Drawn & Quarterly, Montreal

UPPERCASE magazine (and Work/Life and The Suitcase Series: Camilla Engman) is also available in Librairie Drawn & Quarterly Bookstore in Montreal. Such beautiful shops! If you're lucky enough to be in Montreal or Stockholm this weekend, please visit on my behalf! {photo from this website}

Papercut, Stockholm

UPPERCASE magazine is now available in the excellent store, Papercut, in Stockholm, Sweden! {top photo from here}

Nose to nose

Blanca Gomez (she provided the illustration for our very first cover) has some new cards available through Red Cap Cards. This sweet couple in the always-stylish turquoise + orange colour combination is on its way to this sweet couple. Thanks, Kirstie and Kevin!

One last fox

Our call for foxes has ended — we received so many; this has been the most popular call for submissions so far. Thank you for sharing your work with us. I will email you if we will be publishing your submission, others I will post on the blog later on. Here's a last post on the topic for a while, found via Sara Likes' tumblr.

An interview

Janine Vangool - FoGD Show & Tell from Friends of Graphic Design on Vimeo.


Last fall, I did an interview with Kate Bingaman-Burt and her design class at Portland State University. They've posted the video of the skype call, so you're welcome to listen in as we discuss magazine design, the history of UPPERCASE and how the magazine is created.

Our next cover artist...

... is Matte Stephens! He's working on the cover for issue 5 and I can't wait to see it. Matte's retro-style and colour palette is such a good fit for our magazine (and he shares a fondness for foxes). The next issue also features an extensive interview with his rep Lilla Rogers. I'd love to work with everyone in her roster!

You can visit Matte's blog for his current work and links to his shop and exhibitions. And click here for a tour of his home and studio. See even more on Design*Sponge.

(If you've purchased a single copy of issue 4 and would like to start subscribing with issue 5, that option is now available in the shop! Issue 5 will be shipping in April.)

So many foxes!

Wow — nearly 40 submissions of painted, drawn, gocco'd and collaged foxes have come in from all over the world! I will definitely need to add some pages to this feature. Unfortunately I won't be able to include everything, but I'll post some of them on the blog as well. Above is a collage by Gracia & Louise.

Call for Submissions: Gallery of Foxes

In our upcoming issue, Deidre will be exploring the allure of the fox. To complement the article, I am gathering a "gallery of foxes." I've already invited a few illustrator favourites for their work but am opening it up to our readers! To participate, send us your fox illustrations and inspirations by Friday, February 19. Submissions must be at least 4" wide at 300dpi to be considered for publication. Label the file with your last name, and submit it here. Please send a follow up email with your full name, address, email and a brief description of your submission. There's only room for a few submissions! Thanks.

Type Tuesday: Vari-Typer

This manic-looking machine would allow you to typeset with a variety of styles: "Vari-Typers were not ordinary typewriters but composing machines that made professional looking camera-ready masters for offset (photo-lithographic) duplication."

"This machine could use over 300 different type styles and write in 55 languages; it could adjust the space between characters, and even produce right-justified copy. Even though the Varityper enjoyed a successful career of about 60 years, you may never have seen one, for the machine was not generally adopted as a standard typewriter. Instead, it found a niche as a "cold typesetting" or "office composing" machine: it was generally used to produce neat, camera-ready copy for offset printing, at a cost much lower than that of conventional printer's methods."

Alas, the sad end of a Vari-Typer, photographed by Nivad on Flickr:

Type Tuesday: Burroughs Adding Machine

Burroughs Adding Machine, 1911. (Kind of glad I don't have to use it to figure out my taxes!)


Type Tuesday: Visual Poetry & Advertising

An image search for 1913 + typography led to an essay about Typographic Innovation in Visual Poetry and Advertising by Vicki Litvinov. Here are some inspiring typographic images discussed in her essay. I think these images encourage us to loosen up and play with type today!

(Marinetti, 1914)

(Tzara, 1920)


(Breton, 1924)

Type Tuesday: Letraset Tour de Force

I was happy to be able to contribute some letraset from my stash to Calgary poet Derek Beaulieu. His recently completed visual poem is over 4 feet wide, so it is no wonder his dry transfer lettering supplies were dwindling!

