Many years ago, I was part of a small design collective called picnic. Recently, after tidying up my storage space, I came across a handful of cards from a line of stationery from picnic. The lovely women at Aster & Clove have put them up at their shop.
I made a New Years' card for you to download and print. The card is an A6 size (105 x 148mm or 4.13 x 5.86 inches) and fits a C6 envelope (114 x 162 mm or 4.5 x 6.4 inches), which can be trimmed out a letter-sized piece of cardstock.
The card has bleeds. and is set with crop marks and fold marks to indicate where the card is to be folded. If you give the file to a printer, ask them to score and trim the cards for you. It's usually just one or two dollars extra for a stack.
So sweet: L'Étagère du bas has published a French edition of When I Was Small. It was nice of the publisher to send over a package, She even used very cute tape for the address! If only I could mail myself back to Paris. Too bad I'm not small...
And yes, I'm back up on my Instagram @robinmitchellcranfield . I am kind of rusty, but I'm catching up!
I've sent some packaging to press for Destroyer at Merge Records. Destroyer is Daniel Bejar's project who some people know from The New Pornographers. I've always been a big fan of Destroyer, and one of my first design projects was a record for him, so this was a nice return. The new album, ken, is really good. I'm really terrible at describing music, but Tinseltown Swimming in Blood is an on-repeat song for me, it's really catchy and a little New Order-y. I really liked the whole album.
The digital file isn't quite getting the grey here: it's a really beautiful, cloudy pale grey that we set as a Pantone, so it will be laid down as a nice solid and not a dotty screen.
I'll put up some rejected sketches here, too, because I always like to see other designers' sketches. To source artwork, I went through a lot of old theatre set textbooks at the university near me. The one we used on the cover is by Per Schwab for ‘After the Fall’ by Arthur Miller
at the National Theatre, Oslo, 1965 (Photo: Sturlason). It is one of my favourite parts of designing to do research and this was one of the nicer ones to research.
This printable poster (use button at bottom of post to download) displays numbers 1 – 10 in Cree, in both the y-dialect spoken in Alberta and southern Saskatchewan, also known as nêhiyawêwin or Plains Cree, and in the n-dialect also known as Swampy Cree or nêhinawêwin, spoken in Manitoba and the Saskatchewan communities of Cumberland House and Shoal Lake.
The lovely illustration (used with permission) is by Julie Flett adapted from her book We All Count. Arden Ogg of the Cree Literacy Network, who wrote the preface for We All Count, generously lent her time to copyedit this poster. Thanks, Arden!
The poster is 11 x 17 inches, so if your printer can print it on a 12 x 18 sheet of paper, that's perfect. Otherwise, print on a standard tabloid sheet and "shrink to fit".
The new Kanata podcast by Indian & Cowboy media has an episode with language rights activist Khelsilem, who teaches a Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) immersion program at SFU. He talks about the purpose of (non-immersion) French classes that are taught in Canada being to create awareness and appreciation for the "dual language identity of Canada" rather than to create speakers. With this in mind, small language modules and tools like this can't replace immersion programs and practicing speaking at home. As Khelsilem points out later, language programs in schools can help to bring awareness of the territory students are studying in, as well as the history of the territory. Hear more of his thoughts at the link.
This is a post for one of my classes with tips on (a) managing black ink and (b) using bitmap tifs. I briefly mention PDF settings at the end.Read More
In working on book design projects with Cree text, I found some information hard to find just by googling and sometimes I felt confused. I'm going to share my notes for anyone who, like I did, needs a bit of a primer to get oriented. This is partly a place to send my typography students as a step to further resources when we cover non-roman orthography and emerging typographic practices in class.
There are lots of great resources for anyone who would like to get a better understanding of the Cree language, which I'll put at the top of the post. I am not an authority on Cree, and only hope to provide some context for designers from outside the community who would like to prepare to work with Cree text.
My perspective here is as an English-speaker and a typesetter, and someone new to Cree. Arden Ogg & Dorothy Thunder have both taken time to answer questions from me over the past few years, and I'm really grateful to them for their time.
The specific text examples I am using here are mostly from books by Julie Flett set in several Western Cree dialects, because they are projects I've worked on, and where I learned a lot of this information. This post will be looking at Cree set in roman orthography and in Western syllabics.Read More
I've prepared a little printable with a blueberry jam recipe from Wild Berries and a couple of labels for a jar, in case you want to give a gift to your neighbour, or something. The recipe is in English and in Swampy Cree, also known as n-dialect Cree from the Cross Lake, Norway House area. Illustrations by Julie Flett. Translation by Jennifer Thomas. This printable is here with permission from the author.Read More
This fantastic interview with Agnès Varda, who pioneered French New Wave film is great, and I loved hearing her thoughts on Instagram and digital filmmaking.
