Issue 8 teaser

The number 8, part of Bethany Heck's favourite woodtype letters

Image by Snap + Tumble of part of their letterpress submission

Issue 8 will feature an interview with Studio on Fire

Oh, issue #8. So much great stuff to look forward to!

In addition to our usual topics, we have two themes that are explored in the forthcoming issue:  

1) Letterpress! We love ink on paper and this issue includes an interview with Studio on Fire, a collection of wood type and the ABCs of letterpress printing. And to explore the tactile quality of letterpress printing, 50 amazing designers and printers are sharing samples of their work with UPPERCASE readers. Each copy of the magazine will have an actual letterpress sample, be it a greeting card, small art print or other treat dreamed up by one of the participants. (Above is a preview of Snap + Tumble's submission... Tanya printed these little bags within which she includes a marvelous card showing the virtues of print. Each bag is numbered... her details are impeccable!) There will be a few lovely sampler sets containing all 50 letterpress samples which will be given away in a draw of our subscriber list.

Albertine Press
Angela Liguori
Birddog Press
Blackbird Letterpress
Blush Publishing
Bon Vivant Press
Cleanwash Letterpress
Clementine Press
Cranky Pressman
Create Two
David Wolske
Delphine Press
Full Circle Press
Greenwich Letterpress
Hello Lucky
HYC Creative Letterpress
Ink Meets Paper Press
Inky Lips Press
Lucky Bee Press
May Day Studio
Mpress Studio
Nomadic Letterpress
Olive Route
On Paper Wings
Paisley Dog Press
Paper Parasol Press
Pomegranate Letterpress
Product Superior
Purgatory Pie Press
Rohner Letterpress
Ruby Victoria Letterpress & Printmaking
Sapling Press
Sarah Drake Design
Satsuma Press
Smock Paper
Smokeproof press
Snap And Tumble
Studio Olivine
Studio On Fire
Thomas Printers
Tiny Pine Press
Twig And Fig


2) Small things! A celebration of miniature and playful distortions of scale and proportion... Bonsai, buttons, dollhouses, things kawaii, children's books, and matchbox labels. Each subscriber's copy will include an authentic vintage matchbox label from my own personal collection! I've had an ebay score of labels waiting for the perfect opportunity... I'll post more about that soon. You have to see it to believe it.

And more:

An interview with Ed Emberley

Behind the scenes with Faythe Levine

Yarn design with Blue Sky Alpacas
From my perspective as a designer and publisher, I am always striving to grow and learn... and exceed my own expectations. The forthcoming issue marks a leap forward for the magazine, not only in content, but also in size (116 pages) and print run. Issue #8 is going to be great!

(Issue #8 will be distributed and mailed in early February.)


Shop discount!

Enter the code manythanks and get 10% off now through November 30. Use it for gifts, book bundles, subscriptions and renewals!

Bundle up for Christmas!

The UPPERCASE Book Bundle is a great Christmas gift!

Receive four beautiful and unique books over the course of the next few months.

The bundle begins right away with recently published The Elegant Cockroach, a beautifully illustrated tale of a stylish creature living in the big city. For booklovers (and lovers) it is a romantic story of love, longing and six legs. The book is hardcover with black cloth and copper foil title with a full colour jacket and black endpapers. Here's a look at a sample image from inside the book. (See a short book trailer film here.)

The Elegant Cockroach is followed by Work/Life 2: the UPPERCASE directory of illustration (international edition) to be published in February. Nearly 100 illustrators from around the globe are profiled, with peeks into their studios, sketchbooks and personal lives. You can take a look at the first edition of Work/Life to get a sense of the content and design of the next edition. (Limited numbers of the first edition are still available.)

Cover illustration by Alyssa Nassner

image by Andrea D'Aquinoimage by Juliana Salcedoimage by Blanca Gómez

Then in March, we send you A Collection a Day by Lisa Congdon. I am REALLY excited about this one. Throughout 2010, Lisa has been posting an image of one of her collections every day. It is an amazing project full of incredible objects and visual inspirations. It has existed as a blog for the year, but we are turning the project into something you can hold in your hands: a small but hefty 6.5" x 4.5" tome with over 400 pages at about 1.25" thick. The book itself will be packaged inside a collectible tin, in which you can store your small collections and precious treasures. The tin design is in progress and I'll be sharing it with you soon. When purchased as part of the Book Bundle or preorders, the special tin is included at no extra charge.