Derek describes his project:

"This piece draws inspiration from Blaise Cendrars' 1913 composition "Prose of the Trans-Siberian and of Little Jehanne of France" (see image below). Cendrars' original—a key modernist text in the history of visual poetry—was originally published as an accordion fold booklet. When each copy was unfolded, and the entire print run of 150 copies (only 30 of which are thought to survive) was laid end-to-end, the measurements were the same as the Eiffel Tower—the symbol of Parisian modernity.
My letraset poem is 13.5" wide by 52.5" long—and at that length if 150 copies were laid end-to-end, the height would echo that of the Calgary Tower—the symbol of Calgarian 'Modernity.'
I believe that this piece exemplifies my visual practice and is a playful intersection between poetry and graphic art, score and painting, book art and poster-poem—a joyful celebration of the possibilities of language."

SPD update

The Society of Publication Designers have announced the contenders for their medal categories. Although UPPERCASE magazine isn't in those top few, the saying "It is an honour to be nominated" certainly holds true. I'm certainly not disappointed; I'm elated that the magazine was in their top 16 for magazine of the year. It was like getting an Oscar nomination for directing an indie film and being up against Spielberg and Scorsese!

I'm proud of the first three issues of UPPERCASE, which is what the judges were evaluating, but I feel that it is with our current issue #4 that I've found my stride with the typography and page design, but more significantly with the management and organization of its content. So it is only going to get better!

Thanks for all your kind comments and congratulations this week. Have a great weekend, everyone.

Incredible news!

I found out a few hours ago and this news needed some time to sink in. I still can't believe that I'm posting this amazing news... UPPERCASE is one of 16 finalists in the annual Society of Publication Designers' Magazine of the Year category!!! And what a category! To be listed along with such iconic publications as The New York Times Magazine, Bon Appetit, Wired, GQ, Esquire, and Time... and well-respected award-winning art directors such as Fred Woodward, Deb Bishop, Matthew Lenning, Janet Froelich and Scott Dadich... to be included amongst these people and publications is certainly the high point in my career as a designer and more than I could have expected for a small, year-old, independent magazine from Western Canada.

Thank you to the panel of judges who took time to discover our relatively unknown magazine and decided to recognize it in such a manner.

A heartfelt thank you to editor-at-large Deidre Martin and to Jenny Tzanakos and my husband, Glen Dresser. And to our generous contributors, photographers and illustrators and other enthusiastic collaborators: thank you for sharing your talents and helping to make UPPERCASE a magazine with outstanding content and an inspiring publication to design. Thank you to our subscribers and stockists for keeping us going!


From the SPD.org website:

Magazine of the Year is the highest annual award SPD grants. It is given to the art director whose magazine demonstrates the most effective and imaginative use of design, typography, illustration and photography to promote the editorial message. The category is judged entirely by itself during the first day of judging, as the jury pores over three different issues from each entry in order to get a sense of both the highest high points and the steady consistencies the magazine the readers rely upon. Those scores, from the entire jury, created this pool of finalists for the jury to sift through again during the final round of judging on day three.

The sixteen finalists we share here are representative of this year's strong and vibrant entries in the category, showing a wide and varied range of editorial challenges and solutions. Each is now officially a Merit winner for Magazine of the Year; from these sixteen we will announce the Magazine of the Year Medal Finalists on Friday, February 12th (this Friday! check back soon!) along with all the other Print Medal Finalists (so really: check back Friday for the FULL LIST OF PRINT FINALISTS ON THE SITE).