The interview covers quite a few things, but her thoughts on documenting traumatic events and death is really stayed with me — it's so timely. It reminded me of Kirsten Johnson's Cameraperson — a film made up of edited B-roll of previously shot documentaries including ones on Bosnia, Rwanda, and Darfur, that she had shot as a cinematographer. I pulled up an interview with Johnston, to help me sort through what seemed to me like parallels in their work.Read More
So I want to look at the Glagolithic alphabet, the oldest Slavic alphabet system. What got me interested was a dust up between Kiev and Moscow over the Anna Yaroslavna, or Anne of Kiev, over the origins of the Évangélaire de Reims a few days ago.Read More
(This happened in February on twitter, but I'm behind on my studio housekeeping.) I was reading a story in LA Review of Books about Lisa Robertson and was surprised and happy to see the cover of the book The Weather referenced:
'From the three floating blue circles in a white box on a sky-blue cover, signaling a Canadian pastoral poetry I had never before encountered, to the mix of conventionally paced lyric poems contrasting the justified prose blocks, it was, as she would say, a “sweet new style.”'
The Weather was one of my first design projects. Last year Paper Hound listed The Weather on its list of favourite local book design, and recently, New Star got in touch with me, and I'm working on some new covers for them. So it came back from the early 2000s (You can see on the back cover, it's for Steedman Design)! It's nice to be working on books again, after a bit of a break.
A few years later, I laid out Lisa's book The Office of Soft Architecture, designed by Tae Won Yu for Clearcut Press. The illustration appeared in that book, and it was nice because I got to choose a Toyo colour and it was printed on a soft white bamboo paper, which was a good surface for it, and a nice contrast to the gloss coated version. I'm happy with both of them, which is a good feeling (that you don't always get as a designer to be honest). Also, Lisa, who is a very great person, came by my studio one time right after Windy had been rejected for something or other, and she gave me a very good book rejection pep talk. You need those pep talks when you're starting out.
And that's all about The Weather!
I've realized that, in my head, not really out loud, the highest praise I have for a piece of art is that it's calming. So I made a pinboard to begin putting together calming imagery. So far it is a lot of Uta Barth...
This is a poster of that project to share with everyone in advance of the next Indigenous Literary Studies Association 2017 Conference beginning on June 18. It will shortly be available on Daniel's web site as well.
The posters are available to download below and are available in Inuktitut, French, English:Read More
As part of one of our classes this term, we used this Ruth Cuthand interview from the book Back Talk from the Mendel Art Gallery as a handout. Since I designed it, I realized I still have the source files for it, so, with permission from the curator, I am putting it up here for anyone who would like to access it or use it as a handout. The interview was conducted by curator Jen Budney, and is available in English and in Cree (translated by Randy Morin).
Ruth's name is pronounced Cut Hand, (I read it as Cuth-and at first).
Below are printable documents, reformatted from the orginal book to print on single letter-sized pages for easy printing.
In Vancouver we have a lovely bookshop called the Paper Hound, I like to visit their children's book section regularly, so when I heard that Sunny, which Judith Steedman and I designed was on their list of the best BC book designs of all time it was a nice surprise. Then, looking at the list I saw two of my designs, one from my student days: The Weather by Lisa Robertson. Ha! I remember moving those little white circles around for a long time, so concerned about getting it right. The other book was Owls See Clearly at Night, which I designed for Julie Flett for Simply Read Books.
Yesterday I held a small workshop on the Word festival in Vancouver, meeting with aspiring children's book authors. It was fun, hope to do it again next year. I couldn't take a good picture in the middle of everything, so no photo :)
Everyone had different projects, but I think two statements which applied to everyone were:
1. Identify the specific age range you're trying to reach (3–5 etc.)
2. Have a clear synopsis of your story
Most people are not sure where to begin a conversation about their project: the best way is to describe your audience, their needs, the main characters in the story and the story itself. Also, it's very helpful bring samples of your work with you. Good luck, everyone!
Just made a large honey cake and it turned out really well — here are my recipe notes before I forget:
· replaced 1 cup honey with 1/2 cup lemon infused honey + 1/4 cup plain honey + 1/4 cup ginger simple syrup
· replaced orange juice with lemonade
· replaced whiskey with Fentiman's ginger brew (ginger beer would be perfect)
· replaced coffee with chai
Kid-friendly version up on the windy blog