The Distance Between Two Points

Art in the Age has a show of Scotty Albrecht's work opening later this week in Philadelphia.

"In The Distance Between Two Points, Albrecht explores themes of time, perception and interconnectivity. The artist took a holistic approach toward this exhibition, inspired by the concept that consciousness is informed by multiple factors, shaped by personal histories and past experiences. His goal was to create a body of work with layers of meaning, each piece functions individually yet many convey a larger message collectively, in relation to the others."

Doors Open YYC: Traffic Operations Sign Shop

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It's a fun weekend in the city of Calgary with lots of great events happening simultaneously. Today, my family and I went to Doors Open YYC to take a tour of the traffic operations sign shop. For the second year in a row, a news crew captured footage of Finley and his friend on a tour. You can see Glen and me in the background as well, I'm easy to spot in my yellow coat. Tours continue tomorrow at various sites across the city, but we'll be at Heritage Park's Railway Days!

I also went to Etsy Made in Canada this afternoon... photos to come after "bedtime routine".

The wisdom of calligraphers.

Calligraphers are wise people. Get to know all of these fine folks in the forthcoming issue of UPPERCASE.

A beatiful free font inspired by the city of Granada

For more, visit the Garnata Display page on Behance.

type tuesday: These amazing labels are painted!

These amazing old labels are not lithographed... these are gouache mockups that were presented to clients for approval. Read all about this special collection from Letterform Archive in the current issue of UPPERCASE.

type tuesday: Always Play Amongst Friends

If I lived in San Francisco, I'd go to this

type tuesday: painterly type

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Pawel Nolbert has created these intriguing paint-splattered sculptural illustrations out of a combination of real paint on acetate and digital manipulation. Clever!

{ via Type Worship }

Type Tuesday: Letraset Type Transfer

type tuesday: blossom type

Blossom Type by Alice Mourou, Dmitriy Petrov, Olesya Korsak and Nikita Schukin.

{ via Quipsologies }

Century: 100 Years of Type and Design

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In celebration of the AIGA National Design Center’s centennial year, an exhibition curated by Monotype called “Century: 100 Years of Type in Design” is on display at the AIGA in New York City until June 18.

The exhibition, designed by Pentagram partner Abbott Miller celebrates typeface diversity and the role that texts and fonts have played throughout the past century. 

"Monotype made the entirety of its libraries available to Miller for the project,” notes the Pentagram website. "The idea of multiplicity is highlighted in an environment that communicates the endless diversity of typographic form: the walls and floor are covered in a pattern of 1,058 different periods, drawing from 630 typefaces. Displayed in the gallery window, Miller’s identity for the exhibition is a letter “C” rendered in segments of different Monotype fonts."

For location and hours of the exhibit, please refer to the AIGA’s website

In Tags

Attention, letter-lovers in Calgary!!!

Signpainter Rick Janzen from Streamline Studios.

Signpainter Rick Janzen from Streamline Studios.

Happy students who participated in Rick Janzen's distressed signage workshop earlier this year. 

Happy students who participated in Rick Janzen's distressed signage workshop earlier this year. 

Thanks to the industriousness of Dale Pidlisny and the Better Letters Company (posted about previously here), Calgarians with steady hands and a love of lettering are in for a treat! A Better Letters workshop with local signpainter Rick Janzen is scheduled for June 28-29 right here in Calgary.

Rick has decades of experience in film and TV, heritage reproductions and commercial sign painting. His filmography includes Return to Gunsmoke and Brokeback Mountain to more recent films like Inception and Hell on Wheels.

Head over to Rick's blog to read how he transformed Calgary's Heritage Park into a movie set.

Head over to Rick's blog to read how he transformed Calgary's Heritage Park into a movie set.

"A short trailer for a documentary that I'm working on. It's about how the digital age has changed the sign industry and how it's made the art of hand lettering obsolete."

Space is limited to a dozen students, so register today to secure your spot!

Werner Design Werks: timeless design

I've admired Werner Design Werks' design portfolio since I was a design student in college. Sharon Werner's typographic skills combined with an intelligent approach to design problem-solving makes her work seem timeless — even years (yikes, decades?) later, the projects created by Werner Design Werks that I admired back then are still appealing today.

