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William Addison Dwiggins Dorothy Abbe, Bruce Kennett

William Addison Dwiggins

Stencilled Ornament and Illustration: Expanded Edition

Dorothy Abbe, Bruce Kennett

Details: Paperback
Size: 6.75 X 9.93 IN
Pages: 24
Color: 120
Publication Date: 09/29/2015
Rights: World
ISBN: 9781616893750

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There has never been anyone in the design world like William Addison Dwiggins (1880-1956). The first American to call himself a graphic designer, he applied his prodigious talents in the fields of typography, calligraphy, illustration, and even puppeteering--a more fitting title might have been Renaissance man. He is best known for his book designs, which combine his expertise in calligraphy, use of stencils, and typography. Very little has been published on Dwiggins, until now. The first of several planned volumes on his incredible legacy, this reprint of Stencilled Ornament & Illustration includes the original book, hand-set in an experimental Linotype face he designed, along with stencils and plates illustrating a dizzying array of graphical elements. A new introduction by Bruce Kennett shows how Dwiggins used ornaments, rules, and other elements in his final book and jacket designs. Originally published in a letterpress edition of 120 copies, this important book introduces the unique genius of Dwiggins to a broader audience.

  • Dwiggins is considered by many to be the greatest book designer of all time, yet there is nothing currently in print on his designs
  • In addition to the 1979 letterpress edition, the Friends of the Boston Public Library published a paperback facsimile edition in 1980
  • The U.S. Postal Service will be issuing a commemorative stamp honoring Dwiggins in 2016

Dorothy Abbe was an assistant to Dwiggins for several years up until his death in 1956, and then served as the overseer of his collected works until her death in 1999

Editorial Reviews

Illustration Magazine

This important book introduces the unique genius of William Addison Dwiggins to a broader audience.


Typography nerds and Dwig's fans will savor this Princeton Architectural Press masterpiece.