Carolyn Porter | Carolyn Porter: Blog
Learn more about the book "Marcel's Letters" and the font P22 Marcel Script, which is based on the handwriting of conscripted WWII laborer Marcel Heuzé
Carolyn Porter, Marcel Heuzé, Marcel's Letters, Graphic Design, Font Design, P22 Marcel Script
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June 4, 1944: “…it’s only hope that holds us together”

Front and back images of postcard written by French Forced Laborer Louis-Robert Fayet on June 4, 1944
Thorn, the 4th of June, 1944    Carte

My little adored Marie,

I see, my love, that you have received good news from Jeannot (Johnny). I’m happy about that, darling. Yes, I also wish for him to return soon, close to his little wife and his Nicole. Yes, Loulou, let’s hope that everything will be finished soon so that we can all stroll together.

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It’s a small, small world

Last weekend I received an extraordinary message from a woman named Delphine.

“My mother-in-law, Suzanne Lamy,” Delphine wrote, “knew Marcel from Berchères-la-Maingot, where she lived when she was young. Marcel used to go hunting with her family… She was touched that you wrote this book that reminded her a lot from her childhood.”READ MORE

Trying my Hand at Letter Carving

Perhaps it was because he was the only other living person in the graveyard. But the old white-haired man, sitting with a straight back on a stack of wooden stools caught my attention. Or, perhaps it was the sound of his work that piqued my curiosity; the graveyard was silent other than the tapping of his mallet.

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Ordering a Signed Copy

I am always delighted to sign copies of Marcel’s Letters — especially when I know the book is being given as a gift. If you are looking for a gift for a design school graduate, or a family member who has an interest in typography, genealogy, World War II or French history, I invite you to contact me via email at carolyn (at) porterfolioinc (dot) com. Signed/gift wrapped/mailed copies are $26 (US only). READ MORE

Marcel’s Letters is awarded a Gold IPPY

Front cover of book, Marcel's Letters, with announcement of IPPY Gold Medal

 

This week I learned Marcel’s Letters was awarded a gold medal in the 2018 Independent Publisher Book Awards (the book tied with  Armand Merizon: His Life and Art 1920-2010, by Muriel Zandstra).

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  • Marcel's Letters Book Tour
  • Carolyn Porter standing in front of the Hatch Public Library, Mauston, WI
  • Carolyn Porter's presentation on book "Marcel's Letters" at Hatch Public Library, Mauston, WI
  • Photo showing hand-held sign pointing to hotel bed with six plush pillows; the sign says "Six pillows! All to myself!"
  • Dinner at Larry and Karen Fritz' home
  • Photo of dogs Hoover and Kelly, circa 2005
  • Hat and WWI medals earned by Larry's Fritz' father
  • Marcel's Letters Book Tour
  • Marcel's Letters Book Tour
  • Marcel's Letters Book Tour
  • Marcel's Letters Book Tour
  • Marcel's Letters Book Tour
  • Marcel's Letters Book Tour
  • Marcel's Letters Book Tour
  • Marcel's Letters Book Tour
  • Marcel's Letters Book Tour
  • Marcel's Letters Book Tour
  • Marcel's Letters Book Tour
  • Marcel's Letters Book Tour
  • Marcel's Letters Book Tour
  • Marcel's Letters Book Tour
  • Marcel's Letters Book Tour
  • Marcel's Letters Book Tour
  • Marcel's Letters Book Tour
  • Marcel's Letters Book Tour
  • Marcel's Letters Book Tour
  • Marcel's Letters Book Tour
  • Marcel's Letters Book Tour
  • Marcel's Letters Book Tour
  • Marcel's Letters Book Tour

A Book Tour Summary (Mostly) in Selfies

I thought I’d try something different to blog about my April 4–7 book tour to Wisconsin, so here it is: a summary of the tour mostly in selfies! Thanks to everyone who came out to one of my presentations. The trip was a delight.

In Praise of Colophons

In Praise of Colophons

 

Just when I think I’m finished reading my book,
I turn the last page and find that the lettering
of this softened paperback was first cut
by a monk in 1739, just off the Northern coast
of France. How delightful, this production
by the sea——no talking, only the small splashes
of wave against rock, a plover’s squawk,
the metal plink of each letter into the carriage.

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Fuck, Yeah!

I recently received several lovely emails from readers of Marcel’s Letters. Their thoughtful messages noted how they couldn’t put the book down or how they, too, “fell deeply in love with Marcel, his family, and the font.” Emails like that make my heart swell until it feels like it could burst.

After I shared these messages with my husband, Aaron, we joked it was only a matter of time before I would receive a letter or email that contained an opposite sentiment. READ MORE

“Nowhere in France”: Letter written by Emery Porter March 24, 1918

This letter was written and mailed by my grandfather, J. Emery Porter, to his sister, Lois Bayley. Forty or so of Emery’s WWI letters to Lois have survived (read more about these letters here). On the back of the envelope (shown above), he included a return address: “Pvt. Emery Porter, 646 Aero Squadron, American Expeditionary Forces, via New York.” I never met my grandfather, but I heard he was a life-long French speaker and unabashed Francophile, primarily due to the experiences he had while stationed in France.

 

“Nowhere in France”
March 24, 1918

Dear Sister,

I was the happy recipient of your letter today. It is the second I have received from home folks. I received one from Mother two weeks ago this morning but nothing since. Evidently you have written others which I may yet receive. This one was dated March 2nd or 3rd. Emily K. has written six but I have received two so far so you can judge why I don’t respond often.

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Military Writers Society of America Book Review

This is Ms. Porter’s story as well as Marcel’s. She tells it honestly and with deep emotion. She manages to balance the several strands of her adventures—the history lessons, the details of creating a font, the inner workings of her marriage, and the clues that point to the eventual outcomes. The reader will rejoice with her when things go well and cry with her when she faces discouragement. It’s a great story.

– Carolyn Schriber, Military Writers Society of America

Read the full review here

Honored to be included in “Freehand: New Typography Sketchbooks”

Two years ago, Steve Heller invited me to submit images of my type sketchbook. I loved how he didn’t ask whether I had a type sketchbook, rather he assumed I did. It was an honor to share images, but also a bit scary as I’ve never shown my sketchbook to anyone before. After submitting the images and answering a few questions about materials and process, I didn’t hear a word. To be honest, I wasn’t sure if anything ever came of the project.
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