olympic correspondence from Rob Mabee



Rob's sojourn in London continues! In contrast to the modern Starck-designed hotel we featured yesterday, today we step back in time into a gaslit lane a few minutes from Rob's homebase.

Goodwin's Court is just steps from St Martins Lane and is like walking into the past. London is amazing in this respect—from glam hipster moderne to relatively unchanged Georgian streets in minutes. It looks quite like it did in olden times and a flowery funky lane nearby too!

type tuesday: Jan Middendorp visit



If you don't already receive the occasional transmissions from My Fonts entitled "Creative Characters", you should definitely sign up. With in-depth profiles and lots of visuals, these mailings go beyond your typical e-newsletter. "Creative Characters" is written by Jan Middendorp, a designer and writer currently based in Berlin. Jan was travelling through Calgary to visit some family before heading off to TypeCon this week—I was honoured that he stopped by UPPERCASE.

Jan is the author of an amazing typographic tome, Dutch Type, released in 2004. The 300+ page book is an excellent guide to the many prolific Dutch typographers both historical and contemporary. I'm lucky enough to have a copy that I ordered from the Netherlands back when it was first released; the book is quite rare now and Jan himself has just a couple copies left. 

Jan shared a preview of his newest work, Shaping Text. Published in two editions (Dutch and English) this book is an overview of typography with a very current and appropriate slant: whether in print or on the web examples of good design are shown with equal importance rather than relegating web- or multimedia-based design projects to an afterthought chapter.

Thanks, for stopping by, Jan. Have fun at TypeCon!

olympic correspondence from Rob Mabee



I am back finally from a long day of events. I started with beach volleyball in an amazing venue of the Horse Guards Parade grounds on the Pall Mall then went to Greenwich for the cross country equestrian events in Greenwich Park. Just home from Canada Olympic House where we celebrated with our first medal winners, two lovely synchro divers from Quebec. It is also the 20-year anniversary today of Mark's gold medal in Barcelona.  
London itself is so full of amazing art, architecture, culture, design and history. Today I'll share some images of the rather fabulous St. Martin's Lane Hotel.

Jean-Baptiste Mondino >>>
Luna and Curious >>>
St Martins Lane Hotel >>>

new ruler: Best Made Company

It was just the third issue of UPPERCASE that we featured Best Made Company axes on the front cover. Since then, Best Made has added an expertly curated collection of products to their offerings—each timeless in its functional design. Their red ruler is a beauty.

all dangerous and other hills


Reading that these maps, found on Letterology, mark all 'dangerous and other hills' seems rather amusing to the modern cyclist. That is until you've read Holly Hutchinson's piece in issue #14 about the rise of the bicycle. With that perspective we wonder what hills weren't dangerous?


true (typewriter) love


Linda Zacks (featured in issue 11) has a wonderful story about why she has a particular fondness for her typewriter.

tin typer

Thank you to the fine folks behind Bakary Café who snapped this picture of a toy typewriter at the Brighton Toy and Model Museum.

makeshift society

I've often wished that UPPERCASE was based in San Francisco. There are so many kindred spirits there with an energy that just makes that city a hub for creative innovation. Within that community, Rena Tom (UPPERCASE's business writer) along with Victoria Smith (UPPERCASE interiors and style contributor) and Suzanne Shade are setting up the Makeshift Society:

Rena, Suzanne and Victoria

Rena, Suzanne and Victoria

Makeshift Society is an organization for those who crave camaraderie to fuel their creativity. Our members are curious and creative. They make with their heads and think with their hands. We support collaborative projects and community-building activities through a coworking space/clubhouse, innovative programming, and support for freelancers and small business owners. While we fully embrace technology and its ability to transform and enhance our businesses, we feel like there are many coworking and networking options for technology startups in San Francisco, but far fewer for those in other creative fields. We want to enable everyone to make, learn, teach, and think.

Please visit the Makeshift Society website to find out more and read this article on Design*Sponge. Society members also receive a discount on UPPERCASE things!

girl friday: Miss Millicent Woodward


In the spirit of Olympic competition, this Girl Friday is Miss Millicent Woodward, Champion Speed Typist of Europe. Excelling at speed and accuracy was a desirable trait in a typist and competitions to highlight the best of the best were popular. Typewriter manufacturers used the opportunity to promote their own machines since the winners' talents were enabled by the fine mechanisms of their chosen machines. For the record, from the back of this postcard:


Miss Millicent Woodward's Records

Dictation … 173 words per minute

Copying and carrying on a coversation at the same time … 152 words per minute

Dictation whilst blindfolded … 169 words per minute

Memorised Sentences … 239 words per minute

These are the latest records of Miss Millicent Woodward, and although she secured the Championship of Great Britain by means of her wonderful versatility, she was only able to create what are now recognised as THE RECORDS and become the European Champion by using the ROYAL MASTER MODEL TYPEWRITER.

meet our Olympic correspondent: Rob Mabee



I am pleased to introduce you to our Olympic Correspondent, Rob Mabee. Through Rob's messages and photographs, we'll get to look at the Olympic experience from a visual, artistic and aesthetic perspective. Rob is the curator of Axis Contemporary Art, a gallery and art consultancy. (Axis is located next door to UPPERCASE here in Art Central. I designed the Axis logo a few years back.) 

