Event—Public Programming

“The Best Penman of Our Age”: The Lettering of George Salter

Register

George Salter was a German-born designer who revolutionized book jacket design. What made his work so distinctive?

Hand-lettering appears in German.

Berlin Alexanderplatz, A. Döblin, 1929. Call number: Wing Modern MS Salter: Box 36, Folder 1124.

Hand-lettering appears in German.
Berlin Alexanderplatz, A. Döblin, 1929. Call number: Wing Modern MS Salter: Box 36, Folder 1124.

This program will be broadcast via Zoom on September 27. Jill Gage will be on hand for a live Q&A following the event. To register for this Zoom event, please visit the Caxton Club's website.

George Salter was a German-born designer, illustrator, and teacher. After emigrating to the US in 1934, he established himself as a talented and coveted book jacket designer—and the first designer in America to sign his covers. He worked closely with publishers ranging from Alfred A. Knopf to serial mystery magazines. His distinctive work remains highly collectible today.

Despite his success as a designer, Salter considered himself first and foremost a calligrapher. He was considered by many to be the best penman of the mid-twentieth century. His calligraphic skill is evident in the hand-lettering he did for nearly all his cover designs.

In this program produced by Chicago’s Caxton Club, Jill Gage, Custodian of the Newberry's John M. Wing Foundation on the History of Printing, will discuss the archive of Salter’s work held by the Newberry , focusing on the skillful and imaginative lettering that makes his work so distinctive.

This event is part of programming for A Show of Hands: Handwriting in the Age of Print. The exhibition is open September 9 through December 30, 2022.

Cost and Registration

This program is free and open to all.

Register

Support the Newberry

Your generosity is vital in keeping the library’s programs, exhibitions, and reading rooms free and accessible to everyone.

Make A Gift

Event—Exhibition

A Show of Hands: Handwriting in the Age of Print

Sep 09-Dec 30, 2022

Handwriting didn't disappear with the invention of the printing press. Or the typewriter. Or the Internet. It evolved.

Learn More