When I heard that UPPERCASE contributor Christopher Rouleau was planning a lettering workshop in Calgary, I offered him the use of the UPPERCASE studio if needed. Hooray! The workshop will be held in my studio! I look forward to taking the class and learning some lettering techniques from some really talented guys. The event is organized by the local chapter of the GDC. Here are the details:
Join Toronto letterers Kyle Gallant & Christopher Rouleau for a one-day intensive on the basics of brush pen lettering.
GDC Alberta South welcomes Toronto letterers Kyle Gallant & Christopher Rouleau for a one-day intensive on the basics of brush pen lettering. In addition to learning the fundamentals of letterform construction, participants will also learn tips & tricks for composition, as well as how to digitize your work. The workshop offers creative enrichment and helps participants with all backgrounds – beginners & novice letterers – develop their own unique lettering style, which can then be applied into their future artistic endeavours, at work and beyond.
This is a full-day workshop will be held Sunday, July 12 from 9am – 5pm at UPPERCASE in the Devenish building. There will be a one hour break for lunch. The cost of this full-day workshop is $165. This price includes a workbook and the supplies you will need for the workshop, all of which you get to take home at the end of the day.
Kyle is a multi-faceted designer, skilled in calligraphy, expressive lettering, and even graffiti. He is a self-described “compulsive doodler” and passionate about all things type. He has co-instructed several brush pen workshops with Christopher in Toronto, include a special workshop at the agency Sid Lee.
Christopher is a freelance graphic designer & letterer, with a love for alphabets, antique lettering guides and old hand-lettered signs. He is comfortable working in a variety of media, including pen, chalk, paint & ink. Christopher has taught workshops in Calgary, and also co-instructed his first workshop with Type Camp in New York City this past May.
Kyle & Christopher co-founded Ligatures, a Toronto-based typography interest group, in the fall of 2013. Since the club’s inception, they have hosted almost 2 dozen public events, ranging from film screenings, lectures, draft & draws, type walks, as well as their first curated gallery show, Swash & Serif, last October.
Sign up here. Space is limited!
June 23 is International Typewriter Day, marking this day in 1868 that the patent was granted to Christopher Latham Sholes. I'm excited to announce that I've just launched a website dedicated to The Typewriter, my forthcoming book.
Here's an excerpt from The Typewriter: a Graphic History of the Beloved Machine:
The Father of the Typewriter
The notion of a machine to replace handwriting had been toyed with for centuries. English engineer Henry Mill patented the concept in 1714 as “an artificial machine or method for impressing or transcribing of letters, one after another, as in writing, whereby all writing whatsoever may be engrossed in paper or parchment so neat and exact as not to be distinguished from print.”
Though there is a long list of inventors preceding him, Christopher Latham Sholes is the man history has awarded the winning title of inventor of the typewriter, patented on June 23, 1868. His machine was the first to be commercially successful and from it all other modern typewriters evolved.
“I do feel that I have done something for the women who have always had to work so hard. This will enable them more easily to earn a living.”
–CHRISTOPHER LATHAM SHOLES
To read more about The Typewriter, preview content and to place a preorder, please visit the book's website.
This is a huge task! Thank you to Véronique, Caryl, Ronnie, Cheryl and her daughters for coming by today to help with the stamp sorting. (And Glen's sorting envelopes at home as I write this... thanks, Glen!)
We'll be sorting each afternoon this week from 1-6pm until the job is done if you'd like to stop by. Thank you!
Oh, and this happened:
UPPERCASE reached 5000 subscribers (and then some) late last night! Thank you so much for helping me get to this amazing milestone. Congratulations to Deb Craig for being #5000 and winning a set of back issues.
50,000 of anything is A LOT! That many loose stamps to sort... now that's a project. Thank you so much to my helpers today: Steve, Sandy, Crystal, Paige, Barb, Caryl, Carolyn and Ronnie!
