UPPERCASE reader and supporter Don Moyer has very successful track record on Kickstarter. His CalamityWare plates and BADbandana projects highlight his complex and fun illustration motifs on usable everyday items such as plates and bandanas. His latest campaign launched a few days ago already surpassed its goal, but with 19 days to go, there's plenty of time to make a pledge to preorder these bandanas featuring "early video games meet folk-art embroidery, plus energetic monsters".
Their products are always carefully selected and they really excel at COLOUR. Beautiful colour combinations showing real sophistication—subtle differences in shades, beautiful gradations, unexpected pairings... the Purl Bee, their inspiring blog, showcases various projects using Purl products and for those of us admiring and shopping from afar, offers an up close appreciation of their fabrics and yarns through great photography and really accessible patterns. Here are some simple striped patterns that are easy for beginners and meditative and satisfying for expert crocheters and knitters.
On a cold winter's day, I'd love to be encircled by this gradient cowl.
And I'll curl up under a striped blanket... or perhaps I'll just snuggle up to these skeins of yarn that look warm and inviting just like this:
There is very little advertising in each issue of UPPERCASE. This is partly by design since the few ads I do run have more impact for the advertiser and hold more interest for the reader (and leave more room for content!) but it is also out of necessity. Being a one-woman magazine operation means I don’t have a lot of time to dedicate to finding advertisers. My goal is to find two advertisers per issue—one for each of the inside covers—plus an assortment of Calling Card ads and Peeps round out each issue. I was happy when, out of the blue, the folks at Fossil contacted me about placing an ad in the current issue. They’re certainly the biggest brand that has advertised with UPPERCASE, but they’re also a great fit: with beautiful products that I personally already use (my watch, for example) and a company culture driven by design, Fossil has employed and supported many illustrators and designers within the larger UPPERCASE community.
I’ve been a solo designer pretty much my entire career, working my way up out of the room off the kitchen, the basement, a public gallery space and now to a nice studio office. But I’ve never worked for another company and I am particularly intrigued by how bigger brands nurture creativity and foster great work environments. I was curious about how UPPERCASE fits into life at Fossil so I reached out to Laura Pike-Seeley, the librarian at the Fossil headquarters in Richardson, Texas. (Please note that this profile was entirely initiated by me and is not a sponsored post.)
What kinds of books, magazines and reference materials are at the Fossil Library?
The Fossil Library is open to all employees, but specializes in connecting our design teams to Fossil’s shared creative resources. We have a variety of materials, from books on Expressionist woodcuts and jazz album covers to a circulating iPad full of digital magazine subscriptions.
Fossil subscribes to dozens of design journal titles, including, of course, UPPERCASE! Other popular titles include Kinfolk, Vogue Accessory, Wallpaper, Print and many more. We also hold management and leadership titles, graphic and watch design annuals and paper samples
In addition, the Library manages collections for our product design teams, the largest being our collection of retail and vintage samples. Imagine a circulating library, but instead of books, it’s bags, belts, textiles and anything else you can imagine.
How is the library curated?
You can’t always anticipate where creativity will lead people, so much of the collection development is in response to designers’ requests or from conversations with employees about the directions their work is taking. That said, the library fills gaps and anticipates user needs by acquiring titles that are crucial for a well-rounded design resource center to offer. The other major driver is our seasonal brand stories— the Fossil brand team helps to curate resources that will support their vision for upcoming seasons.
How did you hear about UPPERCASE magazine?
This first time I flipped through an UPPERCASE issue was at Salvage Ltd in Arlington, Massachusetts. When I came on over three years ago and started managing our journal subscriptions, UPPERCASE was a magazine I knew that the Library, as a resource center for hundreds of creatives, had to have. This impulse was confirmed over and over again, as it’s one of our most popular titles.
UPPERCASE is adored for its...
The magazine is so well curated and colorful—it just makes you smile. According to our designers, UPPERCASE is adored because it’s eclectic, practical and made for creatives by creatives. Charming, whimsical, surprising—these are all words used by our designers to describe UPPERCASE.
As many Fossil employees are lovers of historical ephemera, we are always delighted to see celebrations of the cultural paper trail in UPPERCASE—like the piece on ham radio cards from issue 20 and the midcentury letterhead feature from issue 19.
