Chicago Style: Typography and the City | Newberry

Chicago Style: Typography and the City

A Discussion with Paul F. Gehl and Tanner Woodford, and a Holiday Card-Making Workshop
Saturday, December 1, 2018

10 am to noon

Panel Discussion in Ruggles Hall; Card-Making Workshop in Baskes and Rettinger Halls

Free; very limited space. Registration required.
Open to the Public

Explore the aesthetic and technological dimensions of typography and book design in Chicago, with an in-depth look at the Newberry’s collection of type specimens, book designs, and advertising.

9:30 - 11:30 am Display of Materials from the Archives

ITW Seminar Room (just west of Ruggles Hall)

On view will be examples from Chicago’s rich contributions to the history of typography.

10 am Discussion

Ruggles Hall

Paul F. Gehl, Curator Emeritus at the Newberry, and Tanner Woodford, Executive Director of the Chicago Design Museum, will provide historical depth to what we utilize every day: the fonts on our computer. What is a font, and how did it come into being? What role did Chicago play in font design?

To answer these questions, Woodford and Gehl will describe materials from the Newberry collection, including from the papers of designer and calligrapher Raymond F. Daboll; type designer Oswald Cooper, whose “Cooper Black” became the largest selling single type face in the late 1920s and 1930s; commercial lettering artist James Hayes; designer and print historian Douglas McMurtrie; graphic designer Robert Hunter Middleton; and printer and commercial artist Will Ransom.

11 am Holiday Card-Making Workshop

Baskes and Rettinger Halls

Overseen by staff from the Chicago Design Museum, audience members will have the opportunity to create holiday cards from words, letterforms, images, and handwriting reproduced from the collections discussed earlier.

Download a PDF flyer for this event to post and distribute.

Please note that space is limited and only those registered will be admitted to the card-making workshop.

This program is part of Art Design Chicago, an exploration of Chicago’s art and design legacy, an initiative of the Terra Foundation for American Art with presenting partner The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation.

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Cost and Registration Information 

Free and open to the public. Seating will be extremely limited due to the hands-on nature of the event, so all participants must register in advance. Register online using this form by 3 pm Friday, December 1, 2018.

Doors open half an hour before the program begins, with first-come, first-served seating for registered attendees. Questions? Contact us at or 312-255-3610.