You’ve probably never heard of Ira Schnapp (1892–1969), but you’ve seen his handiwork. In his early twenties, he designed the typeface for the motto chiseled into the frieze of New York City’s Main Post Office: “NEITHER SNOW NOR RAIN NOR HEAT NOR GLOOM OF NIGHT…” Two decades later he created the logo for Action Comics #1, which featured the inaugural appearance of a pop-culture behemoth, Superman. Tonight, comics historian Arlen Schumer (author of The Silver Age of Comic Book Art) discusses Schnapp’s dynamic, hand-lettered graphics, which embodied the traits of a wide range of comic-book characters, such as craggy red, white, and blue block letters for Sgt. Rock and pneumatic green capitals for Aquaman. This historical exhibit celebrates an era when typography meant pen and ink on Bristol board rather than emoticons on iPhones.

Thu., May 14, 6:30 p.m., 2015