What kinds of materials are in the archives?
We’re currently celebrating Fossil’s 30th birthday, so our archives have been heavily mined this year. The archives contains packaging (we have a full archive of our signature watch tins), catalogs and mailers, advertising collateral, newsletters, press releases, merchandising props, and of course, product, including watches, bags, belts and clothing. Our digital archives holds commercials, internal videos and our art department’s work from the past twenty years or so. The archive is growing as we are striving to collect some of our oldest and rarest designs. And several times a year, the library works with design leaders to pick the best of the best designs to add to our seasonal archive.
What is the coolest item in the archive?
It's tough to pick just one! We do have some particularly great items seen in the retro future story, which is a recurring theme that has popped up again and again over the years at Fossil.
As early as 1991, you can see a retro-futuristic influence in Fossil's packaging and product. These robots, rockets, ray guns, galactic travelers and other symbols of other-worldly adventures were inspired by late 1950s visions of a fantastic future.
Fossil has looked to the story of retro future once again for the Holiday 2014 collection. Taking the best elements of midcentury design culture and infusing it with humor and whimsy is what Fossil does best.
How do designers at Fossil typically use the library services?
It’s a function of both reference and inspiration. Someone may need to get a better grasp on a subject they are already familiar with, or perhaps a topic they have been assigned to research, and we work together to locate the best resources. Other times, they come from a place of curiosity or a desire for new thinking. Our fully-automated library consists of about two thousand books—big enough to provide a little of most things design-related, but small enough to easily browse for inspiration, both in person and through the digital catalog.
How does the library assist the Fossil brand and company culture?
The Library is here for anyone to use for inspiration, reference, or simply a place to get away from your desk and computer for a little while. It’s a welcoming, open space that encourages creativity and collaboration, which are both so crucial to the Fossil identity. Quite simply, the Library is a creative haven.
Based on what people are interacting with in the library, can you see trends in style and design emerging?
It seems that one of the biggest developments in creative culture is a shift toward authenticity and craftsmanship, even as creatives retain a passion for technology and how it can support innovation in design. 3D printing, wearables, hackerspaces—these emerged from a desire to explore what role technology plays in self-expression, and the urge to find self-fulfillment through the creative process. Maker culture supports innovation that is practical, progressive and collaborative. It’s an emotional, optimistic movement that touches all aspects of design, especially at a company like Fossil that looks to both the history and the future of style and design to define our aesthetic.
Thank you to Laura and the team at Fossil for sharing these behind-the-scenes with us! For a look at Fossil design process, visit their blog. And please check out the Eley Kishimoto x Fossil collaboration that is advertised in the current issue—it's full of pattern designs plus some really bold retro-inspired watch designs. Would you or your brand like to advertise in the pages of UPPERCASE next year? Download the media kit over here.
After reading the current issue, you're probably inspired to pick up a calligraphy pen! I'd like to suggest a visit to Paper and Ink Arts, one of the advertisers who supported the content creation of this issue by purchasing a Calling Card ad.
Even if you're a seasoned calligrapher, you'll always be in need of new ink, nibs and paper and it is great to have a reliable source for your favourite things.
In addition to calligraphy supplies, you'll also find general creative supplies like markers, paints, papers.. even adjustable craft tables! Thanks again to Jennifer of Paper and Ink Arts for her support of UPPERCASE magazine.
If you'd like to have your Calling Card appear on the blog, sidebar, social media and in print, they cost just $400. Select an image that best represents you, your product or service (squarish image 3 inches wide at 300dpi ), then click here to upload it and get your Calling Card ad designed by me and shared with the UPPERCASE community. You'll be supporting UPPERCASE content creation, boosting your profile, be immortalized in print and be serving the community with your creative offerings
Trina Lucido is an artist and paper enthusiast. "I can't resist beautiful paper, old or new, and see potential in every piece I find," she says. "These papers find their way into my artwork which includes greeting cards, art journals, mixed media pieces and home decor." As her collection of papers and haberdashery grew, Trina decided to open up shop as The Paper Flea Market to share her finds with other paper and vintage lovers.
