An American type designer, calligrapher and book designer, William Addison Dwiggins is often credited with coining the term “graphic designer”. Bruce Kennett, drawing from his new biography about the designer, will present an inspirational and exciting peek into W. A. Dwiggins’s work — all of it infused with the designer’s wit and joyful spirit. This design-driven historical subject matter is a joyful reminder of how designers can use their skills and voices to produce great work, inspire their colleagues and clients, embrace the unexpected and positively respond to challenges in our social and cultural climate. A man of his times, Dwiggins understood that humor and satire are effective vehicles for advocacy. Not only will you get a taste of this designer’s sense of humor, you’ll also see how Dwiggins, an educator at heart, maintained a fierce dedication to raising the standards of workmanship and design.
Presented as part of HOW Design Live.
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, captures the inspiring accomplishments and wit of this amazing artist.