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Lecture this Thursday, 5/7: In Defense of Fred Goudy

A lecture by Paul Shaw, design historian

Join us Thursday May 7th. Lecture at 5 p.m., followed by a reception at 6 p.m.

Frederic W. Goudy is widely acknowledged to be one of the titans of American type design—alongside Morris Fuller Benton, W.A. Dwiggins and Oswald Cooper—in the first half of the twentieth century. Yet, today he is often derided as an egotist and his typefaces dismissed as dated, inconsistent or clumsy. His reputation has been eclipsed by his students Cooper and Dwiggins, though neither had a type design career to rival his.

This talk will present a case for the importance of both Goudy and his typefaces—whether they are likable or not—from an historical vantage point. It will argue that Goudy’s typefaces were an integral aspect of the “modernization” of American graphic design as it emerged from Victorian printing and the Arts & Crafts movement in the first decades of the 20th century. And that Goudy himself deserves to be seen as the key figure in the development of type design as a profession, a precursor to today’s independent digital type designers.

This talk is part of the Cary RIT Cary Graphic Arts Collection exhibition: Frederic W. Goudy 150 Years of Typographic Influence. 

The Goudy 150 events are sponsored by Monotype.