Boxing Week Sale

Greetings! I hope you've all had a wonderful Christmas weekend.

I've discounted some of the books in the online shop, until January 2. Camilla Engman's The Suitcase Series, Jen11, Work/Life, The Shatner Show are all on sale! Last chance on back issues of #4 and #6, too, those are nearly sold out.

Merry Christmas!

May your Christmas be full of bows, sparkles and lights!

Above: some of Lisa's Christmas-themed collections.

Last minute gifting!

A subscription is a nice gift to the creative people you know. They'll receive issue #8 in February and be reminded of your thoughtfulness again in April, July and October when the subsequent issues arrive in their mailboxes. Subscribe in our online shop (enter your name in billing and their info in shipping). You can send them this graphic by email to let them know of your gift. Quick, easy and excellent!

Mike & Renata's Christmas Greeting

Illustrator couple Mike Kerr and Renata Liwska always create lovely images for their holiday greetings. Thanks, guys!

Type Tuesday: R'nt you festive!

Nice photo and styling by Debee Campos.

Tell me about yourself...

I would like to include more Subscriber Profiles (for subscribers of UPPERCASE magazine only) in the magazine. Rather than select randomly or ask people that I know a bit about, I thought I'd put it out there and see who responds. I know I have a lot of keen subscribers out there and it would be nice to hear from a variety of folks! I'll publish some in the forthcoming issue (answer before December 27 to be considered for issue 8) and post some here on the blog as well.

Please copy the following text and answer the questions by email to and attach a photograph of yourself labeled with your last name (file should be at least 2” wide at 300dpi). Please title your email Subscriber Profile, it makes my inbox easier to handle! This is for current subscribers only, please!




How are you creative in your daily life?

What are you most curious about?

What is your most prized possession?

What is your favourite letter of the alphabet and why?

What is your favourite colour?

What is your preferred creative tool?

website url, if applicable:

blog, if applicable:

shop, if applicable:

A look at the next cover

And there she is, a cover design-in-progress for issue 8, out in early February! Thanks to Sarah and Ryan at Lab Partners for the illustration. I love the simple concept and the play on the notion of a type slug (a strip of metal used to space lines of type).

(Lab Partners were previously featured in the magazine, as part of our dynamic duo column. Below is the illustration that they made for that article.) Quite the dapper pair!

In addition to the usual topics, the issue explores themes of small and miniature, as well as articles about letterpress. Each issue will have an actual letterpress sample inserted within its pages and subscriber copies will include an authentic vintage european matchbox label.

Renegade San Francisco

We're there in spirit! (and as a prize at the raffle table)

Open Saturday afternoon

Hi there! Glen, Finley and I are downtown in the UPPERCASE headquarters if you'd like to stop by for some Christmas shopping in Art Central! Books, Eclectonotes and magazine subscriptions make good gifts! (Issue 7 is available here in person while supplies last.) We're open from noon until around 3ish. The button maker is set up, too, if you are so inclined.

Tins tins tins

This is a good omen: my vintage typewriter tins are featured on The Dieline today! Coincidentally, I am working on the tin design for A Collection a Day. (Thanks for the tip, Jen!)

A short film about dottie angel

Dottie Angel's Once Upon a Time from Etsy on Vimeo.

I had the pleasure of visiting Tif Fussell this fall, to get to know her and to begin work on our book collaboration. I made a short film of introduction about Tif and her alter-ego dottie angel and we are thrilled that it is having its premiere today on Etsy's Storque.

Thank you to Beth and Eric at Etsy, and to my brother Marc Vangool who composed and performs the guitar music.

Here's an outtake scene from a trip to the local Value Village:

In honour of the occasion, Tif has stocked her Etsy shop with some marvelous items:

The Suitcase Series Volume 2: Dottie Angel is out this summer. Preorder it on its own or part of the book bundle!

A Collection a Day: book block

Here's the small-but-hefty book mockup for Lisa Congdon's A Collection a Day. Now I've got to go and design all those pages! The special collector's tin is in progress as well and once the artwork is cleared for production, I'll share that with you as well.

(Book preorder price is $25—you save $10 when preordering. The book is also available as part of the UPPERCASE book bundle which includes The Elegant Cockroach which ships immediately, followed by Work/Life 2 in February, A Collection a Day in March and Dottie Angel in June.)

Crafting a Meaningful Home

As a book lover, designer and publisher, I am always on the lookout for books that inspire. With review copies, keeping up with the blogs, my magazine and books in progress, it seems that I look at so many things these days that it takes something extra special to grab my full attention. Crafting a Meaningful Home is such a book. Written by Meg Mateo Ilasco (I've blogged about her recent book collaboration with Joy Cho, Creative Inc) with gorgeous photography by Thayer Allyson Gowdy, the book goes beyond the typical craft how-to and really does live up to its title: each of the crafts in the book is made by a different artist or family. Sharing meaningful stories on how culture, family and personal histories inform their crafts and home environment, the book is a very interesting read.

