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.
(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!
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.
Oh my goodness! Two of my book designs were nominated for this year's best 50 Books / 50 Covers presented by the American Institute of Graphic Arts. I am genuinely very surprised about this. But here's to nice surprises.
I just received a lovely message that Julie Flett's web site is on its way — hooray! We were just talking about the endpapers for Wild Berries (which has been receiving awards and rave reviews all over the place) and I was so happy to see them again. Honestly, if I could have a job just designing end papers I'd jump at it. It's my favourite part of any book.
The Alcuin Society Awards for for Excellence in Book Design in Canada for 2014 were just announced. In the children's category, hundreds & thousands received first prize for how to by Julie Morstad and third prize for Wild Berries by Julie Flett. I'm grateful to the Alcuin Society for their support of Canadian book design and to both Julie and Julie who individually are each so talented and kind that it bowls me over on every project.
mixing table in the ink lab, hemlock printers
Wild Berries by Julie Flett is hot of the press. I feel very lucky to have worked on the design. These are just little details from the hardcover and endpapers. I will have to post some more about this soon. The book comes in two editions, each about a little boy going berry-picking with his grandmother. One is in English and in n-dialect Cree Cumberland House and the other, Pakwa che Menisu, is set in n-dialect Cree (Cross Lake, Norway House area) in syllabics. N-dialect Cree is also known as Swampy Cree.
I've been slowly collecting a little information about Cree as I work on some projects set in various dialects. I still understand only a tiny little fraction of what there is to know. Someday soon, when I find the time, I will do a dedicated post on Cree type, partly as a typographic reference tool for my future self. Promoting Aboriginal languages should be something for all Canadians to work towards. I'd really welcome bringing dialects into the school system. How can we teach children any culture without language?
Pantone 345U + Yellow 012
The Alcuin Society Awards for Excellence in Book Design sent out their 2012 winners this week, which includes When I was Small in the children's category which I designed for Simply Read Books. When I was Small is part of The Henry Books series by Sara O'Leary, and illustrated by Julie Morstad. I feel very lucky to have been a part of their project.
I really appreciate all the effort that the Alcuin Society does to support book design in Canada — we are small community. Two other Simply Read books were recognized for design, including Lily Loves by super-talented Sarah Gillingham, which is very sweet. I want to picture it here, but I wouldn't want to confuse anyone — I can't take credit for that lovely design ^_^
How To by Julie Morstad is back from press and it looks amazing. I feel so lucky to have had the chance to design this project. Julie Morstad's work gets stronger and stronger. It's inspiring to watch her body of work grow. Auggie loves this book and even read it to me. I love the simplicity of the theme and of course the illustrations.Read More
A few years ago I designed a series of magazines for La Rampa publications. These were large format travel, culture & lifestyle magazines featuring beautiful photography by Chantal James (also the editor-in-chief). Now that it's so easy to publish online, I've put the full magazines up on issuu: Haiti Cherie, Cuba La Perla and Brasil Vai com Deus. I put these up on request of the publisher.
When I was Small just won the Christie Harris Illustrated Children's Literature Prize — congratulations to Sara O'Leary and Julie Morstad for the third book in their Henry series. Phew, that's a lot of links.
This past Saturday Simply Read Books launched Owls See Clearly at Night at Collage Collage. Owls See Clearly is an introduction to Michif, the language of the Métis people. Michif is a combination of Cree and French and used to be a common language in the Prairies, but is now disappearing. This book is a resource to help preserve Michif and it is also beautifully illustrated and carefully conceived by Julie Flett.
If you would like to know more about Michif, here are some resources from the book (click on the image to enlarge), including the online Métis Museum, which contains educational resources, stories and more.