Icon: Paul Rand

Discovered via Coudal: Paul-Rand.com


The Work-in-Progress Society

The Work-in-Progress Society is a group I started on Flickr recently and we're already at 40+ members!

The photographs selected for the pool celebrate beauty in the unfinished. The subjects can be craft, art, design, illustration and the various tools, supplies and mess required to create the works. Whether the project ever gets finished is beside the point — we're just happy to be creating and exploring!

{Irina Troitskaya, Poketo, Think Girl, famapa, vair}


Deidre and I both agree that there are moments on this blog that we wish we could freeze and admire for a while. Some of my favourite posts have just looked so pretty, or they had lovely flow from one to the next, or they were personally important (such as this week's announcement of UPPERCASE magazine.) However, the attraction and strength of a blog is its steady stream of updates: it lives in the moment. And so we'll continue to splash inspirations on these scrolling, virtual pages.

Within the magazine, I aspire to create moments of perfection, preserved in print. Each issue will be a beautiful object, representing months of heartfelt, earnest work. We hope that our magazine will become a tangible part of your lives.

And now, here's some inspiration for this Thursday morning:

Michael Bierut (Design Observer) has been capturing moments of thought part of his daily routine: sketching ideas and taking notes faithfully since 1982. "Together, these well-worn books create a history of my working life that spans three decades."

Thank you!

Thank you so much for your kind wishes, notes of congratulations and blog postings. Thank you to our new subscribers from near and far (England! Spain!) We are very grateful for your support.

Over the next weeks we will be posting the table of contents and design previews from the first issue. With 68 pages, we have lots of exciting content to share with you.

Keep your suggestions, portfolios and Works-in-Progress coming our way!

The big news...


We're inquisitive: learning from other artists, illustrators, designers, photographers, filmmakers and musicians, whether they're upstarts or icons, famous or shy, verbal or visual.

We're inspired: enchanted by great ideas and strange inventions; by colour and pattern; things fancy and frugal; the charm of vintage in a modern life; the ridiculous and the sublime.

We're adventurous: traveling to destinations both real and imagined, peeking into creative spaces and discovering magnificent people and memorable places.

We're eclectic: curating souvenirs, collecting treasures and celebrating the extraordinary in the everyday.

We're playful: delighting in visual amusements, intelligent distraction, entertaining wordplay and sweet indulgences.

a magazine for the creative and curious!

This quarterly magazine is 68 pages of glorious print on paper, 8.75" x 11" perfectbound. The Spring issue will be released in early April followed by Summer (July 2009), Fall (October 2009) and Winter (January 2010).

Read all about the project and how you can subscribe, participate and advertise on the Magazine sidebar at right.

Cover illustration courtesy Blanca Gómez, Madrid.
Thank you so much, Blanca! 

Type Tuesday: Berwin Jr. Executive

"The Berwin Jr. Executive Typewriter: the nearest thing to a REAL typewriter in size, appearance, and printing quality"

On ebay for $4.95 (plus shipping)... how could I say no? These photos are just cleaned up images from the seller — I can't wait to photograph this one and see if it works.

Type Tuesday: A typographic survey of the City of London

A Typographic Survey of the City of London from Michael Bojkowski on Vimeo.

Perhaps it's the narrator's affable style and lovely accent that make this typographic tour worth watching. "Roughly 15 minutes of your life you will never get back — this a Boicozine experiment, attempting to mix a documentary style format with some supreme type geekery. Possibly annoying, maybe even boring. I don't know, you be the judge."

busy busy

There's a lot of activity going on behind-the-scenes on the website, the store and certainly in my brain! This is a week for big UPPERCASE announcements, so please stay tuned to hear all our news. If you've signed up to receive UPPERCASE newsletters, then you're on track in getting the inside scoop very soon. (Click "sign me up" on the top navigation to receive your newsletters.)

I've hung the Love Letters show in the gallery and there are plenty of great gifts for you or your sweetheart. My annual selection of pre-loved vintage valentines are now available as well.

See you all soon!

