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.

Review: Ten Years of Tipoteca Italiana

— Paul Shaw teaches calligraphy at Parsons School of Design and the history of type at the School of Visual Arts. This June, he is leading a lettering tour of Italy that will include a weekend at the Tipoteca. For …

Letter Centric: Thoughts on Spencerian Script

— A year ago, in an Eye magazine feature entitled “Cult of the Squiggly,” Steven Heller complained about the overabundance of embellishment in design “spiraling out of control.” He has now jumped on the bandwagon as the co-author with Gail …

Remaindered: Typography Papers 8

— Typography Papers, edited, designed and “prepared for press” by the Department of Typography & Graphic Communication at the University of Reading in England, has always been a somewhat misnamed journal, considering that it has rarely stuck to the subject …

Diotima Classic

Diotima has become a forgotten face in the digital age. Originally made as foundry type by D. Stempel AG, it was a light design that, without the aid of ink squeeze, seemed too delicate when converted to photo and then …

Stereo Types

You might see it every day and never notice, but there it is, on your takeout box of Chinese food, on your morning coffee cup, or on the cover of a favorite book or album: “ethnic type,” lettering or type …

Empire State Building

Just as Trajan signifies the Roman Empire, Broadway signifies Art Deco. The typeface—designed by Morris Fuller Benton for American Type Founders in 1927—is authentic, but it has become a cliché, used by numerous landlords to tart up their Art Deco–era …

Flexion

In the late ’70s, John Langdon discovered that he could manipulate letters to form words that read the same from the right and the left. He has since carved out a strong career as a designer and letterer specializing in …

Eurostile Next

In 1952, the Nebiolo foundry in Turin, Italy, released Microgramma, an unusual sans serif. A titling typeface (which thus had no lowercase), it was designed by Alessandro Butti (1893–1959), the foundry’s type director, with the assistance of Aldo Novarese (1920–95). …

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Liber

Liber is yet another French Oldstyle face, but not—thankfully—one based on the work of Garamond or Granjon. Instead, it is derived from the typeface in a 1574 book by Venetian printer Giordano Ziletti. Liber’s designer is Daniel Lanz of Schaffhausen, …

Dangerous Curves

  Review by Paul Shaw — This is the fourth such book on logos and fonts that Young has produced since 1993, and the design and approach are familiar: a short description of the client and design brief followed first …