Season's Greetings


Dear Readers,

As this year draws to a close, I'd like to thank you for all the love you have shown UPPERCASE magazine and books in 2011. I appreciate each and every one of my readers, contributors and stockists—you all are so very talented, generous, inspiring... and motivating! It's a lot of work, but knowing how appreciated UPPERCASE is makes it all worthwhile.

Looking to the year ahead, there are a lot of things I hope to accomplish. In addition to a design and backend overhaul of the website and online shop, I want to integrate more community capabilities so that we can be better connected. Also top on the list is to launch a reader referral program in which you can earn rewards for all the blog posts, tweets and other referrals that have really helped the magazine grow. If you're interested in being part of the testing of the referral program, please sign up here.

I'm excited about the themes we'll be exploring in forthcoming issues. In the new year, I will post the working themes so that we can have even more reader participation and contributions. And what about more books? Yes! I have some very exciting new books in their early development stages and look forward to sharing the ideas with you. If you want to nominate someone to be the next Suitcase Series artist, send me your suggestions here.

But before I get carried away by all of next year's projects, let's take a well-deserved break. I know I could sure use some rest and relaxation!

Much happiness to you and yours this season. See you in 2012.

publisher, editor, designer

Featured Stockist: Librairie Drawn & Quarterly in Montreal

Hey Montreal! Make sure you head on over to Librairie Drawn & Quarterly to pick up UPPERCASE magazine and books. And if even if you already have our things, I'm sure you will enjoy your browsing experience and will come away with even more inspiration. Like Remedy Magazine (mentioned in issue #9) or They Draw and Cook (profiled in issue #12, January)!

Looking for UPPERCASE near you for some last minute gifting? Check out our list of stockists.

ALT Summit: get the party started!

I'm looking forward to the Altitude Design Summit coming up (quickly!) in January. UPPERCASE magazine will be represented there—I am helping the folks at Squarespace plan their mini party (I've had my blog on Squarespace since 2004). Our concept is "handmade by you". I have a unique photo/video booth activity in the works, free magazines, DIY "dessert it yourself" sundae bar… I'm going my best to make the party fun and memorable.

I would like to incorporate the handwriting and scribbles of lots of different people which I will then used to design some paper decorations. As ALT attendees and friends of UPPERCASE, I am inviting you to get the party started…

Using a black marker or Sharpie, please handwrite the phrase "handmade by you" a few times and make some abstract scribbles or doodles on an 8.5" x 11" sheet of white paper. No need for perfection or to design the page in any way, just take 5 minutes and go for it! Please scan the paper (300dpi greyscale is fine) or take a picture of it and send it back to me here. thanks!!!


Downloadable gift tags, cards and wrap

I really appreciate all your orders this season! I've prepared some free downloadable cards, tags and wrapping paper that you can use to adorn your UPPERCASE or other purchases.

click image to begin download

Print this page to create a card plus four gift tags. (Once trimmed, fold the gift tags in half, glue together, and you'll have a double-sided design.)

click image to begin download
The gift wrap is set up as 13" x 19" if you're lucky to have a big inkjet like me! Or you can scale it or crop it as required.

If you've purchased a gift for someone in our online shop, you can send them an emailed gift note (see preview below). Follow this link and then click on the "share" button in the upper right corner. Or you can print out a pdf and customize it as you like.

If you use the cards, tags and gift wrap and feel like sharing photos of your finished gifts, I'd love to see what you do with them!

Shoegazing Notecards by Chronicle Books (and me and a bunch of other people!)

In Issue #6 (Summer 2010), we invited readers to submit photos of themselves “shoegazing”—the classic shot of looking down at ones’ feet and taking a photo (you can still participate in the Flickr pool). Imagine our excitement when Chronicle Books contacted me and suggested that the concept be turned into a set of notecards!

Shoegazing notecards contains 20 different cards with decorative envelopes as curated and designed by UPPERCASE. To work with Chronicle Books has been a career-long dream, so to see this project completed and even co-branded with the UPPERCASE logo is amazing!

Photographs are by Andrea Jenkins, Katrina Tan, Mario Gallucci, Cori Kindred, Shawna Bowers, Kelly Anne Williams, Kristen Hewitt, Siobhan Long, Carolyn Lagattuta, Adriana Botello, Asia Lemko, Lindsay Heggie, Rachel Denbow, Alison Heal, Jay Prynne and Parul Arora.

The box design is very pretty. It was an interesting challenge to design it as I have not designed much packaging before and the project had to reflect the aesthetic of UPPERCASE magazine while fitting with Chronicle Books' requirements and direction. To marry the diverse photographs, I decided to crop them all to a square format and use the photo styling similar to what is used in the magazine's layouts. For texture, I used an old piece of paper, when scanned and colourized, it evoked the texture of concrete and ground. The cards are printed on a matte-finished stock, but there's a nice gloss coating on the photographs. For added interest, I used a wavy line pattern, inspired by the soles of sneakers, for the backs of the cards and on the box bottom.

Here are the files showing the dielines:

Thank you to Kate Woodrow and Kristen Hewitt at Chronicle Books. And thank you to all the fine folks who participated in the call for submissions and who graciously shared their work on this project.

Click here to purchase Shoegazing Notecards

DIY holiday cards for perfectionists in a hurry

A few weeks ago, I was asked to contribute to a post on eBay's online magazine, The Inside Source. As an avid eBayer (it lit fire to my typewriter addiction), I was happy to oblige. They wanted a handmade Christmas card idea, so I wanted to combine my typewriters, typography and something easy to make. 

an UPPERCASE typographic ornament

Here's a simple project for a greeting card that transforms into a tree ornament. Cut out a circle or other shape of your choosing so that it is slightly smaller than your folded card stock. Decorate the paper ornament with cut-up Christmas cards from years past, old wrapping paper or other pretty paper. I've used a page from a discarded dictionary. 

I decided to play on the idea of a "typographic ornament" by cutting out an uppercase initial for each recipient.

(Quick tip for perfectionists in a hurry: print out letters at the desired size from your printer, lay the printed letter on top of your decorative paper and simply cut around the letter, through both layers at one time.)

To attach the finished ornament to the greeting card, position the ornament on the card and use a small hole punch to pierce through the top of the ornament and right through the card. Make a loop out of pretty twine or ribbon and thread it through the holes, from the inside of the card outward. As long as the knot on the back of the loop is larger than the hole, everything will be held in place securely. Decorate the card with a typewritten or handwritten greeting and there you go! (I love to use my vintage typewriters—it is fun to type out a line of text the old fashioned way.) 

A wonderful book



It is amazing how one little dog (and amazingly talented and sincere woman, Camilla Engman) have inspired so much love and creativity! Purchase the book on Blurb and proceeds go to the World Society for the Protection of Animals.

Shipping deadlines


• Orders to Europe and Australia
Sent by mail: order before December 7
After December 7 select Fedex or UPS

• Within USA or Canada
Sent by mail: order before Dec 18
After Dec 19 select Fedex or UPS for orders within the USA or Canada

Unique LA on NOW!

The 3rd Annual Holiday Show from UNIQUE LA on Vimeo.

The Unique LA is on today until 6pm in Los Angeles' California Market Center (110 East Ninth Street, LA, CA 90079). Check it out if you can!


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