Asian American Arts Alliance

Bowne Printers

at the South Street Seaport Museum

Announces Partnership with Adobe Typekit

Display Type competition


The South Street Seaport Museum announces a partnership with Adobe Typekit, which will sponsor a public facing programming initiative with Bowne Printers. Display Type, a competition of typographic variety, is a unique Fall Sponsorship between Adobe Typekit and the South Street Seaport Museum. The winning contestant will have his or her typeface carved from wood and become part of the working collection of Bowne Printers at the South Street Seaport Museum. In addition, the winning typeface will have the opportunity to be seen on a lush package of printed goods. The competition is open to type designers who have designed a typeface within the past three years. Contest is open for entry from August 21 – September 20, 2015, and a grand prize winner, first and second runners up will be notified on September 28, 2015.


Display type holds a special place in the history of graphic design. Letterpress printing in Manhattan around the turn of the century saw huge growth not only in the size of type, but also in variety. The ad- vent of modern advertising challenged printers to move from setting type that performs in a small size, over hundreds of pages in a book, to type that had to communicate in larger sizes on signs, posters, and billboards. Wood type proved a cheaper and faster alternative to its lead counter part, and technological advancements of pantograph wood cutting and machine die cutting allowed for the rapid development of new typefaces, which ranged from exaggerated versions of existing faces, to new faces which walk the line of typographic legibility.

Contemporary digital typeface design tools similarly sparked an expansion in the variety of typefaces available to today’s graphic designer. Typeface design was no longer a pursuit limited to a select few, but has been placed in the hands of thousands of graphic designers.


Display Type is a competition about bridging the gap between digital design tools, and letterpress printing with wood type.


The Display Type competition is the beginning of a continuing partnership with Adobe Typekit.



Bowne Printers is a recent expansion of Bowne & Co. Stationers that continues the age old tradition of job (or small batch) printing. Using seven historic presses from South Street Seaport Museum’s working collection; our resident printers create individual designs using custom plates or historic fonts. Visitors are invited to watch and discuss the history and contemporary relevance of letterpress, buy hand-printed items and order customs prints.



Adobe Typekit puts a wide range of inspiring fonts within reach of all the tools you use to get your work done each day, so you can use great type in your projects without a second thought. Designers trust our library of high-quality fonts to perform beautifully wherever they’re needed, whether that means in applications, hosted on the web, or anywhere else text plays a role.



South Street Seaport Museum is a non-profit cultural institution located in the heart of the historic South Street Seaport district in New York City. Founded in 1967, the South Street Seaport Museum preserves and interprets the history of New York as a great port city. Designated by Congress as America’s National Maritime Museum, the Museum houses galleries and performance spaces, working nineteenth century print shops, a maritime library, a maritime craft center, and a fleet of historic vessels that all work to tell the story of “Where New York Begins.”



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