Design and the School of Visual Arts.

Arbor, a Fresh Interpretation of Caslon Italian

Chester has released Arbor, a fresh interpretation of Caslon Italian, one of the most bizarre slab serif types of the 19th century. The design, originally created for the The New York Times Magazine, dispenses with the irrational logic of its …

Slab Happy: Trilby Reviewed

  Although the sans serif was originally a bastard offspring of the slab serif, the latter has been copying the former for the past 80 years. In the late 1920s and early 1930s the Egyptian slab serif was geometrized (e.g. …

It's Not Nostalgia: The Skill and Vision of Lowell Bodger

Lowell Bodger, who died this past January 26 at the age of 65, was a typographer, letterpress printer, planetary cartographer, and experimental filmmaker. A selection of his films (Wave Symmetries, 1971; Favorable Conditions, 1973; A Recent Animation, 1974 and others) …

Gotham and Moderne Sans Serifs

The letters that inspired Gotham are not unique to Manhattan or New York City. Similar, though not entirely identical, capitals can be found in cities across America and Europe. Beginning in the mid-1920s, they appeared first in posters (see the …

Ten Typefaces of the Decade

In 1998, in the middle of millennium-induced listmaking mania, I wrote a short piece for Letterspace, the newsletter of the Type Directors Club, on the “top 100 typefaces of all time.” The list was based on the historical, technological, or …

Acute Priori, Ctd

Marcus Leis Allion, co-designer of Acute Priori, reviewed in Hot Type (June 2010), has written to point out that the design was inspired more by the abstract/mathematical work of Swedish artist Oscar Reutersvärd (b. 1915) than by the illustrative work …

Priori Acute: A Twist on 19th Century Display Types

    Priori Acute Serif Designers: Jonathan Barnbrook, Marcus Leis Allion  Foundry: Emigre Fonts  Year: 2009  Formats: OpenType, Postscript Jonathan Barnbrook, one of the “bad boys” of type design in the 1990s, has mellowed. Priori Acute Serif, his newest font, …

Lettercentric: Russell Maret’s Books on Italian Lettering

Medieval in Padua (2008)  Published by Russell Maret New York: Swan & Hoop, 2008 44 pp. limited to 226 copies $250 8 colors; photos; letterpress http://russellmaret.com/ Russell Maret, a New York-based private press printer who has been making letterforms his …

Lettercentric: Type as Writing

— Type has always aspired to achieve the status of writing—to emulate its freedom, fluidity, and diversity of forms. In the past, type makers have tried to account for the variety in individual handwriting by allowing for a certain amount …