About Paul Standard

Paul Standard, 1896-1992, calligrapher and author.

Paul Standard
Paul Standard in an undated photograph. All photos courtesy of Jerry Kelly.

In the December 1947 issue of Women’s Day, Paul Standard set out his goal: to supplant writing methods, like the Palmer system, with Ludovico Arrighi’s 1522 model, La Operina. His article, complete with diagrams and charts, received an enthusiastic reception from his colleagues in Europe, including Jan Van Krimpen, who translated it into Dutch.1Printing News, October 1, 1983. Although Standard tirelessly advocated for teaching broad-edge italic handwriting to children, his most lasting impact lies in his works documenting the revival of calligraphy in the twentieth century and in his support of a young German calligrapher named Herman Zapf. Fluent in German, Standard translated Zapf’s works for many years and helped Zapf in innumerable ways, during his early visits to the country.

Tall, elegant, old-world in style, Paul Standard was a journalist, an editor for the Associated Press and a publicist for the Canadian Pacific Railway. He and his wife Stella, a cookbook author, lived in a book-lined apartment in the east 60s in Manhattan and were fixtures at graphic arts events in New York City. He taught at the Parson’s School of Design and at Cooper Union concurrently with Ismar David. In 1983, the Type Directors Club awarded him its prestigious TDC Medal.

Posted in S