"A Good Day for Soup" was designed by Sharon Werner and published by Chronicle Books in 1995. As a fresh design college grad, I remember admiring its gorgeous and perfectly tomato-soup-coloured red ink on uncoated paper. The book design still looks fresh!

"A Good Day for Soup" was designed by Sharon Werner and published by Chronicle Books in 1995. As a fresh design college grad, I remember admiring its gorgeous and perfectly tomato-soup-coloured red ink on uncoated paper. The book design still looks fresh!

Sharon Werner and Sarah Forss are the small team that have been the mainstay of Werner Design works. Through hard work—combined with their great deal of talent—they have built a strong body of work and set themselves as an important anchor in a design aesthetic that began regionally in Minneapolis-St. Paul in the mid-nineties.

Sharon, during our visit in 2011.

Sharon, during our visit in 2011.

In the early 90s, there was a distinctive design trend emerging from the Minneapolis area. It was a vernacular style that married a workhorse aesthetic with typographic prowess: bold type, simple colours, deliberate misregistration, butcher paper. French Paper was the trendiest stock option and retro-pop line art was being captured from the public domain by Charles S. Anderson. At the time, I was an eager visual communications student at the Alberta College of Art devouring design magazines. Before blogs and Behance, it was the print triumvirate Communication Arts, How and Print that informed the impressionable. Through their pages, I came to admire designs by Sharon Werner.

The Werner Design Werks studio is full of books, bits of signage and vintage inspiration.

The Werner Design Werks studio is full of books, bits of signage and vintage inspiration.

After six years working for Duffy Design, Sharon founded Werner Design Werks in 1991. Her work appealed to me because the designs were a little quieter and a bit more feminine that the rest of the “guys” profiled in the magazines. I remember checking out a cookbook she designed (A Good Day for Soup, Chronicle Books, 1995), not for the recipes, but to admire the perfectly tomato soup–coloured ink and the delicious typography. When I graduated from college and started my own freelance design pursuits a few years later, I continued to follow Werner Design Werks' output for visual inspiration and also as encouragement for being a female entrepreneur in what was then a seemingly male-oriented industry.

An Alphabeasties dinosaur book in progress, 2011.
Examples from Alphabeasties.

Examples from Alphabeasties.

Issue #14 is still available as a back issue and features a special section on children's book illustration. Cover by Jon Klassen.

Issue #14 is still available as a back issue and features a special section on children's book illustration. Cover by Jon Klassen.

A dozen or so years on, Sharon and I connected through email and postal exchanges. I had been sending her the UPPERCASE directory of illustration and she was reciprocating with her amazing Alphabeasties series of books. In 2011, I was thrilled to finally meet Sharon in her St. Paul office and have a face-to-face chat (and a snoop through her spacious studio). Thinking back to my 20-year-old art-student self, I could not have fathomed that a few decades later I would be publishing a magazine and featuring one of my design heroines within its pages!

Our visit was profiled two years ago in issue #14 (2012) of UPPERCASE, but I've never shared some of the photos I took of that visit—until today! I was prompted to share them in honour of Werner Design Werks' new website, one that shows off current projects, like this identity for Caryn Model & Talent Agency, but also highlights the many projects that helped define the company over the years.

Identity design for Caryn Model & Talent Agency

Identity design for Caryn Model & Talent Agency

Identity design for Caryn Model & Talent Agency

Identity design for Caryn Model & Talent Agency

Sharon admits that it was quite challenging to decide what to include in the new website: "To edit and select 23 years worth of projects was an arduously difficult task of deciding—what makes the cut?" she explains. "We’re firm believers that you're only as good as your last project! But we also believe our history and experiences make us who we are today. They inform how we think and approach a project. With that in mind we created an archive section for the oldies but goodies. It was similar to going through your closet and if you’ve not worn (or referenced) it in the last 2 years, it goes into the give-away box."

Congratulations to Sharon and Sarah on the new site—and my thanks to them both for their hospitality and support of UPPERCASE projects over the years. Cheers! 

Some iconic spirits packaging. Knob Creek was produced while Sharon was at Duffy Design Group.

Some iconic spirits packaging. Knob Creek was produced while Sharon was at Duffy Design Group.

