nancy sharon collins's blog

I am writing to ask anyone interested in engraving, and those who participate in "social media" to help spread the word about my new kickstarter project to fund the West Coast book tour for The Complete Engraver.

The rewards are pretty juicy:

- Jessica Hische's new font, Minot (Jessica's a young, hot design diva)
- Be a member of the VIP team for the engraving day at the International Printing History Museum in carson, CA
- Beta test and be the first 5 to get the new engraving app being developed
- Get the first ever engraving app we are developing after in launches
- Engraved, custom monogram notes.

The two fonts developed by Monotype based on old engraver's lettering styles were given honorable mention on Stephen Coles'

JMC and Feldman Engraver are based on Masterplate styles from the American stationery engraver's industry, and were developed by Steve Matteson and Terrance Weinzeirl, of Monotype. Go team!

Both fonts are FREE!

These fonts were made possible for the launch of The Complete Engraver by this writer.

The New York Times covers Nancy Sharon Collins’ The Complete Engraver, her book about all things engraved (though its written as if both MOMA and Clinique are active clients—which they are not—correction forthcoming ... ).

Help support the book tour (2 days remaining), it underwrites a four city, east coast book tour, commencing in September when The Complete Engraver hits book shelves.

“The Complete Engraver” is now up on Mohawk Fine Paper's Felt & Wire:

Might anyone have any idea how/where I could get help identifying in what year this ATF brochure was published? The back cover, pictured below, lists their offices, which, I would think, might help identify the year. Where would I find a chronology of what offices ATF had open in what cities for given years?

[Guest editor: Tamye Riggs]

The Sweet collection is composed of typefaces based on the engraver’s lettering styles that came into fashion at the beginning of the twentieth century. The collection is anchored by Sweet Sans, Mark van Bronkhorst’s interpretation of the engraver’s sans serif (kin to the drafting alphabets popularized in the early 1900s).

A type designer based in the San Francisco Bay Area, Van Bronkhorst had long been a fan of these historic faces, many of which had all but disappeared from use. A few cuts of the engraver’s sans style existed in digital form, including Sacker’s Gothic (Monotype Imaging) and Engraver’s Gothic (Bitstream), but these interpretations were somewhat limited in their scope.

Engraving—Letterpress' Shy Sister

Thursday, June 16
Type Directors Club

Commercial engraving for print has an illustrious history as a vital technique for graphic design and typography. Engraving is a fluid, free-hand expression restricted only by the perimeter of the surface upon which an engraving is worked. The exquisite beauty and gracefulness of arcs and shading inherent in the engraved line is unparalleled. For centuries prior to the digital age, engraving was the dominant methodology for teaching and innovation in lettering, and especially for calligraphy.

Engraving workshop this Friday. This is a breezy overview of what is contemporary, commercial "engraving".

Friday, March 18 @ 6:00pm
Loyola University New Orleans
Media Room 1
Monroe Library

(This workshop was also recently given at)
Tuesday, March 1 @ 5:00pm
Southeastern Louisiana University)

Each workshop will include:

• what is engraving and why do we love it.
• historic specimens of weird and fantastic engraving.
• contemporary applications for engraving.
• how to prepare art for engraving, and the various kinds of "engraving".
• how to engrave...
• ...or, how to work with an engraver (so you just have to design and leave the engraving to somebody else.)

Posted earlier this week, a new monogram story including our copper photo-engraved plates, hand cut, 1/2" steel dies and sets of engraved monogram notes.

Our copper-engraved monograms are created in Illustrator based on a rudimentary gridded template that had been converted by an engraver from the original pantograph Masterplate system that goes back to the 1930s.

Notice that some of the monogram styles pictured in the (fuzzy—sorry, hand held iPhone) photo above are the very styles in the letterpress types at the beginning of the article.

This image was captured yesterday by my nephew's wife at the Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart's Washington D.C. rallies:

Its nice to see that type has made it into the political mainstream (though, I personally am quite fond of Times New Roman.) Here's an article on the event though, woefully, they did not cover the font moment.

Humorous resume by Herb Lubalin as published in the 1966 newsletter, "Thumbnail", Art Directors and Designers (ADDA) of New Orleans,

This delightful memory was recently discovered in the archives of AIGA New Orleans. ADDA was the forerunner of AIGA New Orleans.

Saturday, October 16 at 2:00 pm
Session IV, Panel 3

“Engraving: Letterpress’s Shy Sister”

The American Printing History Association
35th Annual Conference
Corcoran College of Art + Design
Corcoran Gallery of Art, 500 Seventeenth St. NW
Washington, DC

(This presentation was first given at ATypeI in Dublin, September, 2010,

This just in from Mohawk Fine Papers, Felt & Wire:

"[Tom Biederbeck] Nancy Sharon Collins thinks the time has come to revive a useful asset for our letter library: mourning stationery. Collins, a designer, researcher and writer about paper and print, says mourning stationery was intended to help the bereaved adapt to a new role in society. I asked her about her interest, how mourning stationery functioned graphically, and how it might have relevance for our time."

I am looking for quotes about the definition of typography to use in a book.

I am pretty sure someone coined the phrase, "words we see" but can not find the citation or author. Any and all such quotes about what is typography would be appreciated. And, I will credit both the original author and who has helped me by posting it!

Along with technology, the tradition for store-bought notes of sentiment are ever changing, read all about it on Mohawk Fine Paper's Felt & Wire news blog

(And, you can purchase this amazing, hand engraved "Thank You" card here:

New article about what is engraving for print application, and, specifically, for the stationery trade in the U.S.

FLOOD BOOK, becomes the winner of the 2009 AIGA New Orleans Design Award for experimenting and social relevance.

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Funky Fifties Type

Engraved cocktail invitation type taken from a vintage invitation and re-purposed:

While researching the International Correspondence School recently, I was reminded of the odd-ball J.D. Salinger short story about a young man reduced by sad financial circumstances to take a job as a correspondence art course instructor, "De Daumier-Smith’s Blue Period":

I was researching the correspondence school to find out from where this technical text book came:

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The Doctrinaire Now Available Online

An infrequently occurring newsletter regarding engraving and all that pertains to social stationery.

In Issue Number Five read all about … incredible engraving from New Orleans c1862 … where do monograms come from … what to do when a friend has suffered a loss … mash notes from the real Mad Men era … what to do to get that job.

Since its inception in the Dumbo area of Brooklyn in 2003, The Doctrinaire has been produced on Mohawk Superfine paper, a paper upon which we been engraving since since 1997.

Now available on Mohawk Fine Papers curated shop,

Including little press proofs of vintage, hand engraved dies, prints of hand-lettered alphabets and original poetry as well as demonstrations of hand engraving by the Center for the Lettering Arts at Mystic Blue Signs.

Our table will be at Lazziza, 2106 Chartres Street, from about 10:00am to 6:00pm.

Yvette Rutledge, master typographer, sign painter and, you guessed it engraver, will be demonstrating the unbelievable art of engraving with nothing but a piece of copper and a graver.

I'll have specimens from my archives and a slideshow on my computer of fantastic engraved works of type from the Harry Ransom Center, including pieces from George Bickham, the elder's "Museum of Arts" where he went wild and crazy with his art (the graver).

"Need to Know" section of Vogue magazine's online zine by Stephanie LaCava and edited by Virginia Tupker,

This features re-purposed, vintage, hand engraved dies. They are goofy and some with nifty old type.

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