In June, we send you the icing on top of the cake: The Suitcase Series Volume 2: Dottie Angel. Tif Fussell is a prolific crafter and blogger. I've prepared a short film to introduce you to Tif and her alter ego Dottie Angel, but we will have to wait a few more weeks before it makes a very special premiere. The book will be around 192 pages full of Dottie wisdom, craft how-tos, anecdotes and ramblings, pretty pictures and ponderings... The design details are still in progress, but the book will include some very special touches such as actual sewing on the cover and the inclusion of vintage fabric swatches! When purchased as part of the Book Bundle or preorders, you will receive some special extra goodies with the book. (The first book in the series was about Camilla Engman; take a look here.)

All of these amazing books will be sent to you or your recipient as they are published—The Elegant Cockroach will be sent out now so there will be something to unwrap under the tree. We can also email a Christmas e-card to your recipient to let them know what they'll be receiving in the coming months.

The bundle is just $100 and you will save off the total cover prices plus get the special extras. You also save on shipping costs by purchasing the bundle rather than each book individually. To order the bundle, please click right here.

Do you want the UPPERCASE Book Bundle for Christmas? Let your Santa know by sending him this link:

Mini magazines

How cute are these miniature magazines made by Anna-Maria at The Shopping Sherpa? I can't wait to see where they'll go! Alas, making mini magazines is the only way to get a complete set these days since most of the back issues are now out of print.

Look for an article by Anna-Maria about mid-century miniature houses in issue 8!

An Elegant Preview

A peek at the new book written by Deidre Anne Martin and illustrated by Stefanie Augustine.


Katie Green has drawn another book stack and I'm happy to see The Elegant Cockroach has made it into the pile! Thanks, Katie.

Also thanks to Aprile at Not Paper for posting about illustrator Stefanie Augustine.

ONLINE SHOP SPECIAL: enter the code manythanks to get 10% off orders between now and November 30!

Matchbox labels call for submissions

Here's your chance to be published in the next issue of UPPERCASE!

Inspired by vintage matchbox labels, I'd love to see your design, typography and illustrations that pay homage to these small treasures of graphic design. Traditionally, the box label messages were public service announcements, recommending citizens "Eat Vegetables" or "Be Careful with Matches" or "Save For Happiness" or "Alcohol Will Sink Your Plans". Or they celebrate more decorative topics like animals, national sports or fables. What is your modern take in subject matter for a modern matchbox label? Printed inexpensively, specimens from the 50s and 60s have lovely misregistration, overprinting and dot patterns. Feel free to emulate these effects in your design. The best ones will be published in the winter edition of UPPERCASE magazine (Issue #8, out in Jan/Feb 2011).

Submissions should 3" x 2" either horizontal or vertical and 300dpi. Please label the file with your last name and include your name, address and contact details when uploading it here. DEADLINE: NOVEMBER 30.

ABOVE: an excellent submission by John Yates.

Wanderlust: a shop on wheels

I really enjoyed my visit to Portland this past summer. So many creative people in a relatively small city! There's a new creative venture in that town, and it certainly is in a small space:

Wanderlust, Portland's first traveling retail cart, is starting the holiday season off with a bang. After several 'soft-launch' events at food cart pods and outdoor markets during the Fall of 2010, their operation is up and running smoothly. Now they're ready for action-planning a grand opening party Saturday November 20th where you can expect cupcakes, a raffle, a wheel you spin for a discount on every purchase and some amazing vintage and handmade goodness all in conjunction with the Waterheater's Bazaar Bizarro flea market.

At Wanderlust shoppers can expect a nicely curated selection of vintage clothing including over 100 amazing dresses packed into their 10'x7' shop. Men's western style button-ups hang inside the newly renovated 1969 Cardinal trailer along with the cutest handmade items from local and international artists such as Mary Kate McDevitt* from Portland and Showpony out of the UK. Who knows where the future will take this little shop, there are even whispers of visiting San Francisco and Seattle in the Spring and Summer of 2011. Visit for the rest of their Holiday 2010 schedule and watch for Wanderlust on the streets of Portland and other areas reachable by land.

*Mary Kate McDevitt makes some pretty and fun chalkboards! Check out her Etsy shop if you're not in Portland and look for Mary Kate's pages in the forthcoming book, Work/Life 2.

Just a few left...

If you'd like a set of the available back issues (issues 3, 4, 5, 6) plus a subscription, we have just a few left! Thirteen, to be precise. Only five! Once these have gone, then issues 3 and 5 are officially sold out! (Issues 1 and 2 are sold out, issue 4 has fewer than 100 copies left and issue 6 just 30 copies.) And when they're gone, that's it. As is the nature of magazines, they will not be reprinted since my resources go into putting out future issues.

