The W.A. Dwiggins Lecture

While the Society is a private organization, it has co-hosted the annual W.A. Dwiggins Lecture for over 40 years in partnership with the Boston Public Library.

With its intent to be of interest to students, and practitioners in the typographic, graphic design, and publishing communities in Boston, the list of speakers has been diverse. In more recent years, the Society has attempted to choose speakers that are of particular interest to students.

The Society is dedicated to this annual event and wishes to thank the BPL for its continued support.


Past Speakers

January 15, 1974 Laurence B. Siegfried WAD: A Personal Recollection
January 14, 1975 John E. Benson Two Hundred Seventy Years of Monumental Lettering
January 14, 1976 Alexander S. Lawson Frederic W. Goudy: A Glance into the Archives
January 19, 1977 Philip Hofer WAD as I Knew Him
January 18, 1978 Charles A. Rheault, Jr. The Riverside Press in Retrospect, 1852-1971
January 17, 1979 Rollo G. Silver Daniel Berkeley Updike and the Merrymount Press
January 17, 1980 David R. Godine The Life and Work of Rudolph Ruzicka
January 15, 1981 Susan Otis Thompson The Gay Nineties and American Book Design
January 21, 1982 Peter Davison One Hundred Twenty-five Years of the Atlantic
January 18, 1983 Alan Fern More Than Books: The Library of Congress in All Its Diversity
January 19, 1984 Dorothy Abbe The Many-Faceted Dwiggins
January 17, 1985 Gay Walker Achievement in Excellence: The Meriden Gravure Company and Harold Hugo
January 16, 1986 Leonard Baskin The Intrusion of Expression in Anatomical Atlases: 1540-1850
January 15, 1987 Oscar Handlin Freedom of the Press: The Social Foundations, 1760-1850
January 21, 1988 Dietmar R. Winkler A Quest for Quality, a Question of Integrity
January 12, 1989 Matthew Carter and Carl Zahn Design of Type - Design with Type
January 18, 1990 Douglass Scott Eclecticism to Modernism: American Graphic Design in the 1930s
January 17, 1991 Sinclair Hitchings Dwiggins on Cornhill
January 16, 1992 Alvin Eisenman Ray Nash
January 21, 1993 Edward McDonald Jan Tschichold and W. A. Dwiggins: The Priest and the Tinker of Modern Typography
January 19, 1994 Sheila Levrant de Bretteville Q. What Is Worth Doing?
January 19, 1995 Steven Heller Lucian Bernhard: The Master Who Couldn't Draw Straight
January 18, 1996 David Macaulay Taking the Shortcut
January 16, 1997 Peter Kindersley Better Ways to Communicate
January 22, 1998 Edward R. Tufte The Aesthetics of Information
January 14, 1999 Anita Silvey Children's Books and Their Creators: An Illustrated Overview
March 1, 2000 Philip B. Meggs The S Word
November 13, 2001 Maira Kalman (un)Design
November 13, 2002 Joel Meyerowitz The Role of Photography and Social Consciousness: Creating the World Trade Center Archive
November 20, 2003 Chaz Maviyane-Davies Creative Defiance
April 27, 2005 Milton Glaser Design and Ambiguity
April 6, 2006 Ellen R. Cohn Benjamin Franklin
April 4, 2007 Sumner Stone The Essential Form
April 9, 2008 Erik Spiekermann Working Type
April 21, 2009 Matthew Carter and Jerry Kelly Hermann Zapf at 90
April 14, 2010 Khoi Vinh Ordering Disorder - KV on Interaction Design
April 14, 2011 Luba Lukova Graphic Guts
April 18, 2012 David Lemon Changing Traditions
April 3, 2013 Ben Fry Typography & Terabytes
April 24, 2014 Brenda Danilowitz The First Fifty Years of Josef Albers’ “Interaction of Color”
April 14, 2015 Fred Smeijers From Small to Big, and Back Again
April 12, 2016 Bruce Kennett The Power of Mirth | WAD & the Serious Business of Fun
April 11, 2017 Robert Bringhurst The Work of Hermann Zapf