Our heartiest congratulations to each of these magazines and their creative teams, representing the best of the field from 2009, presented here in no special order other than alphabetical because we're like that:

Creative Director: Dirk Barnett
Director of Photography: David Carthas

Bon Appétit
Design Director: Matthew Lenning

Design Director: Kirby Rodriguez
Art Directors: Alex Grossman, Kristina DiMatteo
Director of Photography: Darrick Harris

ESPN The Magazine
Creative Director: Siung Tjia
Director of Photography: Catriona Ni Aolain

Design Director: David Curcurito
Director of Photography: Michael Norseng

Design Director: Fred Woodward
Director of Photography: Dora Somosi

Creative Director: Deb Bishop
Director of Photography: Stacey Baker

New York
Design Director: Chris Dixon
Director of Photography: Jody Quon

The New York Times Magazine
Design Director: Arem Duplessis
Deputy Art Director: Gail Bichler
Director of Photography: Kathy Ryan

Real Simple
Creative Director: Janet Froelich
Design Directors: Ellene Wundrok, Cybele Grandjean
Photo Director: Casey Tierney

T, The New York Times Style Magazine
Creative Director: David Sebbah
Director of Photography: Kathy Ryan

Art Director: Arthur Hochstein
Director of Photography: Kira Pollack

Creative Director: Janine Vangool

Design Director: Edward Leida
Art Director: Nathalie Kirsheh

Creative Director: Scott Dadich
Design Director: Wyatt Mitchell

Wired (Italy)
Art Director: David Moretti
Photo Editor: Francesca Morosini

Type Tuesday: Wood Type WOW

Click here to be immediately transported to Bethany Heck's amazing and gorgeous letterpress blog and resource, EndGrain.

"In addition to being a growing directory and aggregator for wood type and letterpress works and information on the web, the EndGrain features my humble collection of wood letters. I also want to use the blog as an opportunity to do experimental printing with my type and to do a little digging into the history of the different typefaces."

I love the large images of wood type, you can almost smell them! And the site design is lovely, too, with great typographic touches.

Bethany's an UPPERCASE subscriber as well! Such a talented and inspirational bunch you are.

Type Tuesday: Typewriter tins prints!

Leanda of One Little Bird has been creating these beautiful reproduction of tins from my typewriter ribbon tin collection. (You really have to see them large on flickr to appreciate the subtle textures and background patterns.) They're also available as prints right here.

Type Tuesday: Valerie Roybal's collages

Valerie Roybal has a new collection of original collages available through Enormous Tiny Art. I personally own one of her collages and their surface appeal and finish in person is quite exquisite. (Valerie participated in our Old School exhibition/book and is contributing an article on collecting vintage photographs for the next issue of UPPERCASE magazine.)

Valerie's artist statement: "My work is primarily composed of and/or inspired by vintage, salvaged, and collected materials. I enjoy the process of finding materials and the possibility of re-purposing them: reinventing use, intention, or aesthetic, and the transformation into something dissimilar or unexpected. Much of my work frequently consists of layered surfaces: bits and pieces from discarded books and magazines, found vintage pottery and glass, antique postcards, handwritten letters and recipes, obsolete reference material, thrift store textiles, and mysterious random objects, especially objects of the natural world. Order, association, and reverence emerges from the collecting, sorting, arranging, and placement of each accumulated piece into a whole."

Couch computing

I'm at home most of this week (crazily, we're getting a new ikea-installed kitchen just weeks before the baby is due... must be that nesting instinct!) So the couch is my office today, while a new floor and cabinets are in progress.

I was doing some image research for issue 5 and came across the dog reading, part of a set of Rand McNally Elf books from the 50s. There are some interesting photo collages/illustrations, particularly of dogs and cats in clothing... slightly more strange than cute.

Mike's show online!

Thank you to everyone who came out last night! What a busy First Thursday it was here in UPPERCASE. I've just finished posting the remaining letters from Mike Kerr's show of letters. You can view them all in detail in the online shop.

Here are some images of the paintings; the majority are original acrylic works painted on square boards. There are also a few framed prints.

Mike is a VERY prolific sketchbook artist and he let us leaf through his books, much to the delight of all!

Mob Heaven

If you're looking for a film fix of mob heaven that includes some dynamite big hair and other 80s fashion tips, I highly recommend Jonathan Demme's Married to the Mob.

From start - check out the stylin' credit sequence below

to finish - don't Michelle Pfeiffer & Matthew Modine make a fabulous pair? 

this has to be one of my all time favorite 80s romances. Long live the mafia.