Special Collections at UWM Libraries Special Collections Home Page

Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864).
The Scarlet Letter. New York: The Heritage Press, 1935.
Call Number: PS 1868 .A1 1935
Stacks, Golda Meir Library

If not for his sake, then doubly for thine own! Forgive...

This edition of The Scarlet Letter, designed and illustrated by veteran book-designer W.A. Dwiggins, reflects the style pioneered by Dwiggins that came to dominate U.S. book design in the 1930s and 1940s. Dwiggins, who studied under The Saturday Evening Post's Leyendecker brothers at the Frank Holme School of Illustration in Chicago, began his design career with can labels and newspaper advertisements. His main interest was book design, and in 1910 he bought a hand press and began the White Elephant Press. In 1919 he printed From an Investigation into the Physical Properties of Books, a pamphlet which concluded that all books being made at the time were of poor physical quality. The pamphlet's influence was huge: major American publishers either hired Dwiggins or imitated his principles. He worked mainly for Knopf, developing a distinctive style characterized by wood-block or stencil designs with bright, unusual color combinations. His books characteristically featured blind- and gold-stamped covers, and hand-lettered spines. Dwiggins was prominent in many fields, revolutionizing the graphic arts, advertising and the book arts.

W.A. Dwiggins designed and illustrated this edition of The Scarlet Letter for Random House. The seven color illustrations are characteristic of his brightly-colored woodblock prints.

Back - Next

Return to top

©2001 University of Wisconsin--Milwaukee -- All Rights Reserved.
Prepared by Christopher Barth, Virginia Haas, and Sarah McDaniel