Call for submissions: What's in a Name?

What's in a name?

Illustrate, illuminate, design or otherwise render your first name in a way that expresses who you are. Submissions should be 6 inches wide at 300dpi and uploaded here. Please follow the directions and fill in the submission form at that link.

DEADLINE April 30.

Weekend Reading: SDP 46

A couple of spreads from UPPERCASE have made it into the Society of Publication Designer's annual, earning a merit for the "design of an entire issue" category. Nice to see it listed on a page with The New York Times Style Magazine and TIME! The spreads displayed are about illustrator Martin Haake and a contents page featuring a photo by Paul Octavious.

Evernote was here!

It's odd for me to be on the other side of the camera.Kasey, Nick and a bit of meWe moved the couch so that you can see all the magazines behind me in the frame.Kasey asks the questions off-camera.Nick does the video and sound.Yesterday Kasey Fleisher Hickey and Nick Strayer of Evernote were visiting all the way from California to make a video about little ol' me and how I use Evernote as an integral part of UPPERCASE publishing.

I look forward to sharing the finished video with you, in which I explain in more detail how it is part of my creative and business life. If you're not familiar with Evernote, here's a little introduction:

I really can't recommend the service enough and my endorsement of the service comes very naturally. I've been using Evernote since issue #2, so it is an integral part of my creative and editorial process in the magazine development. It has been like an editorial assistant or second brain for me—I honestly couldn't get as much done and sorted without it and I have Evernote on my main computer, laptop and iphone. In addition to my ideas, inspirations and web links, all or your emailed suggestions, portfolio links and submissions get put directly into my Evernote database where I can easily access it and pull up content as I need it. 

Thank you to Kasey and Nick and the rest of the Evernote team for wanting to share my story.

Thank you to Eleanor for the excellent photos above!

My perspective, as an Instagram.

Welcome, Eleanor!

Eleanor getting some Dottie Angel boxes ready for our warehouse.Lucky issue #13 has themes about luck and good fortune, but there's a behind-the-scenes story of serendipity I'd like to share.

Some weeks ago, I was desperate to find some help. I was overwhelmed with all the data management that publishing a magazine and books demand. I had a huge backlog of over 500 entries to deal with and no time in sight. Serendipitously, Eleanor walked into my studio space, resume in hand. Though she was initially looking for a retail job, her resume listed lots of past experience in just the sort of things I needed help with! We had an impromptu interview right then and there and it wasn't too long that Eleanor was working here part time. She made her way through the hundreds of orders like a real trooper and has proven to be a great help with the shop, subscribers and wholesalers. I am so happy and relieved to have her as part of the UPPERCASE family.

You can read Eleanor's perspective about the new job on her blog.

Eleanor wrote her own introduction:

I was born in Beijing China, and moved to Canada when I was 7 years old. One would think I'm bilingual but my Chinese is of a 7 year old's who has forgotten much of the grammar! Today I'm a hobby photographer and writer, especially of found things and macro shots. I love poetry and fiction. I have an idea in my head for a horror novel something between The Ring (my favourite horror flick) and a Korean drama. I'm a huge movie geek, I love everything from intense dramas to b-movies, some of my favourites include: The Red Violin, Hot Fuzz, Casablanca, etc. I'm so happy to have started at UPPERCASE, it's been about a month and I love it here. Janine is really inspirational and I'm glad to help with the publication. 

If you have any questions about subscriptions or shop orders, Eleanor will be the one replying to your queries. (email Eleanor at shop {at}

I'm very lucky that Eleanor wandered in to UPPERCASE that day!

What a compliment!

The Society of Publication Designers is presenting a round-up of magazine art directors' favourite magazines: "We've asked a lot art and photo directors from around the world to tell us the magazines or apps that they really love. The ones they can't wait to get their hands on, the ones that fire their creative spirit: you know, the ones that make you jealous, or supremely happy, or both." 

Thank you Deb Bishop for selecting UPPERCASE (She designed Blueprint magazine and Martha Stewart Baby and Kids — remember those? So amazing! She's now at More.) 

I've chosen Uppercase because I love the whole package. It is playful and "up," without being over designed. I tip my hat to Janine Vangool who is the publisher, editor and designer. She has created a beautiful format and each page is kind of a feast for the eyes-- not just the design but the featured content. If you love "how-to," and are the "curious sort," about how beautiful graphic things are made it's hard not to enjoy this publication. This issue included intricately carved crayons and the art of paper cutting. Loved the "handy guides," collection.  I admit that I am seduced by the beautiful paper and even the smell of fresh ink when I open the package. In this time of troubled publishing it's nice to learn that this wonderful publication, is created by a small team (3 people I think!) in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. 

London suggestions?