Rob has a unique viewpoint of the Olympics—his partner is Canada's Olympic Chef de Mission and 1992 gold-medal winner Mark Tewksbury. (Here's a look at dapper Rob and Mark, featured in an article "Calgarians with Real Style.")

Rob has had a day to settle in and explore and he wrote in from London a few moments ago:

Off to the opening ceremonies soon here but had a minute to email you. Day number one yesterday was terrific! Arrived at 10:30 am and was met by Chef Mark and a black BMW with Canadian flags on it. Sailed through near empty Olympic lanes baring the stink eye of grid-locked Londoners in the other lanes. Felt like Mila Mulrooney! Spent the day getting acquainted with my neighbourhood which is in east London, Spitalfields, and spent time at Spitalfields market. Thursday's is antiques day, so I found great treasure to poke around through.

Thank you, Rob. Have a terrific time at the opening ceremonies! Follow Rob Mabee on Twitter.

featured stockist: hello hello books


When Lacy of hello hello in Maine sent these images to me I was transported back to  childhood summer holidays. Dad and I would always pack more books than we thought we'd need but after hours reading around the campsite we would inevitably run out and have to scour the streets of the closest town for an independent book store. I always made the greatest discoveries (like Michener, Jakes and Rowling)—and just how much Dad and I actually had in common.

hello hello looks like just the place to get lost amongst the pages and find your next favourite author.


playful paper

The Typewriter: 24% raised in one week!


Wow, thank you!

The Typewriter: a Graphic History of the Beloved Machine has 80 backers who have collectively funded 24% of the project goal!

shots n' pitchers

Shots, Cindy Lewis

Shots, Cindy Lewis

In issue #14 we explored sport from a variety of angels—from lines and numbers to  the complexity of baseball. Illinois artist Cindy Lewis, takes the used equipment of hockey and baseball to create new pieces that look at sport in another way.

"Finding beauty in textures created by nature, decay and wear, I find an escape from the rigid world of business and numbers: taking inspiration not only from other artists, but also from details others may rarely notice. I find myself drawn to intricate patterns of parking lot repairs, cracked sidewalks and worn buildings, rusted metals, peeling paint, and used construction materials. Found or discarded items are often my inspiration for the day. My hope is to share with the audience the beauty I see in these easily unnoticed surfaces or items."

who are u?

We love getting to know our subscribers. We compile the best profiles for publication in the magazine and online. Send in your answers along with an image of yourself labeled with your last name (at least 2" wide at 300 dpi) by email to janine@uppercasemagazine.com.


Meet Lee in our latest subscriber profile >>>



How are you creative in your daily life?

What are you most curious about?

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What is your favourite letter of the alphabet and why?
What is your favourite colour?

What is your preferred creative tool?

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type tuesday: ribbons

When I spotted this box of typewriter tins at a flea market in Seattle whilst visiting Tif (aka dottie angel), I had to play it cool in order to get a fair price from the seller. Look what was inside!

It was about five or six years ago that this particular ribbon tin design ignited my typewriter ephemera obsession. Before coming across it on eBay (and of course bidding to win it), I wasn't aware of the amazing artifacts of promotion and packaging associated with typewriters. It was my lucky day to score an nearly complete box of my favourite tin!

One of these Type Bar typewriter ribbon tins could be yours as part of "The Royal" level of support for The Typewriter project. 

type tuesday: sea foam bond

I love this simple packaging for typewriter paper. It's beautiful and gets to the point. The drop shadow and slightly awkward letterspacing is just icing on this sea foam cake.

the typewriter: project update

Thank you for all the support you've shown to The Typewriter: a Graphic History of the Beloved Machine. It is only a few days in and we're already at 17% of the goal!

Graphic representation of typewriter keyboards, used for instruction, are particularly beautiful examples of graphic and information design.

missing one hat


From Jon's twitter feed.

From Jon's twitter feed.

If you haven't had the pleasure of reading Jon Klassen's I Want My Hat Back, we thought we'd share an image of the missing item, just in case you stumble upon it. The search has extended around the world.

cover artist: Jon Klassen


The cover of issue #14 featured the work of Jon Klassen. Last fall he was interviewed by Jules for the blog Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast. Jules' piece features many images of Jon's work and a wonderful interview that is worth a read.

I work at home, in kind of a medium-sized room with a tilted ceiling, cause it’s against the roof. I do a lot of random texture samples on pieces of paper that will only find their homes once they’ve been scanned into the computer, and there’s no way to organize stuff like that once you’ve scanned it, so they are just everywhere around. Also, there are a lot of mugs with different quantities of tea in them.
— Jon Klassen