This subscription set makes a great Christmas gift since your recipient gets a box of 5 magazines for some great holiday reading. Issue 8 follows quickly in early February, followed by an issue in April and July. To order as a gift, simply enter their name and address in the ship to fields and your name in the billing info. Order today to ensure ample shipping time. Or if you prefer that the box be shipped to you so that it can be gift wrapped, ship it to yourself and follow up with an email including the subscription address for issue 8 and beyond. Thanks!

Book cover reveal!

It is a busy busy time. Although the blog might be a little stagnant lately (sorry!), behind the scenes things are happening. Content for issue 8 is flowing in, and submissions for Work/Life 2 are flooding in! I am happy to reveal the cover for Work/Life 2: the UPPERCASE directory of illustration, international edition. (to be released February 2011)

The cover is llustrated by Alyssa Nassner. I really enjoyed our collaboration and admire Alyssa's work. Below is the article about Alyssa from the forthcoming book, peppered with some images from her website and etsy shop. (There are a few spots still available in Work/Life 2: read more about the project here and sign up here. Preorder the book here or as part of the book bundle.)

Alyssa Nassner is a fresh talent with a BFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art. Although new to the field, Alyssa has already landed some fine jobs: “I've been lucky enough to work on a novelty book with Chronicle Books, and I cannot wait for that project to finally be complete. I've also had the joy of working on various freelance projects with Dwell Studio. Working with them has given me a great insight into the industry of textile design among other things, and I look forward to continuing my work with them.” Alyssa provided the cover illustration for Work/Life 2. “Being asked to work on a project with UPPERCASE has also been exceptionally thrilling.”

As is the reality for most young illustrators, it is difficult to take the leap out into the world, given that the only predictable part of freelance illustration is its unpredictable path. “Right now I'm living back at home, and working from my basement. I would prefer to be out on my own, but I want to take the time to save up enough money. Although I've been extremely fortunate with work so far, at this point I don't know what I'll be doing two months from now, so it's important to me that I have enough savings to fall back on when I finally move out.”

She’s still working on finding a balance between life and work, and the scale is decidedly tipped towards work. “This has been the biggest struggle for me as a young illustrator. There are some weeks where I have no choice but to not leave home, and stay up every night meet deadlines. I know that comes with illustration territory. Recently I've been making more of an effort to get out of the house at least once a day, even if it's only for an hour or two.”

For some welcome distraction, Alyssa has been improving her sewing skills and participating in craft fairs with handmade items. “Baking is slowly becoming a hobby of mine as well to the delight of my friends, and family.”


With a carefree spirit and positive outlook, Alyssa is poised for a successful career. “I like to create work that is fun, and light. My ultimate goal is to brighten someone's day, so in turn my work is colorful, decorative, and even a little naive.” Although eager and excited for all illustration opportunities, Alyssa describes her dream job with a slightly bigger picture: “I would love to work in-house for the gift division of a company, either doing artwork, or art directing. As much as I love doing my own illustrations, I'm just as thrilled to work with other artists to complete projects, and design products.”


Thank you, Alyssa, for a fine job. We wish you much success!

Type Tuesday: Francisca Prieto

I always enjoy seeing new work from Francisca Prieto, I admire her meticulous and ingenious craft. She shares a recent project with us:

Between Folds/Encyclopædia
Material: “Encyclopædia Britannica: or, a dictionary of arts, sciences, and miscellaneous literature”. Third edition, ‘Volume I – Part I’, Edited by Colin Macfarquhar; printed for A. Bell and C. Macfarquhar, 1797
Absorbed by the contents of an Eighteenth Century Encyclopaedia Britannica, Francisca has created an artwork that displays and mixes captivating topics such as algebra, alphabet, anatomy, &c. Numerous copper plates are scattered through the piece along with an inscription dating 3rd December 1811. 

Calling letterpress printers!

UPDATE: thanks for the tremendous response! The call is now closed.

Issue 8 is a work-in-progress, but content is starting to flow in. I had one of those ideas... the kind that you just have to put out there and see if it works:


The UPPERCASE letterpress sampler

The forthcoming issue of UPPERCASE, a magazine for the creative and curious, celebrates letterpress with features written by Charlotte Rivers (The Little Book of Letterpress) and Bethany Heck as well as a studio tour and interview with Studio on Fire. We would love to have our readers experience the tactile qualities of letterpress while getting to know the talented spectrum of letterpress printers out there. We are looking for participating printers to donate samples of their work which will then be inserted into the magazine. All printers who donate work will be listed with their contact details. This issue will be distributed in January/February.

