A Message from Steven Heller
Last November at the Designers and Books Festival in New York, Rob Saunders and Bruce Kennett participated in a panel on W. A. Dwiggins that was moderated by renowned design historian and author Steven Heller, who is also a major Dwiggins fan and wrote the foreword for this book. Along with Louise Fili, he collaborated with Dorothy Abbe to organize the 1986 exhibition of Dwiggins’s work at the International Typeface Corporation and wrote the catalogue for the show, Typographic Treasures: The Work of W. A. Dwiggins.
While in New York, we stopped by Steven’s office at the School of Visual Arts to continue the discussion about Dwiggins and this book. Steven remarked that ever since he became aware of Dwiggins he has wanted something that really documented what his contributions were, and yet until now no comprehensive study of the designer has been available. Steven, who had the good fortune to work closely with Dwiggins’s assistant, Dorothy Abbe, was also keenly aware that the essence of Dwiggins was more than the sum of his professional accomplishments: “The joy, the impishness that Dwiggins had came through in his work, and comes through in this biography. There was more to him than being a designer or a calligrapher or a writer. There was this total entity that was so engaging … and you kind of wish he was with you.”
It is not yet too late to order a copy of W. A. Dwiggins: A Life in Design. To entice you further, we offer this short clip from our conversation with Steven — who is himself, erudite, generous, and witty.