W.A. Dwiggins

Making the Pewter Shine

In the 1980s, I had the pleasure of spending considerable time in W.A. Dwiggins‘s studio in Hingham, Massachusetts. His books, drawings, marionette theater, proof press, and all things WAD were inspirations. I even got to hold the legendary Püterschein Pitcher, which was the veritable logo for his alter ego, Hermann Püterschein, and the various...

A Rugged Man's History of the Book in Verse

Margaret N. Hincks’s History of the Book, illustrated by W. A. Dwiggins (The Horn Book, 1944), is a curious mashup. It combines the author’s poem—tracing the evolution of the book from scribes of the “fertile . . . land of Egypt” to  Gutenberg, who “pursued his dream”—with poems and prose by others, including Exodus...

Digital Publishing Worrying You? Read This . . .

W. A. Dwiggins (1880–1956), the man who more or less gave us the term “graphic design,” had a biting wit, best expressed through his writing. He slyly and directly advocated the marked improvement in book design during the 1920s and 1930s and wrote much on the graphic arts, notably essays collected in MSS by...

WAD's Marionettes

When I was working on an exhibition of W.A. Dwiggins’ design (download keepsake here) with Louise Fili and Dorothy Abbe, the most enjoyable discoveries were his marionettes and basement theater in his studio in Hingham, Mass. Dwig or WAD designed everything from the light fixtures and shades to the tickets to the scenery to...