I'm heading to the London Book Fair next month! I can scarcely believe it, and there's so much to do in the next month... Do you have suggestions of places, people or things that I should check out that could make good content for the magazine? Please leave your ideas in the comments below, thanks!

i love YOU (and you love U)

Do you want to declare your love for UPPERCASE on your own blog or website? Now you can—and be rewarded for your enthusiasm—with our new referral program. Sign up is easy (you can even use your login info from Twitter, Facebook or Gmail), then grab the code for the graphic that best suits, put it on your site and that's it! There are also social media links and emails that you can use that will track your referrals. In the beta phase, you will earn $1 on every sale resulting from the link from your referring site. Once you reach $20 or more in commissions, they will be paid out automatically on a monthly basis.

What to share the love? SIGN UP HERE

Thank you! UPPERCASE readers are awesome.

(Here are some of the graphics to choose from, with more on the way after the testing period is over.)

introducing... peeps!

Hey, peeps!

Do you have something that you'd like to share with UPPERCASE magazine readers? Now you can publish it in honest-to-goodness ink on paper in our new "peeps" section! Think of a peep as a creative cross between a tweet, the community newspaper classifieds and a type specimen. Thanks to lithographic technology, these "paper tweets" leave a lasting impression. And with beautiful typography and design for each message (typeset by UPPERCASE designer Janine Vangool), these peeps transform a classified into something classy.

Have you just launched your portfolio site or redesigned your blog? Maybe UPPERCASE readers would love your shop with a unique offer just for them? Are you starting a special project that seeks collaboration? Do you have a special message for a fellow reader? A shoutout or just a friendly word of advice to share? Just want to see your name in print? That's what UPPERCASE peeps are for!

Easy and inexpensive, just fill in the form to submit your peep for the next issue (Issue #13 will be released for April-May-June). Deadline for peep submissions for issue #13 is February 28.

Big news: UPPERCASE available at Anthropologie!

instagram by April Meeker, Carlsbad Anthropologie

Anthropologie + UPPERCASE is a dream combination. As a long-time enthusiast of Anthropologie's curated products and beautifully styled stores, I've always imagined my magazine and books as part of their selection of reading material. And now, you can visit an Anthropologie in North America and purchase UPPERCASE (and other indie publications like Kinfolk and Anthology, too!)

Since I do all the distribution and subscriptions myself, it has been difficult to get the magazine out to a greater population. (And from the beginning we have not been part of traditional newsstand distribution since it is very wasteful.) Very happily, UPPERCASE has been available through independent retailers around the world—shops with small staff who take the time to order individual things. A large company like Anthropologie's willingness to work with small makers like myself is what makes Anthropologie such a desirable place. Each shop has its own feel, its own unique displays and local sensibilities... but all very much within the overall brand quality.

So now with UPPERCASE on its shelves, there's one more reason to do something that we already love to do: shop at Anthropologie! And for those of you in areas that don't have stockists, the geographic availability of the magazine has increased substantially! Check the store locator to find a location near you. (The magazine might still be in transit to some destinations; if they don't have it yet, please inquire to make sure that the magazine is ordered to that particular store location.) You can also purchase the magazine through their online store!

Send me a twitter or instagram pic of the magazine in your local store! @uppercasemag

Subscriptions and back issues

I love how Jen's shirt fabric looked with the current issuePlease subscribe to UPPERCASE magazine; it's an independent magazine supported by readers and subscribers. Back issues of #6, #8 and #9 are still available, the rest are sold out! (Less than 30 copies of issue #6 remain.) Thanks!


It was an honour to have UPPERCASE magazine in this year's Magazine Library in Tokyo. Click here for more images of the event, held in a private home. Magazines were donated, to be sold as part of a fundraiser for earthquake and tsunami reconstruction funds.


Correy and Glen give issue 10 another look before it is sent to the printer for prepress.

Selvedge Spring Fair

This Saturday, folks in London could delight in this beautiful craft fair hosted by the British textiles magazine, Selvedge. Attendees received a goodie bag and the contents included a set of UPPERCASE promo postcards inserted into glassine envelopes and sealed with Japanese washi tape. Thank you to Selvedge for the opportunity, and thank you to my mom and dad who helped collate and seal 750 packages!

Another reason to love Anthropologie!

Here's some great news: because of our Issue #7 feature of the extraordinarily talented painter Christopher Stott, the art director at commissioned Chris to paint five original works for their website. The paintings will be featured throughout the week.

Last year, the Frugal and Fancy feature on my friend Paige Smith also caught the eye of their buyer and her ring holders (below) are in stores across in the US and Canada. It's very exciting and gratifying to me that UPPERCASE magazine is inspiring such opportunities! And it just goes to show you how Anthropologie as a company embraces independent artists and designers.

I'm an avid Anthropologie fan and I know that many of my readers are enthusiastic customers as well. I would love to have my books and the magazine in their stores. Their curated selection of books is always smart, pretty and inspiring.

Where the time goes...

Woah, things are busy around here! The past week has flown by, but not without a whole lot going on:

Last Thursday celebrated the release of issue #8 and the Letterpress Sampler — more pictures posted soon, I promise!

