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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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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.


Book Review: Paper Love by Sarah Wildman


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.


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.


This “M” is a Work of Art


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.

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…”


An Important Question from White Bear Lake (1912)



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:


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.


Joys of the French Language

I’ve come across delightful phrases in French. Have you studied French? If so, are there any favorites you’d like to add to the list?

French phrase: Les carottes sont cuites
Literal translation: The carrots are cooked
Meaning: The outcome of the situation cannot be changed


Typeface Choice and Publishing

mooLast week, I had the pleasure of having coffee with White Bear Lake author David LaRochelle. He primarily writes children’s books, so our genres couldn’t be more different. But he has a 20+ year career as an author, and I had questions only an industry veteran would be able to answer. 


Sneak Peek!


Here’s a sneak peek at my next font! I’m trying to retain a more rough and rugged look than “Marcel.” But, it still emulates the ink-on-paper look I love so much. What do you think?

Interesting Copyright Issue


Here’s an interesting legal issue. I just learned it’s illegal to take and show photos of the Eiffel Tower at night (yes, like the image above, which I snapped in 2012). Why? Photos taken during the day aren’t an issue; the tower is considered to be in the public domain. However, the design of the tower’s light show is protected by copyright. Read the details here.

As they say at the end of the article, good luck enforcing that.

So long, locks of love

Starting tomorrow, officials are going to begin the process of cutting the “locks of love” off the bridges in Paris. The first locks began appearing in 2006 or so, and the practice got into full swing in 2012 (which is the year I took the photos, above). There are now so many locks on these bridges the sheer weight has become a safety hazard. Apparently the combined weight of the locks on one of the pedestrian bridges is the equivalent of 20 elephants — a weight the bridge was not built to hold.