We've discovered that this is going to take some time. (We got about 1,100 completed this afternoon.) I'll be at it again Monday, June 15 from 4pm - 8pm and if you have a bit of time to spare, your help would be most appreciated! Please note that the building entrance closes at around 6:30, so if you're coming after that, please give me call at 403-283-5318 if you need to be let in. Thanks! (I'll likely schedule some more sessions throughout the week so email me or check the blog for the dates and times.)
I'll be sorting and packing the stamps into envelopes this Sunday afternoon 1-5pm and Monday evening 4-8pm (and possibly later in the week as well if we need to). My studio is in the Devenish building on 17th Ave SW, 2nd level above Ethos Bridal. If you're able to help, it is an easy—yet graphically pleasing—activity! Drop in or stay for a while... any extra helping hands are most welcome. There'll be refreshments and food to keep you going!
The summer issue is on press and stacking up nicely at my printer, The Prolific Group in Winnipeg. Thank you to Chris Young for sending the pictures! This issue will have to dry and then go through the bindery, but the mailing department needs a head start preparing their job... so that means that I'll be compiling the subscriber mailing list on Monday, June 15. If you want to be on the first wave of folks getting this issue (and receive a glassine envelope full of vintage stamps) please subscribe or renew today!
I purchased enough stamps and supplies for 5000 subscribers... and we're currently at 4929, so you will receive a stamp pack if you subscribe quickly. Once this issue is mailed to subscribers, the issues sent out subsequently and those send to stockists will not have this special insert.
I'm looking for local volunteers to help sort and pack the stamps. It's fun, easy and you'll receive a free subscription/renewal in thanks. Please get in touch if you're able to help out this coming week! Thank you!!!
Spins & Needles is a creative multidisciplinary studio based in Ottawa, Canada, specializing in independent cultural projects in shared settings. Their initiatives include a record label, print studio, events, workshops, site-specific installations and graphic art exhibitions. Creative director Melanie Yugo wrote the Risograph Resurgence article published in the current issue, #25.
She was so inspired that they got their own machine!
Melanie got in touch to let us know about a new exhibition in Ottawa. "In researching and writing the Risograph article for the Printmaking issue of UPPERCASE magazine, I had the opportunity to connect with amazing artists, designers, studios and presses around the world who use the Risograph in their work," she writes. "Inspired by their work, I've organized through our creative studio, Spins & Needles, our celebration of print around the Risograph featuring some of the artists and presses in the UPPERCASE article. Prints & Inks 2015: Risograph Edition presents several emerging and established international artists, designers, publishers and studios who are pioneering and producing work on the Risograph, pushing the boundaries of print, and disseminating ideas through print in an affordable and accessible way."
Sometimes I think I publish magazines and books (The Typewriter comes to mind!) solely so that I can justify time spent on eBay searching for weird and wonderful things. Getting these things is a business expense, after all! So this weekend I bought a carton of stamps: 50,000 loose stamps from 1870s through the 1970s that will be inserted into glassine envelopes and shared with all current UPPERCASE subscribers.
I can't wait for it to all arrive and to start parcelling up the stamps into pretty and inspiring little bundles for you guys! I'm going to need help, though, so if you're in Calgary and available the week of June 15 for some total stamp immersion, please be in touch. thanks!
Subscribe or renew before June 10 to get one of the glassine envelope stamp packs inserted into your issue. (And just to reiterate: if you have an existing subscription, you'll get the glassine envelope of stamps with issue 26. It's a bonus for being a subscriber!)
In the early days of the United States post office, postmasters were responsible for defacing stamps to prevent reuse. Clerks might draw across the stamp with a pen or otherwise mark the postage. It became the practice to use cork bottle stoppers, carved with various notches and then dipped in ink. The process left room for creativity and designs became unique to the clerk who carved them. Motifs included simple Xs and geometric forms, stars, hatches, animals and more. The practice lasted from 1847 through the 1890s. Outside of the US, these decorative marks are called cork cancellations.
The cover of the summer issue features a print of "fancy cancels" documented by artist, photographer, author and educator Richard Benson. When I began curating this issue, I'd never heard of such cancellations, but research of philately lead to some interesting things! I came across an online stamp auction featuring these Finnish stamps (shown below), uniquely cancelled with cork marks.
