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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Gleam and Glow

September has been a month of polishing: polishing the proposal, polishing the first chapters of the manuscript. I’m even enrolled in a class called “Punch & Polish” at the Loft Literary Center.

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Book Review: Alex’s Wake by Martin Goldsmith

alexs-wake

 

Over the weekend I finished reading the book ‘Alex’s Wake.’ It was one of those books that started with a slow drip, but ended with a wave of sadness so enormous it was impossible to hold back tears.

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Cherished Moments: On Sale for a Quarter

Next time you’re in an antique store, look for the box of old photos. Trust me, there is almost always a shoebox of photos sitting in some forgotten corner, filled with miniature black-and-white glossy prints stripped from the pages of a photo album.

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Seventy-First Anniversary of the Liberation of Paris

Arc-de-Triomphe

One of the amazing people I’ve met along this journey is Louise Dillery. Readers of the book will get to know how amazing she is, too. She translated some of Marcel’s letters, and has turned into a dear friend. Louise is nearly 90 years old, but you would never know it — she’s sharp as a tack, and loves to talk about thoroughly modern things like eyebrow tattoos, Beyoncé and the allure of ‘bad boys.’

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Treasure Trove of WWI Letters

Something wonderful happened today: a thick stack of letters written by my grandfather, John Emery Porter (he went by Emery), were given to my dad. My dad had never seen these letters before; he didn’t even know they existed. The letters had been written between 1917 and 1919, and were written by Emery to his sister, Lois. Lois’ grandson gave them to my dad.

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Just Ask

Last week, a historian from the National World War II Museum flew to Minnesota to record the testimony of my uncle, Allen Porter. He was part of the 303rd Engineering Battalion of the 78th Infantry Division and fought across France and Germany in 1944-1945.

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Book Review: Paper Love by Sarah Wildman

paperlove

Recently I finished reading the book Paper Love by Sarah Wildman. Over the last few years, I’ve read more books on World War II than I can count, and I have to say, this was one of the best.

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Grammar Rules

Yesterday, I attended an eight-hour class at the LOFT Literary Center in Minneapolis. The topic was style and grammar in non-fiction and it was taught by the phenomenal Jill Swenson; her energy and enthusiasm were contagious.

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This “M” is a Work of Art

M-Stockholm

When I buy a piece of handwritten ephemera, it’s because something caught my eye: a decorative swirl, a unique number, an unusual color ink. Other times, it is because one individual letter is so spectacularly beautiful, buying it is like acquiring a work of art.
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July 2–5, 1881: “President Garfield shot by an assassin…”

Handwritten diary pages showing July 2 - 5, 1881 and recording assassination of President Garfield

As you may know, I collect handwritten ephemera: letters, cards, invitations, etc. I bought this pocket-size diary from 1881, thinking the writing might be a good reference source for a font […someday!]. I looked to see what the entry was for the 4th of July, hoping it would mention a parade or fireworks or a summertime luxury such as a drink with ice. It turns out the entry from July 2 is more interesting because it captures the day’s disastrous news: “President Garfield shot by an assassin twice at Depot in Washington. He got very near death…”

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An Important Question from White Bear Lake (1912)

WBL-postcard

 

I collect old cards and letters the way others might collect shoes or recipes. And speaking of recipes, this card — which has a charming photo of White Bear Lake on the front — has a funny (and urgent!) message on the back:

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A Reunion with my Letterform Instructor

A few months back, the Director of the School of Art & Design at UW-Stout in collaboration with the AIGA student board, asked me to give a presentation on my design career. I was happy to oblige. Part of the presentation was on graphic design work, but I also talked about the development of the font P22 Marcel. I was thrilled that my Letterform instructor, Bill DeHoff — the person who first introduced me to the beautiful art of typography — attended the presentation.

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