The Selectric turns 50!

Cleaned up image from Ebay

Designcollect on EtsyThe IBM Selectric turns fifty today.

Press Release:

The IBM Selectric became an instant sensation upon its debut on July 31, 1961, and remained the typewriter found on most office desks until the brand was retired 25 years later, in 1986. With 2,800 parts, many designed from scratch, it was a major undertaking even for IBM, which had been in the typewriter business since the 1930s and was already a market leader.  The Selectric marked a radical change from previous typewriter designs, and it took IBM seven years to work out the manufacturing and design challenges before it went on sale.

The Selectric typewriter was a game-changer in many ways:  

The Selectric also formed the basis for early computer terminals and paved the way for keyboards to emerge as the primary way for people to interact with computers, as opposed to pressing buttons or levers.  A modified Selectric could be plugged into IBM's System/360 computer, enabling engineers and researchers to interact with their computers in new ways.

"The Selectric typewriter, from its design to its functionality, was an innovation leader for its time and revolutionized the way people recorded information," said Linda Sanford, Senior Vice President, Enterprise Transformation, IBM, who was a development engineer on the Selectric. "Nearly two decades before computers were introduced, the Selectric laid the foundation for word-processing applications that boosted efficiency and productivity, and it inspired many user-friendly features in computers that we take for granted today."


Here's a silly commercial from the 80s. I'm pretty sure it was considered silly even back then!

Here are other posts about the Selectric on Mad Men and in Fringe.

Paper Horses

The Pencil by Bob Ban Breda

View more images at JeremyriadI recently came across the pencil sculptures of artist Bob Ban Breda. Alas, I missed his most recent exhibition that was in San Francisco, but more googling resulted in closer views of Bob's work and his inspiring collections. Visit SF Electric Works for more great images.

Milton Friedman, Nobel Prize Winning Economist {via Bob Ban Breda}

A Collection a Day on ModCloth

I was very happy when ModCloth contacted me a while ago, with interest in stocking some UPPERCASE products. From initially selling vintage clothing, their offerings have grown and diversified considerably over the years, but the quality of their website, blog and creative offerings is still very impressive. Their product shots are great (I like the zoom feature) and they have started to create short videos as well.

Recently Lisa Congdon was featured in this video interview that presents A Collection a Day so very nicely. Thank you to everyone at ModCloth for highlighting Lisa and our book in this way! Well done!

"We all save, store, pile, and stash, but author Lisa Congdon makes her curated clutter look absolutely envious! For one year, she catalogued her collection of collections for all to see, photographing, sketching, and sometimes even painting the treasured tidbits that filled her home and studio. Now transformed into a petite paperback, Congdon’s calendar year of accumulated objects will captivate you with its simple charm. Pictured in situ or on a plain white background, her compositions of mushrooms, mugs, and matchbooks draw the viewer in, while they inspect every detail and difference. Moved to make your own anthology of adorable knickknacks? Use the reusable tin that holds this bitty book to begin your own inspired collection of vintage postcards or paperclips - and don’t forget to document every addition. Your shelves are about to look sweeter!" Click here to shop at ModCloth!

Join us on A Collection a Day summer blog tour:

July 6 Design for Mankind
July 13 Cafe Cartolina
July 20 DesignWorkLife
July 27 Poppytalk
August 3 sfgirlbybay

Type Tuesday: Type Everything

Jeff Rogers (Jeff is profiled in the current issue #10)

There's a new tumbler blog dedicated to lettering and typography called Type Everything. And with folks like Dana Tanamachi, Darren Booth and Jeff Rogers (among others) curating the stream, there's sure to be lots of inspiring images!

Darren Booth (illustrated the cover of Work/Life, first edition)Dana Tanamachi works for Louise Fili (who was profiled in issue #9)

Type Tuesday: Letter Boxes

Wonderland Room sells Korean papergoods such as these lettered and numbered boxes. (Though most letterss are out of stock, this would be an easy DIY project.) Lots of washi tape, stickers, fabric and decorating items.

Type Tuesday: Nice

Caitlin Halcomb was our neighbour at Renegade San Francisco. She sells these banners for all occasions in her Etsy shop in addition to vintage apparel, housewares and lamp shades.


Cathy of California

photo by ModClothimage frcom RetrorenovatioCathy Callahan, aka Cathy of California, loves crafty things from the 60s and 70s. Her new book is a fun take on old crafts—contemporary artists interpret old kitchy crafts from these past decades and bring new inspiration to them. I had the pleasure of meeting Cathy at the Renegade Fairs.

"Macramé, appliqué, decoupagé, and more! Cathy Callahan, founder of the popular blog Cathy of California, brings a fresh look to crafts from the '60s and '70s in Vintage Craft Workshop. With an eye toward style, not kitsch, superstar contributors including Diane Gilleland, Jill Bliss, and Derek Fagerstrom and Lauren Smith offer their unique interpretations on 24 vintage projects. Brimming with inspiration shots straight from Callahan's vintage craft books, color photographs of the finished projects, profiles of the original crafters, and tidbits about this unforgettable era, this spirited book makes vintage crafts perfectly stylish for today. Plus, it's easy to get started with step-by-step instructions, how-to illustrations, perforated template pages, and a handy back pocket. Papiermâché never looked so good!" (Chronicle Books)

There's an interview here and the book is available at ModCloth, The Curiosity Shoppe (both stock UPPERCASE publications as well!) and other crafty booksellers.


