Bruce Kennett’s W. A. Dwiggins: A Life in Design is now printed and soon ships to backers around the world. Join us in New York to celebrate Letterform Archive’s first publication. (Events in Boston and San Francisco will be announced soon.)
Dwiggins (1880-1956) left a significant mark on the fields of type design, graphic design, and puppetry, but was also deeply interested in calligraphy, illustration, writing, kite-making, furniture design, and theatrical set design. He was the quintessential maker, and suffused an unmistakable joie de vivre into everything he did. The large-format book – 496 pages and over 1200 illustrations, with many examples of Dwiggins’s work reproduced at actual size – is the first comprehensive biography of this major artist ever to be published.
On stage at the Type Director’s Club: Steven Heller, Bruce Kennett, and Rob Saunders. Steven will lead a wide-ranging discussion about Dwiggins and the creation of this important book, and the panel will welcome questions from the audience.
Steven Heller co-chair of SVA NYC’s MFA Design / Designer As Author + Entrepreneur program, is the author, coauthor, or editor of over 170 books. He writes “The Daily Heller” for Print Magazine and is a 1999 AIGA Medalist and the 2011 recipient of the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum National Design Award for “Design Mind.” His most recent book, with Greg D’Onofrio, is The Moderns: Midcentury American Graphic Design (Abrams Books, 2017).
Book designer, photographer, and teacher Bruce Kennett lives in rural New England. After earning a B.A. in humanities and working as an architect and printer, he moved to Austria to study calligraphy and book design with Friedrich Neugebauer, and later translated Neugebauer’s The Mystic Art of Written Forms. During the 1980s, he was the managing director of Maine’s renowned Anthoensen Press, and since then has maintained his own studio working with clients such as the Folger Shakespeare Library, Boston College Law School, the Grolier Club, L.L. Bean, and the Mount Washington Observatory. In the peaceful surroundings of his country studio, Bruce designs illustrated books and exhibition graphics, and makes large-scale murals of his photographs.
Bruce has collected the work of W. A. Dwiggins since 1972, and has been writing and lecturing about him since 1980. His comprehensive biography, W. A. Dwiggins: A Life in Design (forthcoming from Letterform Archive), captures the inspiring accomplishments and wit of this amazing artist.
Rob Saunders, Letterform Archive’s Curator and Publisher, is a designer, teacher, publisher, and management consultant, who has collected graphic design and letterforms for over 40 years. Rob began his career teaching at The School of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston and Tufts University, while serving freelance clients and agencies, before founding a book publishing enterprise that included Alphabet Press (graphic design), Picture Book Studio (children’s books), and Rabbit Ears Books (book/audio packages), which was eventually acquired by Simon & Schuster. Prior to founding Letterform Archive he served as a creative and marketing consultant with clients in the hospitality, technology, and financial industries.