Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Gaspereau in the Limelight

Great to see all the press Gaspereau is getting with the Giller Prize shortlist nomination of Johanna Skibsrud's The Sentimentalists.

Take a closer look at yesterday's behind the scenes photos in the Globe and Mail:


All eyes will be on the Giller November 9th just before 7pm Pacific Time, when the winner of the 2010 Scotiabank Giller Prize will be announced. Best wishes to Gaspereau!

Monday, October 25, 2010

New Book: TAKAO TANABE: Sometime Printer

Last month the Alcuin Society made a special announcement to its members regarding the third limited edition book in our Printing and Book Arts series. Since it has yet to be mentioned in detail here on the blog, it's high time we do so. Presenting...

The new Alcuin edition "Takao Tanabe: Sometime Printer"

TAKAO TANABE: Sometime Printer
A tour de force of Letterpress printing

Tak not only printed books, which one expects from a “Private Press,” but was a master at Job Printing. His typographic imagination could run riot, producing an abundance of invitations, birth announcements, Christmas cards and ephemeral printing for Vancouver’s sophisticates, who had the sensibilities to recognize a master at work in the 1950s and 60s.

The new Alcuin edition "Takao Tanabe: Sometime Printer"

The book is filled with his keen artistic and typographic style, with 156 pages of reproductions of book pages and job printing and 19 tip-ins, all in full colour.

The first edition will be printed in very low numbers, with only 50 70 copies being produced.

UPDATE: Due to increased demand, we decided to increase the quantity of this edition from 50 copies to 70 copies.

The previous books in the series were also printed in a very low edition, and both have since sold out. Dorothy Burnett, Bookbinder, was the first in our series on Printing and Book Arts, published in 2007, and devoted to the work of Dorothy Burnett, English Canada's first fine Bookbinder. Duthie's Bookmarks was the second book in the series published in 2008, celebrating fifty years of bookmarks created for Duthie Books by a who’s who of West Coast artists including Jack Shadbolt, Takao Tanabe, Celia King, Carel Moiseiwitsch and 20 others.

You now have the opportunity to purchase the third book in the series. The price of TAKAO TANABE: Sometime Printer is $185 CDN

ISBN: 978-0-919026-40-7

Please place your orders by email.

Click here for a PDF sales flyer.

Coincidentally, as an added bonus, a new show is opening at the West Vancouver Museum tomorrow (680 17th Street, West Vancouver, BC V7V 3T2), featuring the paintings of Takao Tanabe. The opening reception is on Tuesday October 26, 2010 at 7pm, and a special artist talk will be held on December 8, 2010 from 7-9pm.

This event is not affiliated with the Alcuin Society, but you are certainly encouraged to attend!

For more information, visit http://westvancouvermuseum.ca/

See also: HEAVENLY MONKEY'S blog post regarding the book.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Alcuin Awards Wrap-up

Once again, a big thank you for all those who attended the Alcuin Awards presentation, both in Toronto on October 4, and in Vancouver on October 21. In Toronto, the program was MC-ed by Linda Gustafson, with a moving keynote presentation by David Michaelides. In addition, Jowi Taylor, who received his award for the book SixStringNation blogged about his experience of the event here.

Here in Vancouver, after the awards were handed out in style, Michael Carabetta gave a thoroughly in-depth and entertaining look at Chronicle Books. 

A few images from Michael Carabetta's Chronicle Books presentation.

It was also our intention to provide complete audio from Michael Carabetta's presentation, but alas, a glitch in the process caused the entire talk to be recorded as pure silence. Instead, for those not in attendance, you must take our word for it; it was a truly inspiring lecture filled with "Bibliotherapy".

Throughout the course of the evening, it was quite clearly illustrated for us all; Chronicle Books has done a fantastic job producing books which compel you to hold them close. From the small, fact-filled guide books to the large scale, artful compendiums of information. Whether the subject matter is art, pop culture, food, or  fun, the results are very often the same - pure delight.

Many of the children's books were audience favourites during the presentation, especially Port-a-Pug, the instant paper pug creator! As described on their website: "Port-a-Pug has all the perks and benefits of real dog ownership without the exhausting cleanup or the expensive upkeep. Easy to assemble, easy to transport, difficult not to adore." Michael also took great pride in the opportunity to bring back the classic children's books by Ann and Paul Rand, I Know a Lot of Things, Sparkle and Spin: A Book About Words, and Little 1.

