Thursday, April 24, 2014

A new Book Warehouse opening in Vancouver

In a time when news of bookstores and publishers closing their doors abound, it is a great joy to hear that a new bookstore opens. Black Bond Books has just announced that a new Book Warehouse will open in Vancouver on Main Street at 25th Avenue, on May 1. Mary-Ann Yazedijan, manager of Lynn Valley Black Bond Bookstore will take over the new store and is quoted as saying: "We are really excited to be going forward with this location, to be opening a new store."

We are looking forward to visiting the new location and browsing the bargain titles. Book Warehouse is a beloved brand in the bibliophile community and the fact it is expanding is nothing but good news.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Wayzgoose in Grimsby, ON, on April 26

The Wayzgoose on the last Saturday in April has been a tradition in Grimsby since 1979. Every year letterpress printers, paper makers and book binders gather to meet the public and show their craft at the Grimsby Public Art Gallery. This year, on April 26, 9 am to 5 pm, private presses from Canada and the United States invite the public to admire their work and witness numerous demonstrations on paper making, calligraphy and bookbinding, among other book arts. For the last few years, this Wayzgoose has attracted more than 2,000 visitors, so make sure not to miss it.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

The winners of the Alcuin Society Awards for Excellence in Book Design in Canada 2014

The Alcuin Society is proud to present the winners of the Alcuin Society Awards 2014. Out of the 232 books submitted, the three judges (Jessica Sullivan, Susan Colberg and Seth) selected 37 winners in eight categories. Mention must be made of Simply Read Books sweeping away all the prizes in Children's category, and the success of Naomi Macdougall, who distinguished herself in the Reference category, but not only. Congratulations to all the winners and a big thank-you to our members and supporters.
On May 1, we will also announce this year's recipient of the Robert R. Reid Award and Medal, for lifetime achievement in book arts in Canada. The announcement will be made on the new Alcuin Society website, to be launched shortly after Easter.


Saturday, April 12, 2014

The Alcuin Society Awards for Excellence in Book Design in Canada

Very soon the winners of the Alcuin Society Awards for Excellence in Book Design in Canada will be chosen from among 230 entries from 106 contributors that include publishers, book designers and authors. This year the three judges are Jessica Sullivan, creative director at Figure 1 Publishing, Susan Colberg, Associate Professor of Visual Communication Design at the University of Alberta, and Seth, cartoonist, designer and collector.

Jessica Sullivan is one of the best Canadian book designers whose credentials include no less than 36 Alcuin Awards and a CBA Libris Award for Book Design of the Year, so she definitely knows what makes a winning book. Her original focus on layout and typography is what makes her work stand out.

Seth's success started with the comic book series Palookaville. His work appeared in New York Times Magazine, Best American Comics, McSweeneys Quarterly, on the cover of the New Yorker and Canadian Notes and Queries. His cartoons have been exhibited all over the world.

Susan Colberg's areas of expertise include visual communication design, typography and book design. She has experience as both a design award winner and judge on juries for the Association of American University Presses and the Society of Graphic Designers of Canada among others.

The categories in which the Alcuin Awards winners will be selected are: Children's Books, Limited Editions, Poetry, Pictorial, Prose Fiction, Prose Non-fiction, Prose Non-fiction Illustrated, and Reference. The judges will carefully consider each and every book submitted, taking in all the details from colour, layout and typography, to how these elements come together and complement the subject of the book. For more details about the eligibility criteria and the judging process, please visit our Awards page. The winners will be announced in a few days, when we also have a pleasant surprise: the launch of the new, redesigned Alcuin website, which will bring a great improvement in information organization, navigation and design.

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

From digital to print: The Pitchfork Review

Earlier this year we reported Wikipedia's unexpected transition to print. It is such an uncanny move for a giant that was born and lived exclusively online. In spite of the general direction being towards digital, there are others who value the elegance and charm of the printed publication as opposed to the convenience and cost efficiency of the web. This is the case with Pitchfork Media, a website dedicated to music commentary and news on a wide range of genres. After almost 20 years of exclusive online presence, Pitchfork decided to produce The Pitchfork Review, a quarterly publication that includes new feature stories and ephemera alongside with popular online articles.

One of the reasons Pitchfork made this decision, aside from their love of print, is that they wanted select online pieces live a second life in print for easy reference. It is interesting that although we say "what goes online stays online forever", now we have to follow this saying with "yes, but the good stuff gets buried under a pile of clutter." With so much content being produced every day, it is easy to overlook valuable and relevant material, and paradoxically print becomes the way to immortalize it.

Another noticeable trend is that publications seem to have become one of the prerogatives of successful businesses. This may be how print will survive in a hundred years: as a luxury product for the privileged ones to enjoy, very much like a $200 bottle of old wine.

Thursday, April 03, 2014

Art of the Book Exhibition at UBC

If you have not seen the small exhibition Paper, Art and the Book organized by the Canadian Bookbinders and Book Artists Guild yet, you still have time until May 8. That is an introduction to the Art of the Book exhibition at UBC's Library's Rare Books and Special Collections to open on April 14. This is a great opportunity to explore different aspects of book arts, from binding and printing, to calligraphy and hand-made paper.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Sint-Niklaas international bookplates and small printmaking competition

The Sint-Niklaas International Exlibris Centre, started in 1975 with the collection of Jan Rhebergen, is now hosting an impressive number of about 160,000 pieces of bookplates, illustrations and other small prints from Belgium and the rest of the world. There is a permanent exhibition that features the main engraving and printing techniques, and regular small exhibitions dedicated to a certain theme or event. Little by little the collection is registered into an online database.

Every other year, the International Exlibris Centre organizes a bookplates and small printmaking competition, usually centered around a certain theme. There is no specific topic this year, but one of the main prizes goes towards an entry focused on a portrait. This year's total prize pool for the competition is a remarkable 7,650 EUR. The winners will also be featured in various exhibitions and an illustrated catalogue. Here you can find more details, rules and registration form. The deadline is November 1, 2014.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Lawrence Kreisman talk on Dard Hunter on April 14

William Joseph "Dard" Hunter's contribution to the Arts and Crafts movement in North America is indisputable in areas such as graphic design and typography. Inspired by the European model, Dard Hunter explored new ideas that enriched and were embraced by the American arts scene. Lawrence Kreisman delves into that body of work in his book Dard Hunter: the Graphic Works, which features many of the artist's designs for book covers, booklets and letterheads. On April 14, at 7 pm, Kreisman will give a talk on Hunter's evolution as an artist, and on what identifies and distinguishes his work from others.

The event will take place at the Emily Carr Auditorium in Granville Island and is free of charge.