Love Letters typographic posters

I've designed some romantic and optimistic posters for our upcoming show, Love Letters. These prints are available now in the online shop in time for Valentine's Day and upcoming engagements and weddings. The black, light grey and small hit of red would make a sophisticated and graphic addition to a bedroom or living room.

This is what Art Directors do...

Filip Kleremark shows us here... {via It's Nice That}


The Happiest Book

Alex Ostrowski writes, "In one way or another we are all looking for happiness. Some people even say that man's sole purpose for existence is to hunt down and capture this intangible and elusive treasure. In 2006 researchers at The University of Leicester concluded that Denmark is the happiest country in the world - this was good enough for me. In March 2008 I made the decision to visit happiness, and embarked upon a pilgrimage to find it. My experiences are presented in this book.

Only one copy exists."

I just like this image...

Scrappers on Spraygraphic

Portfolio: Dara DiLiegro

I received a nice email from Dara DiLiegro this week. Dara has worked at Martha Stewart on retail brand packaging, art directed catalogues and collateral at Tiffany & Co. and interned at Interbrand New York. I encourage you to see more of her portfolio. I was particularly struck by her illustrated lettering and greeting card ideas.

Call for submissions!

This upcoming show is a celebration of things stitched / sewn / knitted / crocheted / embroidered. Works on paper, fabric, appliqué, softies, art, accessories -- a variety of styles and materials are welcome. We are looking for local and Canadian illustrators, artists and crafters who make extraordinary things. The show is planned for a one-day event on the First Thursday of March. Please send us some sample images or links to your website if you are interested in participating. (More details available here.)

Type Tuesday: TypeCon 2010

Help spread the excitement! There's a possibility that the Society of Typography Afficionados {SoTA} will be hosting their 2010 conference here in Calgary. Go the GCD website and log your enthusiasm.

Type Tuesday: Article 2

Type Tuesday: Eyelash

Continued proof that you can construct letterforms out of anything!

Portfolio: The Reins of Chaos

Last week I mentioned a job I was working on for a client. It is fresh from the printer and ready to be shared! This small book is for the Ottawa Art Gallery's recent exhibition of work by Mary Anne Barkhouse. Called "The Reins of Chaos", the artist's work is partially inspired by the book of Revelations. Curator Emily Falvey explains, "The Reins of Chaos is a cheeky exploration of apocalyptic metaphors within the grand narrative of Canadian colonialist history. Comprising two new installations, the exhibition presents the story of the four horses of the apocalypse. According to conventional interpretations, these ghoulish emissaries collectively represent Conquest, War, Pestilence, and Death. With her usual wit, however, Barkhouse has turned them into children's toys. At first, they are young rocking horses, carefully training for their role as heralds of Armageddon. In The Four Horses of the Apocalypse and the Donkey of Eternal Salvation (2008), they have matured into coin-operated kiddie rides from the '50s and '60s."

I decided to create a small, bible-like book to complement the artist's themes. The cover is a textural paper called cordwain and the title is embellished with gold foil. The source of the rocking horse icon was one from one of the installation shots that was traced in photoshop and made into a bitmap image.

Although I am taking on fewer client jobs in order to focus on UPPERCASE and its many (many!) facets, design projects such as this one for the Ottawa Art Gallery are truly why I love designing for other people: their stories, their images and their ideas allow you to discover your own creative voice.


The obsolete has a new life!

"Don't undertake a project unless it is manifestly important and nearly impossible."

–Edwin Land, inventor of Instant Photography

At last, someone with the vision (and money) has given life to Polaroid instant film! "The project is more than a business plan; it's a fight against the idea that everything has to die when it doesn't create turnover," says Florian Kaps, the new Austrian owner of a Dutch Polaroid film factory. The resurrection of instant film is called "The Impossible Project" and you can count down the seconds as the project develops. (Just 29,905,204 seconds to go.)

"The Impossible mission is NOT to re-build Polaroid Integral film but (with the help of strategic partners) to develop a new product with new characteristics, consisting of new optimised components, produced with a streamlined modern setup. An innovative and fresh analog material, sold under a new brand name that perfectly will match the global re-positioning of Integral Films." Excellent!

Nothing is original

{via SwissMiss}