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Laurance B. Siegfried

Laurance B. Siegfried, (1892–)

Goudy Award Winner 9, 1977

Laurance B. Siegfried is the fourth generation of his family to be injected with printer's ink. It was during his undergraduate years at Harvard University (from which he received his A.B., cum laude, in 1913) that he took advantage of the fact that his cousin, William A. Dwiggins, maintained a studio at 69 Cornhill in Boston.

On weekends at the Dwiggins home in Hingham, Mass., the cousins collaborated in various activities, including publication of a mini-magazine The Fabulist, of which the first two issues were hand-set and printed on a hand press. The third, and final, number was entirely hand-lettered by Dwiggins and printed at the private press of Carl Purington Rollins, Printer to Yale University. This little periodical is now a much-sought Dwiggins' item.

In 1919, following his naval service in the first world War as e.o. of a sub, chaser stationed in European waters, Mr. Siegfried again affiliated himself with Bill Dwiggins, this time in the production of one of the monumental spoofs in American publishing. The pair produced a pamphlet entitled An Investigation Into the Physical Properties of Books, which satirized the then current manufacturing processes in the printing of books. One result of this publication was that Dwiggins began involving himself more with book design than with advertising typography in which he had established his reputation. He emerged as one of the great artists of the book of this century.

Mr. Siegfried, at the same time, launched his own distinguished graphic arts career, during which he maintained connections with Heintzemann Press and Brad Stephens &: Co.-both of Boston-and with the Bartlett-Orr Press in New York.

He also did public relations work for American Type Founders Company and Mergenthaler Linotype Company. He became acquainted with Melbert B. Cary, Jr., President of Continental Typefounders Association, for which firm he designed type specimen catalogs.

In 1929 he was appointed Managing Editor of Advertising &: Selling magazine, and in 1930 he became Editor of The American Printer, a position which he held for the next decade. At AP he initiated numerous changes which made the already well-known printing magazine the most innovative periodical serving the graphic arts. Aside from the then unique approach of using spiral binding for each issue, Mr. Siegfried changed the typographic format each month in order to introduce the new types issuing from the manufacturers and to demonstrate also the design trends of the era.

About the time he assumed the editorship of The American Printer, he wrote a textbook for the United Typothetae of America, entitled Typographic Design in Advertising.

It was during his tenure as Editor of AP that Siegfried established his reputation as a lecturer on typography and as a juror in numerous exhibitions of printing. He served on scores of industry committees and became a member of the Board of Directors of the American Institute of Graphic Arts, and its Vice President.

Mr. Siegfried left publishing in 1940 to accept an appointment as an Associate Professor at Syracuse University, where he also served as University Printer, Manager of the Orange Publishing Co. (the printing establishment of the University), and as founder of the Syracuse University Press. He later became Professor of Graphic Arts in the School of Journalism, retiring from that position in 1961.

In 1943 his many contributions to the printing industry were recognized with the Harry J. Friedman Memorial Medal "for distinguished service in the cause of graphic arts education." It may be noted here that just two years earlier this medal was presented to Frederic W. Goudy.