I love the play of the ink partially obliterating the stamp design; their variety of form and interplay with the image below echoing themes of both printmaking and surface pattern design... and how there's an expression of individuality despite the institutional nature of a postal system. My intention was to win the auction, scan the stamps at super high res and arrange them for the cover. When the bidding went beyond my means, though, I began my search anew. Lo and behold, Richard Benson had already produced an incredible series honouring fancy cancels—and with a variety of stamps, colours and cancels and technical prowess well beyond what I could have ever achieved. Perf-ection!
It was a beautiful Sunday at Heritage Park — our first visit of the season, perfectly timed to be during the 20th annual Festival of Quilts. The quilts were perfectly paired with the buildings, like all these high contrast and graphic quilts hanging on the Wainwright Hotel.
Finley felt like doing a little dance.
Last year's festival.
The Make it in Design team were delighted to read so many fabulous entries from around the world, but it was Tracy’s shear passion, determination and commitment to design that came across in her entry that earned her the free place.
Tracy’s winning entry:
“The next level, that breakout moment, the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to really live out my potential as a surface art designer are always just out of reach. And yet my commitment and love of design keeps me plugging away at it even when it seems to lead nowhere. Days go by without a sale, and the rent can be in danger of not getting paid. But I sit in this chair, Illustrator open in front of me and I design. Learn new skills. Make new goals. Answer art calls. Never give up. I'm a designer for life!”
A HUGE THANK YOU to everyone who took the time and effort to enter this competition, we’re sorry that we couldn’t make you all winners!
Tracy will be joining a community of advanced designers on The Ultimate Portfolio Builder seven-week professional surface pattern design course.
This course provides all the tools, advice and confidence you need to grow, refine and strengthen your professional design portfolio, make your designs more sellable and give you the fast-track to trade show success.
Brought to you in association with Printsource, one of the top surface and textile design shows in the world, this course will give you exclusive insight to help you secure the right buyers for your work, deal effectively with clients, get trade show ready and discover the secrets to landing your dream work. Plus one lucky person on the course will win a free booth at Printsource Aug 2016 and $1,000 to get you to New York!
Course alumni have gone on to launch their own design studios, win national awards, be featured in design books, on leading blogs and more. Read some of the student success stories here. Could you be next?
There’s still time to register and join this very special, unique and powerful design course. Register today. The course starts on Monday May 25 2015.
Please join me and a roster of talented Western Canadian artists and artisans at the New Craft Coalition craft fair this Friday and Saturday.
Friday, May 22, 4-9pm
Saturday, May 23, 10-6pm
Festival Hall, Inglewood (1215 10 Ave SE, Calgary)
I'll have the current issue (with free printmaking samples while they last) plus back issues, books, papergoods and special offer: subscribe/renew and get a free issue!
I hope to see you there!
ant to support UPPERCASE's next issue through a Calling Card or Peep?
In a rather special corner of London next to the Thames is the home of Marthe Armitage, octogenarian wallpaper designer extraordinaire. An old red brick wall wraps around her home and continues on past other homes where some of her children live. Binker, a perky Jack Russell Terrier, scuttles between the family homes, keeping a weather eye on the whole.
In this somewhat idyllic spot, Marthe Armitage has lived, brought up her family, and designed and hand-printed wallpapers for many decades. She is now ably assisted by her daughter Jo Broadhurst. Marthe married architect Edward Armitage in the early 1950s when she was just 20. She soon had three small children and was feeling her way toward something that would satisfy her creatively—something that might fit in with the inevitably frantic and fluid hours that child-raising requires.
So begins our story about Marthe Armitage, beautifully written by Jane Audas and deftly photographed by India Hobson. "Sharing a cup of tea with Marthe, Jo, India Hobson (our photographer) and Binker was a time out of time," writes Jane. "Marthe’s house is a new build (designed by her son, another family architect) but is redolent of a life well lived amongst creative things. She has her own wallpapers on several walls, and her own oil paintings on top of them. It is an embarrassment of riches, really."
