Chicago is one of the world’s great urban centers, noted for its rich array of excellent architecture spanning over a century. This makes it also one of the best places to see a wide variety of lettering, especially in the heart of the city: The Loop.
Paul Shaw, renowned for his urban lettering tours, will lead a walk down the Magnificent Mile, across the River and around the Loop between East Wacker Drive and West Jackson Street. Among the sights will be neon letters, light bulb letters, letters carved in stone and cast in metal. This is an opportunity to look at lettering that is often unique and that has a physical presence not found in lettering on screen or paper.
If you want to record what you see (which Paul encourages) bring a camera or notebook. Binoculars are useful for seeing details that are high up on building but not essential. We are not stopping for food (though we do intend to finish with drinks) so bring a sandwich or snack if you might feel peckish. Wear comfortable walking shoes. There are no planned bathroom breaks since those depend on public restrooms which are scarce in American cities. If we pass anyway, we will take advantage of it.
Want to see more Paul Shaw? See Paul Shaw and others speak at the American Printing History Association conference, "At the Crossroads: Living Letterform Traditions," at the Columbia's Center for Book at Paper Arts Oct 12–13.
This event is in partnership with AIGA Chicago.
Event photos provided courtesy of Sean Hampton-Gross