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...
In 2016, scholar, writer, and Indigenous literature advocate, Daniel Heath Justice, started the twitter project #HonouringIndigenousWriters:
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. I really enjoyed typesetting the names for this. Some names I recognized, and others still new to me.
TABLOID SIZE POSTERS
This poster is in English, French, and Inuktitut, and is 11 x 17 inches. If you have an additional language that you'd like the poster translated into, just write me at the contact link at the top of the blog, and I'll make a poster and upload it here.
Because the poster is black, right to the edge of the paper (it's a full bleed), you might want to print it on 12x18" paper, if it's available to you. Otherwise, just choose "fit to print" in your print dialogue box, and your poster will just be printed a little smaller than tabloid. Then trim.
LARGE FORMAT POSTERS
These large format posters are 18 x 28". They are also downloadable and can be printed at a print shop that offers large format printing. You will need to trim the poster. Fed Ex Office can print one for about $40, but check with your local print shop, if you have one, as they are often family run, and the prices are usually better.
If you live in the Vancouver area, you can order one from me for $18 and pick it up at Selector's Records at 8 E.Pender before July 1.
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
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 love Max Bill and I love Jan Tschichold. Generally, when I'm reading about historical debates between various Modernist avant-garde factions, if I'm honest, I'm often just rolling my eyes a little. Probably completely unfairly, I imagine them passionately arguing about the importance of the horizontal plane versus the diagonal over red wine while their wives are keeping an eye on dinner and the kids and sorting the socks. Yet, at the same time, it's such a privilege to take their ideas for granted. There's nothing I create that doesn't reference, borrow or build upon 20th century design.
Now, when it comes to the Swiss avant garde, I let them all off the hook. I am amazed every time at how beautifully the Swiss School analyzes type and space. Ernst Keller was successful in making "Swiss" a seal of quality, because when I see imitations on the internet, and there are a lot, there is a missing...something. Whatever sublime quality is evident when any object is crafted by a master.
I imagine the Swiss kept their passionate arguments very short, took notes, had a quick glass of water, and then hopped back to it at their desks (this is unsupported). So when I hear that Jan Tschichold, my favourite writer on the subject of typography and Max Bill, possibly my favourite Swiss School man got into it over the asymmetric (Bill) versus the symmetric (Tschichold), I am genuinely interested. The fight took place in the "Schweizer Graphiste Miteilungen" periodical on type in 1946. Jan Tschichold replied to a series of spreads published by Bill in the April issue with a layout of "Hafis", set classically, symmetrically, with a woodcut by Hans Arp in the June issue. He titled his reply "Belief and Reality". The pull that every designer feels, between the personal, the universal the theoretical and the practical, it's all in here.
Jost Hochuli and Robin Kinross, who detail the argument in "Designing Books", note that Bill supported his beliefs with catalogues and architectural layouts, while Tschichold, who had taken over at Penguin, supported his ideas with literary layouts. I think this points to the way in which what we design influences us. I rarely meet a book designer who is absolutist in their ideas and generally as a group we are pretty low key. As design positions go, it's a pretty humble one: most of the time your job is to keep your design underneath the material you're communicating.
Over these holidays I was really under the weather and consoled myself one day by watching Dolly Parton on YouTube. I used this list of her best 30 songs from the Telegraph, which was inspired by her performance at Glastonbury this year.
I thought of her after I heard Whitney Houston singing, "I Will Always Love You" in the doctor's waiting room on Christmas Eve (it is a real waiting room song, isn't it). I love the original, simpler version of the song by Dolly Parton from 1974, because it's so pretty and understated. It was written for the host of the show she's appearing on, Porter Wagoner, who introduces her at the beginning of the video. She wrote it as a way of thanking him but also confirming to him that she really wanted to leave his show and have a solo career. It wasn't a very amicable split, so the spirit of it is impressive to me. Update: My son is worried for me since hearing Dolly, saying, 'Mama, dad and I will have to teach you how to like good music. Like Mastodon. You like terrible music, Mama." OK, OK :)
The song is on the soundtrack of Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore, which I'd now like to watch again. Beautiful, clean poster.
happy birthday, little h.