I'm reviewing the printer proofs of A Collection a Day, I got to see the printer proofs of the Shoegazing Notecard Set published by Chronicle Books later this year and Work/Life 2 is off to the printer in a matter of days.

The Elegant Cockroach by Deidre Martin and Stefanie Augustine made it to #3 on Calgary's Bestseller list! (hey locals, let's get it to #1!!! Check the book's page for local bookstores.)

Martha Stewart Living is hosting an amazing contest on their website, called Prized Collections, in collaboration with A Collection a Day: 

"In the February 2011 issue of Martha Stewart Living, we celebrated the collections of some of our favorite tastemakers. We were especially taken with Lisa Congdon, whose assortment of midcentury kitchenware only scratches the surface of her passion for collecting. An artist and illustrator, Lisa spent 2010 blogging a new collection every day; in spring 2011, Uppercase will publish her book, "A Collection a Day." Now it's your chance to share your collecting artistry with us. Upload photos of your prized possessions by March 28 for a chance to win one of three line drawings from Lisa, plus a copy of her new book. The finalists will be featured on"

Tif Fussell's blog, dottie angel, got a nice mention in the current issue of the Australian magazine Inside Out. (Also exciting: the style director of the magazine will be featured in the next issue of UPPERCASE.) Tif has some really nice notebooks for sale in her shop. We also got some great news about the foreword to her book, but we'll save that reveal for later!

And on a personal note, at nearly 11 months old Finley is finally cutting his first tooth. Which means that I barely slept a wink last night, but at least he's feeling happy right now. He also began standing by himself this week.

Just a few left...

If you'd like a set of the available back issues (issues 3, 4, 5, 6) plus a subscription, we have just a few left! Thirteen, to be precise. Only five! Once these have gone, then issues 3 and 5 are officially sold out! (Issues 1 and 2 are sold out, issue 4 has fewer than 100 copies left and issue 6 just 30 copies.) And when they're gone, that's it. As is the nature of magazines, they will not be reprinted since my resources go into putting out future issues.

This subscription set makes a great Christmas gift since your recipient gets a box of 5 magazines for some great holiday reading. Issue 8 follows quickly in early February, followed by an issue in April and July. To order as a gift, simply enter their name and address in the ship to fields and your name in the billing info. Order today to ensure ample shipping time. Or if you prefer that the box be shipped to you so that it can be gift wrapped, ship it to yourself and follow up with an email including the subscription address for issue 8 and beyond. Thanks!

Calling letterpress printers!

UPDATE: thanks for the tremendous response! The call is now closed.

Issue 8 is a work-in-progress, but content is starting to flow in. I had one of those ideas... the kind that you just have to put out there and see if it works:


The UPPERCASE letterpress sampler

The forthcoming issue of UPPERCASE, a magazine for the creative and curious, celebrates letterpress with features written by Charlotte Rivers (The Little Book of Letterpress) and Bethany Heck as well as a studio tour and interview with Studio on Fire. We would love to have our readers experience the tactile qualities of letterpress while getting to know the talented spectrum of letterpress printers out there. We are looking for participating printers to donate samples of their work which will then be inserted into the magazine. All printers who donate work will be listed with their contact details. This issue will be distributed in January/February.

We are looking for 30 printers to each donate 100 items for insertion. Possible items could be greeting cards or small art prints, below 8"x10" in size. (They don't all have to be the same, either, since just one sample will be randomly inserted per magazine. Ideally, the item would have your company name on it, though.) Items should be sent to UPPERCASE before December 15. If you'd like to be involved, please confirm your participation as soon as possible to janine at uppercasemagazine dot com. thanks!

What makes a good business card?

I'm working on a feature for the next issue of UPPERCASE magazine. I'd love to hear your opinion:

What makes a good business card design?

Please leave your comments below this post with your name and url.

Are you proud of your own card or one that you've designed for a client? Submit print-resolution files here by November 15 to be considered for publication in the magazine. Make sure to include your contact info and all appropriate design credits.

Reader Survey

Issue 7 is out in the world now, it has arrived to our Canadian subscribers, USA should be following this week. Europe and Australia: it will take more time; thanks for your patience while it works its way across oceans and continents. It is hard to fathom that this is the seventh issue already! Time sure flies when you're working on a quarterly magazine and raising a baby.

I thought it was about time to put together a reader survey; to know a bit more about what you like about the magazine, topic areas you'd like to see more or less of as well as the demographics of our readership. I hope you can take a few minutes to answer some questions. You can also enter for a draw for a complimentary subscription or renewal. The survey is open to casual readers of the magazine as well as subscribers. Click here to take survey.

Stack of Seven

And then there were seven.

Cover illustration by Greg Morgan
I've just one box of issue 3 left, so if you want to start your collection with as many issue as possible, now it the time to order our back issues. (issues 1 and 2 are completely sold out).