Rob Saunders' Letterform Archive


The Letterform Archive is a digital gallery of designer, publisher and educator Rob Saunders' extensive collection of printed ephemera. Though Rob has been collecting for decades, the Letterform Archive is a new endeavour, launched last year. Items for the archive are not scanned; they are precisely photographed at high resolution in excellent lighting so that we may enjoy the nuances of the paper and the textural detail of the print.


I was fortunate to see a teaser selection of the archive in person. Visit the website and start browsing... new images are uploaded on a regular basis and you may purchase their 2014 calendar while supplies last. If you'd like to make an appointment, see here. Thank you, Rob, for an excellent visit and for participating in our Show and Tell event as well.


lost & found

Kathryn John sent in a pitch, which led me to explore her website where I discovered this collaborative video project made with Jo Keeling. An ode to collecting, Kathryn writes, "That is my voiceover and the script came from something I wrote for Jo, the filmmaker, with a few tweaks from her to suit the shots she visualized." It was their first effort as part of a digital film making class—I hope they continue their collaboration!

type tuesday: Julia Trigg collages

In issue #20, we feature UK artist Julia Trigg's collection of vintage ham radio cards and one of the digital collages (above) that she made with scans from this collection. 

Julia has a new "Just the Ticket" print available through Ikea as well as many more posters collaged with vintage ephemera in her print shop.


typecase shadowboxes

Use this page file to print out if you don't want to cut up or glue your physical magazine.

In our current issue, we provided a page with an image of an empty typecase. Since this is our collage and assemblage-themed issue, we encourage you to glue and modify this page, take a picture or scan of it and send it to us!

Cornelis vanSpronsen shares the mementos that he and his wife have collected over the years. (Click to view the details.)

UPPERCASE subscriber Cornelis vanSpronsen writes: 

"I received my copy of UPPERCASE today and was immediately inspired to respond to the creative challenge on page 75. For many years my wife and I have collected special mementos that were both of great importance as well as those that were memorable for just a small moment in time. This is some of that collection. Going through these is like leafing through a photo album but only better because there are memories attached to these things that photos could never capture."

Emeli Reiart sent us this Instagram of a collection of sea shells:

@thebarnswallow on Instagram

@thebarnswallow on Instagram

More imagery on the The Typecase Shadow Boxes group on Flickr. 

the Martin Howard collection of antique typewriters

Martin Howard and his collection of early typewriters.

Martin Howard and his collection of early typewriters.

Martin's display of typewriter tins above the workstation where he cleans and repairs his machines. 

Martin's display of typewriter tins above the workstation where he cleans and repairs his machines. 

In addition to machines, Martin has an extensive collection of artifacts, like this advertisement for the Crandall Typewriter. 

In addition to machines, Martin has an extensive collection of artifacts, like this advertisement for the Crandall Typewriter. 

A gorgeous Crandall from 1886.

A gorgeous Crandall from 1886.

During my trip to Toronto, I was fortunate to visit Martin Howard and his beautiful collection of early typewriters. His website offers clear and detailed photographs of his collection and is certainly the best site and photographs that I have come across. I am pleased that Martin will be sharing some of his images in The Typewriter: a Graphic History of the Beloved Machine.

I had not previously had the opportunity to see these early typewriters up close, let alone to see how they work.  Martin graciously demonstrates two models, a Standard Folding and a Mignon 2, in the videos below.

A note on the photographs The photos above are ones that I took during our visit. Martin and I both kindly request that respect be given to our images and ask that proper credit is given if you use any of these images on your blog or post them to Pinterest or elsewhere. Personally, I have come across many unauthorized uses of my typewriter photographs for blog headers and commercial purposes. We invest a lot of effort into preparing the machines, lighting, equipment, etc and photographs of the machines are copyrighted to the photographers. Just because it is a picture of something old, the photographs themselves are not "public domain". thank you.

rock show


This weekend my family and I went to the Gem, Mineral and Fossil show looking for inspiration for the fall issue (#19) that has rocks and gems as a theme. I'm on the hunt for creative projects using or inspired by rocks, gems and minerals. Please submit your links here

sniff collector


In addition to being an UPPERCASE contributor, Amy Peppler-Adams is a graphic designer, budding surface pattern designer and co-author of the Vintage Scratch & Sniff Collector's Guide. She recently wrote about her experience as a scratch and sniff sticker collector on her blog

"Some of you may know that my obsession with collecting (hoarding) includes a passion for vintage stickers from the 1970s and '80s. For the first 10 years of the 2000s, right after I turned 30, I was consumed with finding and buying all the stickers I collected as a kid, replacing all those I had stuck to old notebooks and magnetic photo albums with pristine, unused stickers on their original backings. This included scratch and sniff stickers, which had to be unscratched and still have their smell. And I wasn't the only one—eBay was crawling with avid sticker collectors, especially those who wanted sniff stickers. It was a tense 10 years, watching hundreds if not thousands of listings and usually bidding at the last second to try to win. But my collection is nearly complete, and occasionally I am able to fill in some holes when I get the inkling to check out the eBay listings again.

During this time I was fortunate to collaborate with a fellow collector, bubbledog, writing a book dedicated to scratch and sniff stickers: the Vintage Scratch & Sniff Stickers Collector's Guide."

Amy says she was "thrilled to have contributed a short article about the stinky pieces of paper" for issue #17

If you're interested in starting your own scratch and sniff sticker collection, you're in luck. Email by May 15 to be entered to win a copy of Vintage Scratch & Sniff Stickers Collector's Guide.

Etsy & UPPERCASE: Sushipot Vintage

The current issue, #14, features the Etsy seller Suzanna Scott's collection of vintage play blocks. Suzanna actually has two shops: Sushipots Vintage sells beautiful old toys, instant collections and fodder for creativity and Sushipot highlights Suzanna's original collages and assemblages.

Vintage Sewing Basket full o' Crafty Notions

Vintage Sewing Basket full o' Crafty Notions

Suzanna's product shots are fantastic!

Suzanna's product shots are fantastic!

Sushipot art block.

Sushipot art block.

Such a gorgeous photo makes these little game pieces all the more appealing.

Such a gorgeous photo makes these little game pieces all the more appealing.