Nutmegger Workshop sees making signs as an art form

When I'm sifting through reader submissions, I never know what I'll find. From a fresh-faced illustrator hoping to get their first published piece or a seasoned creative who has turned a new leaf and is looking to share their new direction... surprise and delight are the hallmarks of a good submission.

The work of Peter Vogel of Nutmegger Workshop in Portland, Oregon prompted an immediate response from me—I began to follow him on Twitter, sent out a tweet, emailed a thank you and planned this blog post.

Peter introduced himself as a "30-year graphic designer/design director/creative director now making vintage sign art." His talent for lettering and his love of old signage is combined into his business of making vintage-looking signs. His signs are not meant as functional signage—they don't fabricate signs and to site installations—rather the signs are art meant to be hung interior settings, somewhat like charming set decoration or as interior design features. 

"Generations ago, sign writers were a busy, sought-after bunch, but the heyday of their hand-lettered art was no match for the rising tide of digital sign-making technology. Nutmegger Workshop was created to celebrate the alluring charm of this long-forgotten art form. It is our mission to offer the finest period reproductions and original designs — handcrafted works of typographic art that add unique personality to any well-designed space."

Enjoy a leisurely stroll through the Nutmegger gallery of signs and read more about Peter's approach to his art.

type tuesday: letterpress broadsides

image courtesy of Chandler O'Leary

image courtesy of Chandler O'Leary

A collaboration project by letterpress printer Jessica Spring and designer Chandler O'Leary called Dead Feminists is a quarterly letterpress broadside series that features quotes by women in history tied in with current political, social and environmental issues. 

"Broadsides are arguably the oldest form of mass-communication–a rabble-rousing medium that has helped bring about social change for centuries," says Chandler. "It was gratifying to discover that the words of these women still resonate today, and that we had the opportunity to tell our stories through the language of typography."

Each broadside is illustrated and hand-lettered by Chandler and letterpress printed by Jessica. 

type tuesday: feed yourself with letterform

Here's a feed to follow on Instagram: Letterform. Combining a love of food and typography, their online shop is called Nourishing Notes.

"Started in 2007 by Julie Morelli and Andy Schwegler (shortly after they opened their design studio Letterform) Nourishing Notes combines their passions for food, design, illustration, type, and laughter. One joke about a lamb shank quickly turned into the very first greeting card, which led to a crash course in letterpress printing, which led to a full line of stationery, kitchen towels, art prints, and lots more in the years to come." 


Grafolita

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Catarina Vaz is a Lisbon-based designer who makes beautiful notebooks. She describes her company, Grafolita, as "a small universe where paper, ink and colour rule." 100% crafted by hand, Catarina's notebooks are letterpress-printed and bound one by one. 

"Grafolita is about one person who self teaches doing what she needs in order to do what she wants: Special handmade notebooks, through traditional techniques, that are reinterpreted and used in a new design approach, in the care for finishings and materials."

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photos by Rui Abreu

photos by Rui Abreu

creative manifesto: Alessandra Lanot

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In our current issue #20 (released in January), we had a creative challenge asking our readers to submit their Creative Manifestos. Today we will feature some of the best submissions.

My Creative Manifesto: Follow Your Art

Your Name: Alessandra Lanot

Your City: Quezon City

Your Country: Philippines

Your website: http://www.lifeafterbreakfast.com

 

creative manifesto: Amanda Prouten

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In our current issue #20 (released in January), we had a creative challenge asking our readers to submit their Creative Manifestos. Today we will feature some of the best submissions.

My Creative Manifesto: A quiet life in loud colour

Your Name: Amanda Prouten

Your City: London

Your Country: UK

Your website: http://amandaprouten.com

creative manifesto: Jane Rainwater

In our current issue #20 (released in January), we had a creative challenge asking our readers to submit their Creative Manifestos. Today we will feature some of the best submissions.

My Creative Manifesto: Beautiful Tyranny

Your Name: Jane Rainwater

Your City: Andover,CT

Your Country: USA

Your website if applicable: http://www.rainwaterdesign.com

creative manifesto: Mary Peterson

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In our current issue #20 (released in January), we had a creative challenge asking our readers to submit their Creative Manifestos. Today we will feature some of the best submissions.

My Creative Manifesto: Make. Help. Smile.

Your Name: Mary Peterson

Your City: Los Angeles

Your Country: USA

Your website if applicable.: http://www.marypeterson.com