Monday, October 10, 2011

Lettering: Modern and Foreign, Part 1

Lettering: Modern and Foreign was designed and hand-lettered by Samuel Welo. The book was published in 1930 by Frederick J. Drake and Company. Welo produced two other books, The Studio Handbook (1927) and Trade Mark and Monogram Suggestions (1937). Select pages from The Studio Handbook, courtesy of J.J. Sedelmaier, can be viewed here. The dust jacket for Trade Mark and Monogram Suggestions is here; Dover Publications compiled some of those suggestions into 800 Art Deco Motifs and Monograms (a 2007 CD-ROM and book).

Around 1979 I found a copy of Lettering at Dauber & Pine, which was located at 66 Fifth Avenue in Manhattan; the bookstore's closing was reported in the New York Times. The space was absorbed by Parsons, The New School for Design. My copy of the book (9.125 by 11.75 inches / 23.18 by 29.85 centimeters) was used to the extent of falling apart; the spine was broken and black electrical tape was used to keep the covers and signatures together. The book was from the Mount St. Agnes Library (see title page) and made its way from Mount Washington, Maryland to the basement of Dauber & Pine.

From today to Friday, sixteen pages from Lettering will be posted each day. The question, “Who was Samuel Welo?”, will be answered in my profile of him on Saturday.

(Parts 2, 3, 4, and 5; Samuel Welo profile in part 6)

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