The Paper Flea Market is the first official Calling Card that will appear in the fall issue of UPPERCASE. In addition to the ad appearing in lovely ink on paper in 10,000 copies of the magazine, a Calling Card ad will reside on the UPPERCASE blog sidebar for the duration of the forthcoming issue. I'll also share the ad with my Twitter followers and do a blog post, such as this one, to offer as much value as I possibly can to your $400 investment. The next issue goes to print after the Labour Day weekend, so there's still time to get your Calling Card if you get in touch soon. I look forward to sharing more Calling Card profiles here in the blog over the next weeks. Please click the Calling Cards already on the sidebar to discover more.
To make your Calling Card, choose an image that best represents you, your product or service (squarish image 3 inches wide at 300dpi ), then click here to upload it and get your Calling Card ad designed by me and shared with the UPPERCASE community. You'll be supporting UPPERCASE content creation, boosting your profile, be immortalized in print and be serving the community with your creative offerings.
Thank you to The Paper Flea Market!
A Gathering of Stitches is a communal making space for textile and fibre artists located in Portland, Maine. Members can rent equipment and studio space and benefit from a community of fellow makers. You can even rent a "Fairy Godmother", most likely to be proprietor Samantha Hoyt Lindgren, to consult on your project and help you learn new equipment.
Their doors open mid August this past summer, so they're still new and growing. But with a great roster of classes and equipment, it looks like A Gathering of Stitches is stitching up a firm foundation in this creative community.
UPPERCASE would like to thank A Gathering of Stitches for their ongoing support of UPPERCASE. As we transition away from ads in our print magazine, we are very pleased to have A Gathering of Stitches' ad on our blog sidebar. If you are a creative business owner and would like to advertise with us, we would be happy to hear from you.
Kseniya Thomas of Thomas-Printers on why she loves the business of letterpress:
We're commercial letterpress printers at Thomas-Printers, which means we primarily print others' designs. This provides us with a great variety of work: we've printed on sheet copper for napkin rings, printed corporate invitations for functions we're not allowed to talk about, and even printed a birth announcement for the son of a German princess. Germany still has princesses! So every day brings a new challenge, but that keeps me looking forward to work every day and to making whatever it is I'm printing look great. One of the best parts of my job is the printer-client interaction: talking to customers about letterpress, educating them about what we do and how letterpress works best, and working together to make a beautiful finished piece.
That's what draws me to printing: the communal nature of what looks like a solitary thing, a woman at her printing press. I love making things every day, interacting with my customers, and problem solving each new job's challenges. The fact that I get to work with antique machines, beautiful paper, and killer designs doesn't hurt either. I really believe in making things by hand, and keeping people involved with processes, and am thankful every time someone chooses a handmade invitation over one made by a machine in a huge plant. That choice not only supports me and the business, but also a whole ecosystem of other humans, from papermakers to plate makers to the postal worker who delivers the finished invitation. Choosing print is an increasingly important choice, and I'm hopeful that the relationships we've established will help keep printed things vital far into the future.
The (other, so many!) great thing about letterpress printing is the community of printers. While we all have our unique methods and ways of getting ink onto paper, and getting that printed thing out into the world, we all share a love of the craft and a commitment to its continuance. A friend and I started Ladies of Letterpress about six years ago to help encourage the community of printers out there to come together and share knowledge—we now have almost 2000 members all over the world.
UPPERCASE would like to thank Thomas-Printers for their ongoing support of UPPERCASE. As we transition away from ads in our print magazine, we are very pleased to have Thomas-Printers' ad on our blog sidebar. If you are a creative business owner and would like to advertise with us, we would be happy to hear from you.
You might have noticed the top sidebar ad for "The Sketchnote Typeface". It's an extensive and useful font made from designer Mike Rohde's own lettering. The sketchnote is a process that Mike uses while taking live notes at events or otherwise getting ideas down on paper. Using handlettering and simple drawings, he jots down the experience of listening and learning while creating engaging and memorable pages in his journal.
The Sketchnote Handbook is a guide for this technique, teaching readers how to balance the act of visual note-taking while still remaining engaged in the live content. For the design of the book, which emulates his own sketchnote visual style, Mike worked with Delve Withrington to digitize Mike's lettering. "I saved literally hundreds of hours by using this typeface," Mike says. You can read about their process here.