I'm honoured that Marthe allowed us into her home. Although I wasn't able to be there personally, Jane and India did such a wonderful job through their words and pictures, that we can all share in an afternoon with a woman who has let creativity lead her through life.
Purchase the current issue here as a single copy or part of a subscription.
A Journey into the world of Marbling
Barb Skoog is one of 75 printmakers profiled in the current issue. When I was going through the many, many submissions (250!) to curate the content for this printmaking-themed issue, I was delighted to see a paper marbling submission. Barb generously donated a delicious stack of hand-marbled papers for subscriber copies (for those subscribed prior to the end of March).
It was tempting to keep this beautiful stack all to myself, but I know there are dozens of subscribers out there who now have the joy of holding her papers in person.
Barb is a Los Angeles-based artist specializing in the Turkish form of marbling called Ebru. She writes, "This centuries-old art form involves floating paint on thickened water, making patterns and designs using special tools, and then placing paper, fabric, wood, or other materials on top of the water where the image is immediately and permanently transferred. In addition to having my work featured in art and lifestyle magazines, juried shows, and galleries, my marbled pieces have been used in bookbinding, in mixed media, as fashion accessories (purses, scarves), as home décor, and more."
If you'd like to learn this technique, Barb has a freshly-launched eCourse. The video below offers a happy teaser on what you'll learn in the course. It looks like so much fun!
Barb has a special offer for UPPERCASE readers. Using the promo code UPLOVE, you can get $80 off the regular price ($259) and take the course for just $179 if you sign up by May 31. Class officially begins on June 8 (6 weeks guided instruction) but students have access to all info for six months.
Thank you to Barb Skoog for her support of UPPERCASE through a Calling Card. If you'd like to purchase a Calling Card ad for the next issue and for the blog sidebar, please visit this page for more details.
My friends at Make It In Design have a very special prize for ONE very lucky reader — a free place on the next The Art and Business of Surface Pattern Design – The Ultimate Portfolio Builder course worth $875 (£579).
The Ultimate Portfolio Builder is an advanced seven-week online professional surface pattern design course, consisting of an intense five-week class followed by two weeks of design reviews and live briefs. The classroom is accessible 24/7 so you can join from anywhere in the world, and fit the course into your busy life. Places on this course are limited, but one person from this competition will be guaranteed a spot.
This course will give you all the tools and advice you need to grow, refine and strengthen your professional design portfolio, make your designs more sellable and give you the fast-track to trade show success.
Brought to you in association with Printsource, one of the top surface and textile design shows in the world, this course will provide you with exclusive insight to help you secure the right buyers for your work, deal effectively with clients, get trade show ready and discover the secrets to landing your dream work. Plus one lucky person on the course will win a free booth at Printsource Aug 2016 and $1,000 to get you to New York!
Course alumni have gone on to launch their own design studios, win national awards, be featured in design books, on leading blogs and more. Fancy a bit of this action too? Read on to find out how to enter and read some of the student success stories here.
The prize: ONE place on The Art and Business of Surface Pattern Design – The Ultimate Portfolio Builder course starting May 25, 2015, delivered on-line.
How to enter: Check out the course website to find out more about it, then go over to this post on UPPERCASE and leave a comment below in no more than 100 words telling us why this course would benefit you right now and how it could transform your career. (Note: Please do NOT leave your comment on the Make It In Design blog, leave your comment below this post.)
Deadline: 5pm GMT on Wednesday 20th May 2015. Any comments left after this time will not be counted. The winner will be announced on Friday 22nd May 2015. Good luck!
Terms and Conditions: This competition is to win a place on The Ultimate Portfolio Builder course from Make it in Design starting May 25, 2015. One entry allowed per person. The winning place is not transferrable – either by date or to another individual and must not be sold on and no cash alternative will be offered in the event that the winner is unable to use the prize for any reason. By entering this competition you agree to your entry to be promoted on the Uppercase and Make it in Design website and their associated social networks. The judges' decision is final.