W.A. Dwiggins & Charles Skaggs' Work
New York publisher Alfred A. Knopf was an early patron
of Skaggs’, who worked for him for fifteen years designing books, bindings,
and book jackets. Through Knopf, Skaggs worked closely with W.A. Dwiggins,
who had evolved the company’s “house style” in the 1930s. They worked
together, and as Dwiggins’ health failed, Skaggs often completed Dwiggins’
roughly sketched designs.
Sidney R. Jacobs
Typed letter, signed. November 18, 1953
This letter from Sidney Jacobs of the publishing firm Alfred A.
Knopf refers to the sketch by W.A. Dwiggins (dated the day before)
for a new Borzoi device for Knopf’s series of college textbooks.
Dwiggins included notes for Skaggs, who would refine and complete
the design, since Dwiggins’ failing health prevented him from executing
the final drawing and lettering. Jacobs explains the device at the
bottom of the sketch: “Pity the Blind—is Dwig’s dry comment on the
fact that he ran into a twig and apparently injured one eye quite
severely. But apparently the other eye is in good enough shape so
that he can get some work done.”
|Of Plymouth Plantation
New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1952
Dwiggins hand-lettered the book jacket design for this work. The
book jacket reproduces that lettering as well as using Caslon type,
as specified by Dwiggins in the sketch.
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