The book arrived at just the right time; Glen and I have been redoing our house: putting down new floors, painting the walls, new furniture and bookshelves... With this clean slate, I am inspired to feature more personal items, crafts and collections. (In the photo above you can see a bit of a lovely crochet blanket that Tif made for Finley, and below the amazing colour combination so-awful-it's-great throw I bought at Value Village.) With all of the activity and work I have to do, I have not had time to sew or crochet... but I remind myself that am crafting a home in the larger sense: Glen and I are creating a wonderful place for all of us to grow as a family.

The book features many of my favourite creative people: Rae Dunn, Joy Cho, Lauren & Derek from The Curiosity Shoppe, Lorena Siminovich and many other fine crafters. Lisa Congdon is also a contributor and her decoupage plates are featured on the cover. Below is a sweet video of Lisa that Meg shares with us:

Crafting a Meaningful Home - Lisa Congdon from Meg Mateo Ilasco on Vimeo.


The book is available through Rare Device and The Curiosity Shoppe as well as other fine booksellers.

More Weekend Reading: Camilla Engman

Camilla has some free Christmas tags for download on her site!

Many thanks to Julia Rothman's Book by its Cover! The Suitcase Series Volume 1: Camilla Engman has been named Julia's #2 favourite book of 2010 and the reader's most popular pick for #1, based on number of comments. That's stupendous, thank you!

Enter the code "bookbyitscover" for 10% off your purchases of The Suitcase Series or anything else in the shop. Please note that if you're ordering a gift to arrive before Christmas, see the following postal deadlines:

regular shipping within Canada
(items ordered this weekend are ok and will be shipped Monday morning)

Xpresspost shipping within Canada

regular shipping to USA
7 (ended, please select Xpresspost or courier options)

Xpresspost shipping to USA

ended DECEMBER 6
Click here to order in Europe.

Weekend Reading: The Elegant Cockroach

If you are so lucky as to be strolling the streets of London, be sure to look for The Elegant Cockroach at Daunt Books, Magma, and the shop at the Tate. Deidre, author of The Elegant Cockroach, was in London recently to visit the city in which she conceived the tale.

Locally, you will find Cockroaches in:

Shelf Life Books, 100 - 1302 4St SW
Pages Books On Kensington, 1135 Kensington Road NW
Owl's Nest Books, 815A 49th Ave SW
Steeling Home, 1010 17th Ave SW
Monkeyshines, 113, 2215 - 33rd Ave S.W.
and UPPERCASE, of course (please call or email first since I am mostly working from home these days)

It is also available in these fine places:

Collage Collage, Vancouver
Vancouver Art Gallery Bookstore, Vancouver
Type Books, Toronto
Land, Portland
Orange Beautiful, Chicago
Secret Headquarters, Los Angeles
Keibunsha Books, Kyoto, Japan

It is also available through the online shop 24/7. If you'd like to stock this book and others in your store or online shop, please click here for wholesale shopping.


James and Louisa have launched a new line of products at Rabbet works are full-colour prints mounted under custom-cut acrylic glass and hang nicely in kid's rooms, living rooms, bedrooms, entry ways... wherever your wallls need a little touch of creativity. You can purchase items in their shop as well as see them in person at this weekend's Market Collective in Calgary.


Present & Correct

Present & Correct always stocks interesting things in their shop. They have some advent stencils that they have made ("Each day has its own laser cut wood stencil, they are all different, and come with a dated pack of crayons"), some designerly Christmas crackers, plus these vintage ribbons and holiday wrapping paper.


Work/Life 2: be in the book!

Alas, some of my Work/Life 2 illustrators are missing in action! Which means there are a few more spreads available for enterprising illustrators who are talented and quick! Read all the info here.

The book is going to press at the start of January, so the questionnaire and your illustration and supplemental images are needed asap, ideally before Christmas.

William Shatner Wednesday

If you like Shatner's unique self-deprecating humour and his quest to keep on working through his golden years, then The Shatner Show book is something you'd enjoy! It is a fun and fabulous spectacle (and occasionally melancholy musing) of Shatner's life and career as interpreted by 76 American and Canadian illustrators. Take a digital flip through the book, and then purchase one for the Shatner fan or Trekkie on your Christmas list. A hardcover book with a red ribbon page marker, this Shatner makes a nice coffee table companion.




Type Tuesday: magazine work in progress

The abecedary spread is always a fun challenge. This time it goes to three pages since Charlotte Rivers provided so many great images!