Design

The first comprehensive biography of one of the most innovative designers of the 20th century

April 27, 2017

San Francisco's Letterform Archive, who we visited for the May issue of the magazine, is currently running a Kickstarter for a new book on design pioneeer William Addison Dwiggins. Dwiggins was among the most influential and innovative designers of the early twentieth century. He was a master calligrapher, type designer, illustrator, private press printer, and a pioneer of advertising, magazine, and book design. In short, he was the quintessential maker — fabricating his own tools, mastering traditional skills, inventing new techniques, and experimenting with design in areas as wide-ranging as modular ornament, stamps, currency, furniture, kites, marionettes, and theatrical sets and lighting. More than any of his contemporaries, Dwiggins united the full range of applied arts into a single profession: designer.

Despite this, a comprehensive biography of Dwiggins has never been published, and too few contemporary designers and design enthusiasts are familiar with the full scope and remarkable creativity of Dwiggins’s work.

W. A. Dwiggins: A Life in Design will offer an engaging and inspiring overview of the designer’s wide-ranging creative output and lasting impact on the graphic arts. Bruce Kennett’s careful research, warm prose, and inclusion of numerous personal accounts from Dwiggins’s friends and contemporaries portray not only a brilliant designer, but a truly likable character.

For more information and to support the project (only a day left!), visit the kickstarter.