We are looking for 30 printers to each donate 100 items for insertion. Possible items could be greeting cards or small art prints, below 8"x10" in size. (They don't all have to be the same, either, since just one sample will be randomly inserted per magazine. Ideally, the item would have your company name on it, though.) Items should be sent to UPPERCASE before December 15. If you'd like to be involved, please confirm your participation as soon as possible to janine at uppercasemagazine dot com. thanks!

Typewriter kitsch

Somewhat appropriate today: I'm definitely working, but not whistling. And we have mice in the house.

It's First Thursday!

Tonight Art Central is celebrating its sixth birthday! Crave cupcakes, party hats, music, and the annual ACAD wearable art fashion show are part of the festivities. In UPPERCASE, the exhibition of art from our latest book The Elegant Cockroach is on view. We have books signed by the author and copies of the latest issue of the magazine. Try your luck with a draw for a free subscription, in store only.


Call for submissions: Matchbox labels

The recent calls for submissions (Feeling Bookish, Foxes) have been really well-received, so I hope you like the next one... Inspired by vintage matchbox labels, I'd love to see your design, typography and illustrations that pay homage to these small treasures of graphic design. Traditionally, the box label messages were public service announcements, recommending citizens "Eat Vegetables" or "Be Careful with Matches" or "Save For Happiness" or "Alcohol Will Sink Your Plans". Or they celebrate more decorative topics like animals, national sports or fables. What is your modern take in subject matter for a modern matchbox label? Printed inexpensively, specimens from the 50s and 60s have lovely misregistration, overprinting and dot patterns. Feel free to emulate these effects in your design. The best ones will be published in the winter edition of UPPERCASE magazine (Issue #8, out in Jan/Feb 2011).

Submissions should 3" x 2" either horizontal or vertical and 300dpi. Please label the file with your last name and include your name, address and contact details when uploading it here. DEADLINE: NOVEMBER 30.

I didn't have time to scan my collection (yet - see it in the magazine, issue 8), but Maraid's photostream is full of thousands samples of inspiration.

What makes a good business card?

I'm working on a feature for the next issue of UPPERCASE magazine. I'd love to hear your opinion:

What makes a good business card design?

Please leave your comments below this post with your name and url.

Are you proud of your own card or one that you've designed for a client? Submit print-resolution files here by November 15 to be considered for publication in the magazine. Make sure to include your contact info and all appropriate design credits.

The Exquisite Book

The Exquisite Book by Julia Rothman, Jenny Volvovski and Matt Lamothe takes the surrealist game of the exquisite corpse and puts a modern spin on it. With 100 artists and illustrators it was an ambitious project of organization, communication and design to create a book in which to present a technically difficult format: a very long accordion fold. To make it manageable, the book is organized into ten sections of ten images each. These five-page accordion pages with images on either side are then bound into the book. I'm sure it was a labour-intensive process to bind the book!

Some of the participating artists include UPPERCASE favourites Camilla Engman, Lisa Congdon, Ray Fenwick, The Heads of State, Sarajo Frieden, Nick Dewar, Lab Partners, Maxwell Loren Holyoke-Hirsch, Esther Pearl Watson, Kate Bingaman-Burt, Irina Troitskaya, Calef Brown and Matte Stephens among others. (All these people I've just listed have participated in UPPERCASE magazine, our books or gallery shows over the years. Sorry if I've missed anyone!)

Although by the very nature of the exquisite corpse game the connections between images can be hit or miss, there are some nice moments between illustrations — particularly when each illustrator is sensitive to the content motifs of what came before their piece. And for those fold outs where the connection from one to the next is lacking, there are plenty of standalone images that are interesting in their own right.

The book is available through Chronicle here. Enter the promo code EXQ to get 25% discount & Free Shipping. Thanks to Patti Quill for inviting me to be part of the book tour. (I got to meet Patti and other members of the Chronicle family when in San Francisco this past summer — you can see some images from inside the headquarters in the current issue 7 of UPPERCASE magazine.)

With different bloggers profiling the book, it is interesting to see how each person connects with the book. Decor8 wants to hang it on her wall. I want to figure out how it was manufactured!

Tour Dates
10/18 Design For Mankind
10/19 My Love for You is a Stampede of Horses
10/20 Creature Comforts
10/21 Oh Joy!
10/22 Pikaland
10/25 Print & Pattern
10/26 ReadyMade
10/28 The Post Family
10/29 Decor8
11/2 Mint
11/3 Grain Edit
11/5 7◊7 Magazine