While exploring Montreal a few evenings ago, we came across the artist-run gallery, Articule. Although it was late in the evening, they kindly let us in to preview their new show: Black Market Type & Print Shop by Steve Lambert. Inspired by the proliferation of DIY fonts of the 1990s, the artist has appropriated (ie scanned) letterforms from contemporary artists' publications and created unauthorized fonts. The resulting 20 fonts include artists such as Margaret Kilgallen, R. Crumb, Marcel Dzama and David Shrigley. Select designers were then invited to created posters using the fonts. Visitors to the gallery can also create new work with these black market fonts, but only on the work stations set up in the gallery. "The effect of which is a distribution of the aesthetics of contemporary art into the media stream of lost-dog announcements, rock show flyers, for-sale notices and other street-post ephemera."
There's still plenty of good things to post about from the National Stationery Show, but I'll be in transit tomorrow. We're on our way to Montreal where Glen will be reading from his novel. I will try to continue my coverage as soon as possible.
UPPERCASE is still open while I'm away; Katie and Jenny are there, so please stop in and say hi. Derek Beaulieu's "Chains" is also nearing its run, so this week is your last opportunity to see it before it comes down to make way for the big Work/Life extravaganza of illustration and photography.
L2 Design Collective was one of the first booths we visited at the show, and their soft-bound test print journals were some of the most memorable. Although covers made from test prints is not a new idea, the proportions, paper and presentation of L2's sets were quite nice. See more of their products here.
Mixed Co. is good company. The booth presented the work of some very talented women: notably Joy Deangdeelert Cho of Nantaka Joy and one of my favourite blogs (Oh Joy) whom it was a pleasure to meet, Lisa Wong Jackson of Good on Paper, and Meg Mateo Ilasco, the creator of the Mixed Co. concept and author of the great book, Craft Inc. (I reordered the book just before I left for NY, so it should be in the shop next week: it's so good we keep selling out!) Meg also makes some beautiful products, such as the number clips seen above.
Meg is a talented business woman and the advice she offers in Craft Inc. is both excellent and inspiring. Mixed Co. is a great idea and makes tackling something as big and potentially expensive as presenting in the National Stationery Show more manageable for independent stationery artists:
Mixed Co. is a marketing agency for independent designers that's best described as a hybrid mix of public relations and sales representation. In other words, our goal is to assist companies in getting product placement in press and inventory placement in retail shops. Like a PR agent, we establish marketing programs to help raise a company's profile and brand awareness. And like a sales rep, we take companies to trade shows for both marketing and sales opportunities. However, unlike a sales rep, we do not collect a commission on sales.
Brooklyn-based Enormous Champion's booth immediately caught our eye. They had interesting objects of inspiration in vignettes next to their cards, which made the cards themselves all the more appealing. The combination of letterpress and nice paperstock give their simple graphics a precious, tactile quality. Simple letterpressed-graphics (such as a image in silhouette or a vintage illustration paired with a small line of type) were a fairly common style at the show, but Enormous Champion was one of my favourites.
The Rizzoli bookstore was particularly inspiring, not only for its marvelous building, but for the interesting arrangements of books that I found. It was as if the portraits on the books' covers were in conversation with one another.
Hi everyone! I'm reporting in from New York and the National Stationery Show. The size of the show is unbelievable and quite daunting at first. But Glen and I methodically canvased the show, aisle by aisle and I think we saw all of it. I took some pictures of my favourite finds and will be posting them here on the UPPERCASE journal as well as pictures in my Flickr pool in the days to come.
We are open Saturday from 11am - 5pm. UPPERCASE will be closed Sunday and Monday for the long weekend.
I recommend a trip over to Nikki Clung's thesis project, Sight:Site. She explores the connection between the marketing of a place and how it influences a visitor's perception and experience of a culture.
"Bound by time and space, the act of travel is fleeting and transitory. But for the tourist, the experience of place is rooted in the material world. From the way that sites are endorsed to the way that they are seen, visual culture constructs and orchestrates the tourist's understanding of locality. Advertisements fuel the desire for authentic experience. Photographs, postcards, and souvenirs prolong and memorialize temporal events. While these visual artifacts validate individual experience, they are also indicative of a larger collective awareness of tourism."