type tuesday: we make type because we love to read

documentary by student filmmaker Hanah Ryu Chung about the present and future of books. Shot in Toronto, it features lots of independent booksellers (including UPPERCASE stockist Type Books) as well as bookbinders and letterpress printers. Nicely done. {via The Travelling Bookbinder}

Notes about Evernote

In late March, Kasey and Nick from Evernote came to Calgary to shoot a video about how I use Evernote to run UPPERCASE magazine. If you're not familiar with the service, Evernote's slogan "Remember everything" sums it up. With online, desktop and mobile access, you can create and categorize notes. Anything that you want quick and easy access to, from receipts to saved web images to writing to lists to audio notes, you can save to Evernote. There's a detailed post on their blog about how I use the service. The tool has been invaluable to me (I've been using it since issue #2) and I urge you to give it a try. It's free, though I use the premium version for increased storage and other useful features.

A few notes about the video:

0:03 My necklace is by Urban Legend. We're featuring jeweller Kateri Morton in issue #15.

0:05 Stockist The Daily Globe on 17th Avenue in Calgary

0:11 Scissor print by regular contributor Alanna Cavanagh

0:15 We moved the couch so that you can see the bookcase behind me.

0:16 I found this typewriter in my back alley in 2006. (I painted it orange.)

0:17 Flea market score: $10 typewriter! Works perfectly.

0:19 Ebay score: 1947 Hermes typewriter poster by Herbert Luepin, flea market paint-by-number kitten.

0:20 This doggie is Scooter, photo by Christine Edwards.

0:23 Yes, more typewriters! 

0:35 That's Eleanor. If you have questions about subscriptions or the online shop, she answers them!

0:55 I love my big big monitor. A must-have for publication designers.

0:58 That's The Shatner Show, the first book I published. 76 illustrators interpret the life and career of Canadian icon William Shatner.

1:05 Windchimes by Ceeglass, featured in issue #13.

1:20 Crayon cover by Diem Chau.

1:23 That's my storage space in the lower level of Art Central. Yes, I do heavy lifting, too.

1:38 For non-Calgarians, that's Stephen Avenue, a pedestrian street a block from my studio. I'm trying to walk purposefully and not look at the camera.

1:38 Astute viewers will note that I took a really weird route to get into Art Central, but a scenic one!

1:50 Eleanor and I are discussing the felt pennants we've ordered to coincide with issue #14. From The People's Pennant, more details on this coming soon...

2:07 Shoutout to Anthropologie!

2:11 When we went to The Daily Globe to shoot, UPPERCASE contributor Nikki Sheppy just happened to be there. Another serendipitous moment for UPPERCASE magazine.

Contemporary Days: The Designs of Robin & Lucienne Day

w.i.p.s wednesday: woven labels

In the current issue (#13), Carolyn Fraser has an excellent article about Cash's Labels—the last woven label manufacturer in Australia. While visiting the plant, Carolyn shot some footage on her phone. I'm learning Final Cut Pro X, so here's something I've edited together.

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Cloudy Playlist

Hillman Curtis

In honour of the inspiring creative force Hillman Curtis who passed away this week from cancer.

"Be prepared to reinvent yourself, be prepared to go out on a limb occasionally, and be prepared to do the things that you feel strongly about that maybe other people don’t… For me what started out as a creative vacation…has become my life calling." 

Dispatch from London: Portobello Market (video)

The sights and sounds of the market today.

Silver moments

I have lots of photos to edit from Thursday's Lucky 13 party, but I wanted to make this video first. Having this souvenir makes all the work of organizing and decorating worthwhile. Sometimes I only have eyes for my little guy.

Necessary messes

Read the article about Ayumi in the current issue. Subscriptions available here or find a stockist near you.

Starring: the pencil

and of course there's this.

A trip down memory lane...

Three springs and a lifetime ago, Glen and I went to Scandinavia to meet Camilla and exlore Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland. Posts from that trip are here. We'll return someday...

Road trips on film

Pop culture has had a impact on the concept of the roadtrip. Road trip movies are a genre unto themselves; not only do they share themes of travel, but many follow a common pattern: that originally, an end destination or goal is important, but through the course of the journey, discovers lessons or relationships more important than the original destination. This transformative narrative is arguably more important to the road trip movie than the presence of any roads. And often, the mode of transportation itself becomes a character in the story as well, its health and wellbeing is as important as that of any family-member. Any list of road movies is going to be incomplete, so rather than attempt any sort inclusive or 'best-of' list, I'll simply tell you some of my favorites: 

Hard Core Logo

If you're not a Canuck, you might not be familiar with the work of Bruce MacDonald, who made a trio of rock-and-roll road-trip movies in the 1990s: Roadkill, about a record-label employee dispatched into northern ontario to find a band that has gone missing on tour; Highway 61, about a naive blues enthusiast and pop-historian who gets conscripted (or seduced) by a roadie to transport a drug-stuffed corpse down to Louisiana; and Hard Core Logo. It's a dark and ruthless story of an aging punk band trying to hold together a reunion tour across the Canadian prairies.

Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou

While it's almost entirely set at sea, it's uses every wonderful device of the road trip comedy. Zissou starts out as a modern-day Captain Ahab, a man who takes a crew on his own mission of revenge, but unlike Ahab, finds that the relationships with those who travel with him are more important than his own anger. The soundtrack of Seu Jorge's samba covers of Bowie classics are an unusual and brilliant fit with the film. While Owen Wilson and Bill Murray are front and center, the colourful supporting characters (Anjelica Huston, Willem Dafoe, and Jeff Goldblum) are the most memorable in the movie.


The Straight Story

This is the story of Alvin Straight—played by the incomparable Richard Farnsworth—who makes a journey to see his dying, estranged brother. Because Alvin's fading faculties have left in unable to obtain a driver's license, he makes the journey on his garden tractor. All of this is based on a true story, and David Lynch guides the film along with an unusually understated hand. On the surface it's similar to the more will known 'About Schmidt', as both are about a reflective journey toward the end of one's life, but there's a slow, beautiful pace to the journeys (both personal and physical) in The Straight Story that the best road films have.

Mad Mad Mad Mad World

Here's the other end of spectrum: a madcap story of manic, flawed characters all motivated only by greed, unleashed upon on America's highways like rats running through a crowded diner. The comedy is often little more than letting dozens of comic actors interact with one another, yet it captures another side of driving. It always seems like there's a tremendous number of jerks out there on the highway; in some ways, this movie is their story. When I'm tailgated or cut-off by someone who seems to have no regard for other drivers, I can be calmed a little by envisioning them as Ethel Merman, Buddy Hacket, Jonathan Winters, or one of the other incredibly self-centered personalities from this movie. 

O Brother Where Art Thou

I love this Coen brothers retelling of the Odyssey myth set in the depression-era Deep South. George Clooney, John Turturro, and Tim Blake Nelson form a trio of escaped convicts trying to get to buried treasure before the land is flooded. The bluegrass music of Ralph Stanley perfectly matches the landscape of this film: cornfields, dusty, deserted crossroads, beautiful slow rivers, and glorious old forests. 

Planes Trains and Automobiles

Its not the only 1980s movie that focuses on the madness of modern travel (see National Lampoon's Vacation), but the combination of Steve Martin, John Candy, and the direction of John Hughes make this an absolute classic with so many unforgettable scenes. It perfectly frames those classic roadtrip themes (of realizing that our rush for the end destination has caused us to lose sight of what's important) around the holiday season. 

So what are your favourites? Again, use the comments section to share with us and with other readers. 

type tuesday: Linotype the Film

The Linotype film will premiere this Friday, February 3rd at the SVA Theatre in New York City followed by questions and answers with the film director and crew, moderated by Steven Heller. Get your tickets here!

Director Doug Wilson's film poster was one of the goodies in issue #8's Letterpress Sampler and 100 copies were randomly inserted into copies of the magazine. Perhaps you were one of the lucky ones! If not, you can purchase a Linotype film poster in the film shop.

alt: Squarespace + UPPERCASE party video

Happy Hallowe'en

Brought to you by...

A short and sweet video of Trip Print Press by Brought to you By.

Omar Jaramillo Traverso by Martin Connelly

I am happy to welcome some new contributors to issue #11. Martin Connelly is a writer and videographer living in Newfoundland, and Omar Jaramillo Traverso is a travelling sketch artist. Together they profile a Newfoundland fisherman for issue #11 (more on that later this month). Here's a video that Martin made of Omar sketching a Newfoundland street scene.

Sketching Downtown from Martin Connelly on Vimeo.

The Suitcase Series Volume 2: dottie angel

I'm so excited that the dottie angel book is in the production stage at the printer! It is just a matter of weeks until the book is finished. This is always a bittersweet part of the process—for me as a designer and publisher, so much of the excitement and fun of a book is conceptualizing it... dreaming of its format, mood, special features. The design phase is a joy and privilege, especially with such amazing content and imagery from Tif Fussell. And now the book is at the stage where it leaves me and graduates into a real hold-it-in-your-hands book. And with all the special features and extra goodies I've planned, this book will really be a tactile delight.

Throughout the month, I'll be revealing sneak peeks at the book and its goodies. But first, let me introduce you to Tif, aka dottie angel, and her world at Mossy Shed...

(Thank you to everyone who has preordered so far—your support is much appreciated. And thank you for your patience—the book is a couple months later than originally planned; I'm still getting used to a new pace as I balance work and motherhood. The book will ship in late August. If you order it as part of the Book Bundle, you will receive The Elegant Cockroach, Work/Life 2 and A Collection a Day now, and dottie will be quick to follow.)

Ink Love

The Printing Ink Company is a Canadian company, via Best Made Projects. Thanks, Chris!

Fine handmade clothing


Our fall issue of UPPERCASE magazine has traditionally been the "gentleman's issue" (if you can base tradition on one previous issue!) The upcoming issue (at the printer in pre-press stage) continues that direction, covering a collection of a grandfather's clocks, a Portland distillery, jeans and canvas, scotch, suspenders and other manly pursuits. The other grand theme is the love of books: living, designing, creating, making, remaking books with the occasional crush on a librarian. It is a handsome issue and I look forward to sharing more images and content.

In the meantime, these two videos set the mood. {via A Continuous Lean: a great website that provided a lot of inspiration and links to explore during the making of issue 7.}