Also of particular interest, the Little Book of Letterpress is a great little directory of those working in the letterpress arts across North America and beyond. And at the other end of the spectrum, we were shown a number of Chronicle titles adapted as e-books, illustrating some of the distinct and subtle differences between the page and the screen.

Michael ended his presentation with a great quote by John Updike:
"the book as a sensual pleasure: smaller than a bread box, bigger than a TV remote, the average book fits into the human hand with a seductive nestling, a kiss of texture, whether of cover cloth, glazed jacket or flexible paperback."
We greatly appreciate Michael's visit from south of the border, and we do expect Chronicle's book design standards will continue to set the bar high in the United States and the rest of the world.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Things to look for at our Awards Ceremony at Emily Carr University

Poster designed by Meriliese Cabebe

For those attending our awards ceremonies tomorrow evening at Emily Carr University, you'll be able to see an appropriate collection of graphic design on display.

Students at Emily Carr have taken the event as a design challenge, and I anticipate the resulting series of posters for the event will be on display outside of the lecture hall. Our previous post featured a poster by Sam Dal Monte, and seen above is another poster by ECUAD student Meriliese Cabebe, which she submitted to us via Twitter.

Speaking of which, if you haven't already noticed the addition of the Twitter sidebar on the blog, it's certainly high time to announce that Alcuin indeed lives on Twitter! You can follow along at http://twitter.com/alcuin It turns out the restriction of 140 characters is no barrier for true typographic aficionados, where there is a healthy dose of book design and letterpress musing already occurring.

Another special treat to look for at the event tomorrow will be a Limited Edition Broadside by Carol Ann Duffy. From the VIU.ca website:
Carol Ann Duffy, UK Poet Laureate, was the 2009 Vancouver Island University Gustafson Chair of Poetry. Ms Duffy generously gave the Ralph Gustafson Poetry Trust permission to print and sell copies of a signed, numbered, limited edition letterpress broadside of her first poem as Poet Laureate, “Last Post”, to raise funds for the Trust.
The poster was printed by Gaspereau Press in Nova Scotia, and a limited number of the broadside will be available for sale, so please do considering supporting this organization dedicated to advancing the poetry arts. Once again, we look forward to seeing you at the event!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Countdown to Awards Presentation at Emily Carr University 2010-10-21

Once again, a big thank you to all who participated in the Vancouver Antiquarian Book Fair. As the photos attest, it was a weekend full of book delights!

Coming this Thursday is another extra special Alcuin event. It's time for the Vancouver presentation of our annual Alcuin Awards, and we are very pleased to announce that, once again this year, Emily Carr University of Art + Design will host the ceremony. As well, as in the past, there will be an interesting speaker from the field of book design. This year's speaker, Michael Carabetta (Creative Director, Chronicle Books, San Francisco) will give a talk On Chronicle Books: Seeing Things Differently.

Photo & poster by ECUAD student Sam Dal Monte

Alcuin Society Directors will present awards in two different categories. Winners of the 2009 Alcuin Awards for Excellence in Book Design in Canada will receive their awards from Richard Hopkins. The Emcee will be Roberto Dosil (Publisher, CCSP Press, Vancouver).

The award-winning books from this year's design competition will be available for viewing before (and after) the evening's events. We hope to see you there! Feel free to bring a friend, as the event is free and open to the public!
Date: Thursday, Oct. 21
Time: Book viewing: 6:45; Event: 7:15
Place: Emily Carr University of Art + Design, Room 301, South Building (Granville Island)
Co-sponsors: The Alcuin Society and Emily Carr University for Art + Design

Friday, October 15, 2010

A closer look: Irvin Ungar presentation on Arthur Szyk

Last night at Pulp Fiction Books Mr. Irvin Ungar gave his presentation on Arthur Szyk, and the making of the Szyk Haggadah. He will also be displaying his modern edition of the Szyk Haggadah at the Vancouver Antiquarian Book Fair today and tomorrow. I encourage you to take a closer look at this remarkable edition in person, as the methods employed to produce this book go far beyond the ordinary. Along with some photos from the event, I captured most of the audio from the presentation, now available here. Click here for the audio.

Special thanks again go out to Irvin Ungar for taking the time to speak to us. For more information, visit his website: http://szyk.com/szyk-haggadah/