Paul Shaw

Grendl Löfkvist

A107 Print it Black: Neuland

Two and a Half Day Class
Lettering, Design, Printmaking

Many calligraphers are familiar with Neuland, an alphabet derived from Rudolf Koch’s typeface of the same name. Koch carved the typeface directly into metal, basing its forms on chunky letters he had been writing out for manuscripts and carving into wood. In this workshop we will look at not only the typeface in detail but also Koch’s calligraphy and woodcuts. Our goal is to bring back the simplicity, strength and expressive power his letters have when made without any tarting up.

Neuland is at its best in a block of dense text where the letters fuse together so that the negative space becomes active, creating a dynamic figure/ground relationship. In this workshop participants will first learn the fundamentals of Neuland from Paul. They will then write out a text which they will subsequently refine until it becomes a cohesive and forceful design. Once the design is press-ready Grendl will lead the participants in cutting out the design and printing it on a proof press. Everyone will finish the worksop with a stunning poster of their own making.

Supply List
  • Higgins Eternal black ink
  • 1/2" Automatic pen or suede-covered pen
  • 11" x 14" bond paper
  • 20 lb or 24 lb 9" x 12" tracing vellum
  • 10" x 15" 80 lb cardstock or other similar press paper
  • Lightweight washi paper if using a baren to print by hand
  • Scissors
  • Snap knives
  • Cutting mat (9" x 12" minimum size)
  • Band-aids
Materials Fee

Paul Shaw is a calligrapher/ typographer/ graphic designer/ design historian. He is the author of Blackletter Primer, the co-author of the catalogue Blackletter: Type and National Identity, and editor of The Eternal Letter. He taught calligraphy at New York City-area universities and design schools from 1980 to 2015. A longtime member of the Society of Scribes, Ltd. and the Friends of Calligraphy, he has taught nine workshops on various blackletter hands in the past dozen years. With Grendl Löfkvist, Paul has recently taught combination calligraphy and letterpress printing workshops on Neuland and Rudolf Koch’s textura at the Hamilton Wayzgoose. Paul currently teaches the history of type at Parsons School of Design and the School of Visual Arts in New York City.

Grendl Löfkvist is the Education Director at Letterform Archive in San Francisco, where she teaches type history and theory in the year-long postgraduate Type West program in type design. She also teaches the history of graphic design, book arts, calligraphy, and letterpress printing at City College of San Francisco, and offers letterpress and calligraphy workshops at the San Francisco Center for the Book.