Type Workshops with Underware
The guys from Underware have organized some great type workshops over the past years. Their workshops encourage working with letterforms in ways that get you away from a computer and traditional methods. Whether it's building letterforms out of boxes, playing typographic dominos, turning the beach into a gigantic scratchpad, everything looks like fun!
I drove Glen to the airport this morning. He's off on a mini book tour. He will be reading Tuesday evening in Saskatoon's McNally Robinson and Wednesday night he'll be in Winnipeg's McNally Robinson. If you live in either city, please brave the cold and come out to these events! It would be very Canadian of you.
Here's an illustration trend I've noticed of late: beards! I guess with all the illustration love of woodland and forest imagery that men with beards wouldn't be far behind! I dedicate this post to my bearded husband, Glen. The poster above is by Keith Shore and is available at his shop.
These ones are by Etsy seller Ashley G.
By Glasgow-based Little Robot.
And if you can't grow your own, a good option might be Something's Hiding in There's wooden mustache:
From the fabulous Marc Johns.
"In the summer of 2006, 19 recent and established graduates of University College Falmouth (UCF) answered a brief to design a poster which passed on advice and inspiration to first year students.."
Check out what the students came up with.. words of wisdom for any design student!
For this week's Type Tuesday, I'm going to focus on oversized letterforms. The images here are from Set26, a furniture design company that offers the alphabet for your interior design needs. I would love to have some of these in the gallery for display purposes!
Jan at Poppytalk has began a new column on collecting and asked me to contribute. This was a great motivation to do something I've wanted to for a while... photograph my collection of vintage typewriter ribbon tins! You can read about the collection on Poppytalk today. To view the tins up close to admire all the typographic goodness, please visit my Flickr set.
Poetry in our surroundings is explored in a photo gallery on The Poetry Foundation's website. (Thanks, Elaine, for the link.) The next time you're waiting for the C-train outside the Art Central building, look up. There's a poem on the awning glass.
Here's a favourite site of mine: Ace Jet 170 by graphic designer Richard Weston. Found Type Friday is an ongoing project to which you can submit your photographs of found lettering and ephemera.
I love stuff and Ace Jet 170 sets out to record the stuff I've found over the years and find in the future. Found on holiday, at boot sales, in book shops or junk shops, littering the pavement, dropped into a waste bin. Interesting stuff. And then there's the stuff other people send me. I wasn't expecting that: more interesting stuff, from some very nice people.
Thanks, Colin, for also recommending this site.
I've always loved the simplicity and honesty in Lotta Jansdotter's textile patterns and materials. I was happy to come across this video tour of Lotta in her Brooklyn studio. There's also a good 2006 podcast with Lotta from DesignSponge and some recent studio shots from Adorn Magazine. I also found this feature on her former San Francisco home.
I'm looking forward to her upcoming book, Lotta Prints, to be released in March by Chronicle Books.
Beloved Scandinavian designer Lotta Jansdotter shows how easy it is to print patterns on all sorts of surfaces. Using stencils, rubber stamps, homemade screens, and other easy techniques, the projects and processes range from simple prints easy for beginners to more involved projects for experienced artists. Stencil leaves on the walls, stamp flowers on wrapping paper, screen-print on a skirt—the sky's the limit. Beautiful photographs inspire while step-by-step instructions and illustrations explain the basics. Plus, Lotta has included eight ready-to-use stencil pages with hand-drawn patterns, so crafters can easily achieve her signature style. Our innovative format, with perforated stencil sheets and a catchall envelope at back, makes this a fantastic resource for any aspiring printer.
I'll be sure to have in the store. In fact, I've contemplated getting her handbags, toys and other products into the shop for a themed-show in March. What do you think? Would you like to see more of Lotta's things in UPPERCASE? (We have a few of Lotta's papergoods in the shop. Some are on backorder with the publisher, though, and we'll try to restock as soon as possible.)
This is a project I have designed for many years. It is a wonderful nonprofit, independent publication full of great visuals and interesting text. Issue 16 (the best one yet!) has cover art by Marc Johns and illustrations/art by as Katie Radke, Byron Eggenschwiler, Gordon Wiebe, Stefan Thompson and James Mejia plus photographs from 3191: a year of mornings by Stephanie Congdon Barnes and Maria (Mav) Vettese. There are articles on film, music, coffee, libraries, books and all things small. The article on “The Small Art Revolution” covers artists and projects such as Thumbtack Press, The Small Object, Little Otsu, Etsy and many more. You can see more images from the magazine here and purchase or subscribe to Beyond here.
“Beyond is the little magazine about a lot of things. We operate as a portable art gallery – not big enough to require a building but not small enough to be written on a grain of rice. We work with poets, writers, thinkers, artists, and readers to create a thought-provoking magazine containing a good dose of silliness. Or a dollop of silliness. Dose or dollop. We love the connections that develop via the Beyond community, where readers and creators from all kinds of backgrounds meet both inside and outside our pages. We’re not-for-profit, independent, and free of advertising. And we’re reader-supported through subscriptions and donations.”
$36 for three issues if you live in Canada.
$39 for three issues if you live in the USA.
"Idea generation is an addiction...an engaging, brain-spinning indulgence that must be practiced in moderation."
This statement is from the Behance's article which cautions on the intoxicating side-effect of idea generation. "New ideas have the potential to transform your life in wonderful ways, but they are also the most notorious source of distraction. Frustrated entrepreneurs and struggling creatives often trace back their problems to a moment when they decided to pursue too many things at once." This certainly rings true for me! Over the past three years, I have opened UPPERCASE, curated a few dozen gallery exhibitions, designed a line of wholesale greeting cards, made hundreds of handmade papergoods, launched an online store and published a book. All the while, I have continued to maintain my graphic design business. I admit that this is quite a lot to manage and though it has been exhilarating, it is also exhausting.
The arrival of a new year always brings about contemplation and resolutions. Leading up to 2008, I had been looking forward to putting more focus on my creative and business endeavours. UPPERCASE gallery, books & papergoods has developed into a bigger project than I could have possibly imagined when it first began. It its infancy, I thought it would be a small bookstore — a companion to complement my graphic design studio. It quickly became an outlet for my creativity. If I had an idea for a product, I could simply create it and see an immediate response from my customers. UPPERCASE allows me to conceptualize all aspects of a project — from concept to production to marketing to distribution. It truly uses all aspects of my creative thinking and I find this very fulfilling and enjoyable. Although working for clients has its rewards, it is so much more satisfying to have full ownership of an idea and its design.
Over the past year, the balance of my business shifted from Vangool Design to UPPERCASE as I began to devote increasing amounts of my time to the store. The success of The Shatner Show in terms of the quality of participants, press and other attention, was phenomenal and was a definite turning point. It put my small enterprise (pun intended) on the map. Although the show and book have just broken even at this point, with proper distribution now in place I hope to make enough to eventually fund another book.
My current self-directed publication project is Work/Life: the UPPERCASE Directory of Canadian Illustration & Photography. The intention of this publication is to promote Canadian talent to the best clients across North America. Participants pay a reasonable fee to be in the book and this, along with some sponsors, will cover the production and distribution costs. Some incredibly talented people have signed up! Necessarily, I have had to decline a lot of client work in order to have time to dedicate to Work/Life. After a decade of freelancing, it is against my nature to turn down a job — but now it has become a necessity to do so. I regret the inconvenience this will cause to some of my clients, but I know they will wish me well. I won't be turning absolutely everything down: I will focus on my love of publication design and special arts/culture projects, plus I remain open to any amazing unforeseen opportunities might come my way.