Renegade LA: my biggest fan!

Beebee and me

For me, the highlight of Renegade LA was meeting Beebee, a very talented fan of UPPERCASE. I was humbled by how excited she was to see the UPPERCASE booth. It is so nice to meet readers in person, but I admit to being surprised at how young she is! Though not in our usual age demographic, in all other respects she is like our typical reader: talented, enthusiastic and generous.

Though in her early teens, Beebee is already a publisher! Her zine, Workshop, is 16 pages of exuberant appreciation of tape, confetti, pretty packaging and things kawaii. Thanks for giving me a copy, Beebee! I think you should be our tape correspondent for an upcoming issue.

Please visit Beebee's blog, Walk on the Wild Side, for excellent photos of her Renegade experience and enviable purchases. She has lots of interesting links about MT washi tape, heart-shaped bubble wrap and a preview of the cover of Workshop 2.

I've bookmarked Walk on the Wild Side and look forward to her perspective and posts.


Renegade LA: REDSTAR Ink

Marcie Hicks of REDSTAR inkREDSTAR ink presents a take on the trend, with their "Native Summer" line of stationery. Marcie's personal style (and red star tattoos!) gave these design an authentic quality. View more from REDSTAR and a video of Marcie at work on her website.

REDSTAR ink was part of our Letterpress Sampler in issue #8.

Renegade LA: Navajo trend

Random Renegaders paired with jewellery by Julie NolanThe San Francisco Fair had its succulents and plants trend, and although Los Angeles had its share of terrariums, a more prominent trend was Navajo-inspired motifs, Native American-esque designs and ethnic triangles. Numerous vendors had these motifs, some done with more sophistication than others.


Renegade LA: Mincing Mockingbird

Matt from The Mincing Mckingbird and The Frantic MeerkatThe Mincing Mockingbird was next to our booth so it was inevitable that one of Matt's digital prints on wood has made a home with us. There's a current exhibition of original paintings at Henry Road and prints available on etsy.

Renegade LA: Cursive

Cursive DesignChicago-based Sarah Fox and her partner Jon of Cursive have had a busy season of craft fairs. Cursive's jewellery can also be found at Orange Beautiful in Chicago, The Curiosity Shoppe in San Francisco (both of whom stock UPPERCASE) and Anthropologie stores. (I wish they would stock UPPERCASE!)


Subscriptions and back issues

I love how Jen's shirt fabric looked with the current issuePlease subscribe to UPPERCASE magazine; it's an independent magazine supported by readers and subscribers. Back issues of #6, #8 and #9 are still available, the rest are sold out! (Less than 30 copies of issue #6 remain.) Thanks!

Renegade LA: Christine Haynes

Clothing designer and author Christine HaynesChristine Haynes has launched a Kickstarter project to help fund the release of new sewing patterns.

"I have had successes with my business, but coming up with enough money to launch sewing patterns is beyond my means. I am literally a one woman operation. I do all the sewing, designing, writing, and everything myself, and while I’ve been doing all this work for the last few years, I’ve maintained a day job to keep things afloat. I know it’s too much for one woman to do, but I love it and am ready to see it to the next level!"

Check it out here.


Renegade LA: Kattuna

Cute cross stitchKattuna makes simple cross stitch and embroidered silhouettes of animals. If you need a daily dose of cat and stitchery, check out her blog.


Renegade LA: The Urban Craft Center

Crafty goodnessThe Urban Craft Center is a spacious venue for crafters in Santa Monica. At the Renegade Fair, they hosted numerous workshops in bookmaking, pom poms, stitching. I loved how the awning of their tent was in patchwork! Next time I'm in LA and have more time, visiting The Urban Craft Center is on the to-do list.


Renegade LA: Magic Industrie

Wallets, cuffs and buttons made from old booksMagic Industrie takes old book covers and turns them into wallets, wrist cuffs and buttons. It was appealing to see all of the producs en masse. The "magic" wallet is a fun trick, as demonstrated by Ryan above, but perhaps not so practical if you need to carry more than a few dollars!


Renegade LA: Magna

Magna's geometric paintingsMost vendors had the "more is better" approach to their display and inventory, but Magna took a simple and refreshing approach to present their graphic acrylic paintings.


Renegade LA: Caposhi

Caposhi crochets jewellery from soft yarnsThe granny square table covering at the Caposhi booth instantly caught my eye. (Likely because I have the dottie angel book on my mind!) Though there was definitely a trend for dangly feathery earings throughout the fair, seeing them made with yarn and beads was a different take.

"While I specialize in creating unique fiber jewelry, I can often be found knee-deep in a variety of yarny projects - from granny square pillows and scarves to clutches and hand bags. Inspired by all things vintage, I
also strive to provide a quirky balance between old and new in all that I do.

As a trained photographer and graphic designer to boot, it shouldn't come as a surprise that I dabble in these as well. I hope to always offer goods that employ both of these skills, whether I'm selling screened bags or even art prints!"