George Salter book jacket exhibition — Typographics Blog

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George Salter book jacket exhibition

A chance to see a collection of work by the legendary letterer and designer

Photo: Leo Baeck Institute

Attendees of the Typographics design festival – or anyone around New York City who likes lettering, design, or books – will have a wonderful opportunity to see a new exhibition of work from legendary book jacket designer, George Salter. Salter was one of the most prolific and influential book jacket designers of the 20th century, originally working in Germany and then later moving to the USA in 1934.

Salter is particularly relevant to the Typographics festival because he taught lettering, calligraphy, and illustration at The Cooper Union starting in 1936 until his death in 1967. Along with other influential lettering artists like Paul Standard, Philip Grushkin, Alexander Nesbitt, and Ismar David, he helped establish The Cooper Union as a major exporter of graduates who specialized in lettering and typography during the 20th century. Many of his students at Cooper went on to become highly influential designers themselves, including Herb Lubalin, Milton Glaser, Seymour Chwast, and an abundance of others.

The Center for Jewish History and the Leo Baeck Institute have organized George Salter: A Legacy of Book Design, an exhibition in the Center for Jewish History’s David Berg Rare Book Room at 15 West 16th Street in New York City – less than a mile from The Cooper Union where Typographics is taking place. The exhibition will be up starting Friday, June 18 (the first day of the main Typographics conference), with a free opening event at 6:00 PM on Wednesday, June 21, featuring a presentation by Thomas Hansen, Professor Emeritus of German at Wellesley College, followed by a curator’s tour of the exhibit.

For a preview of the kind of material that will be featured in the exhibition, see the video below of Paul Shaw’s talk on George Salter given at The Cooper Union as part of Type@Cooper’s Herb Lubalin Lecture Series. Those who can’t make it to the exhibition or want to see more of Salter’s work in person can schedule an appointment at Cooper’s Herb Lubalin Study Center of Design & Typography which houses a collection of work by Salter as well as his mighty collection of type specimen books.

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