Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Linotype in Film

As you may have heard, a Kickstarter project called Linotype, the Film is about to premiere across the USA.

"Linotype: The Film" Official Trailer on Vimeo.

From the website's about page:

Linotype: The Film is a feature-length documentary centered around the Linotype type casting machine. Called the "Eighth Wonder of the World" by Thomas Edison, it revolutionized printing and society. The film tells the surprisingly emotional story of the people connected to the Linotype and how it impacted the world.

The Linotype (pronounced "line-o-type") completely transformed the communication of information similarly to how the internet is now changing communication again. Although these machines were revolutionary, technology began to supersede the Linotype and they were scrapped and melted-down by the thousands. Today, very few machines are still in existence.

February 3rd is the very first screening in NYC, and a subsequent Brooklyn screening has already sold out. We would certainly love to get a chance to see this film up here in Canada, but as of yet, there are no scheduled screenings North of the border. Stay tuned to @linotypefilm on Twitter for late breaking news, as there has already been rumours of a Seattle screening for late February.

Update! Overheard via Twitter today: "DVD and download will be released in early summer."

Props to the filmmaker for following through with this documentary vision! Bravo!

For those who wish to study the history of linotype in film, you may be interested in catching the movie Park Row which happens to be screening this Saturday night in Vancouver at the Vancity Theatre. The film is part of a series of newspaper films called Stop the Presses! and it deals with the invention of linotype, albeit in a fictionalized way.

In typical film review fashion, I shall include a few film review excerpts from the IMDb page of Park Row below:

Kalaman from Ottawa writes:
"Park Row" is small but an engaging and entertaining tribute to American journalism. Under the opening credits we see a huge rolling title that lists about 2,000 American daily newspapers and this story is dedicated to them.

Set in the 1880s New York, the film is about the rivalry between The Globe and The Star. An aspiring newspaper editor (Gene Evans) sets up his own daily The Globe after a man jumps off the Brooklyn Bridge. He struggles to compete with his former employer's (Mary Welch) newspaper The Star, who happens to be in love with him, while the Statue of Liberty is being donated to the U.S. by France.
The film may not be the benchmark of historical accuracy, however. Reviewer Irie212 from New York City points out in a review:
Linotype was indeed invented by German immigrant Ottmar Mergenthaler in 1886, but it wasn't for a Park Row newspaper, it was for lawyers wanting a way to get legal papers printed faster...
And finally, IMDb reviewer Martin Lane from Cortland, Ny writes:
Any film that can turn the creation of linotype into a miracle of discovery is a wonder. Check out this 83 minute masterwork...rediscover how alive film can be.

That's good enough for me; recommended!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Stan Bevington gets Lifetime Achievement Award from The Alcuin Society

For immediate release

January 16, 2012

The Alcuin Society is pleased to announce that Stan Bevington, C.M., founder of Coach House Press, will be the recipient of the 2012 Robert R. Reid Award and Medal for lifetime achievement in the book arts. He is the fifth to be so honoured; previous winners were Robert R. Reid, Frank Newfeld, Jim Rimmer, and Glenn Goluska.

Stan Bevington at NSCAD in May of 2010

Coach House Press was founded in 1965 and, having published more than 500 titles, is  renowned for its support of poetry and fiction writers (including bpNichol, Michael Ondaatje, Margaret Atwood and George Bowering) and for its leading role in design and technological innovation. Bevington himself is a master printer and award-winning designer whose works are coveted by collectors and bibliophiles.

Measurable quality, cohesiveness, and appropriateness come to mind when Bevington thinks about creating a fine piece of printing, and over the years, other considerations have contributed to the Coach House aesthetic, including his insistence upon working with living Canadians. He continues as “Head Coach” at Coach House Press, happy to be working in an era when computer technology, as it relates to book design and printing, has moved into the creative stage.

Bevington has received many awards for his work over the years. In 1999 he was awarded an Alcuin Society Award for Design for his work on the Toronto in Print catalogue. In July 2009 he was appointed to the Order of Canada for his contribution to the field of communications, and in May 2010 he was awarded Doctor of Fine Arts from NSCAD.

Bevington will be one of the three judges at our annual book design competition in March 2012, The Alcuin Awards for Excellence in Book Design in Canada. The award and medal will be presented at a small private gathering in Vancouver, following the competition.

A full biography with Audio Interview can be found here.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Pulp Paper Pages: Call for entry for Albertans

We received word of an upcoming exhibition in Alberta jointly sponsored by the Alberta Craft Council and the Albertan chapters of the Canadian Bookbinders and Book Artists Guild. Entitled “Pulp Paper Pages”, the exhibit will celebrate the contemporary state of paper and book arts.

The exhibit runs April 14 – July 7, 2012 at the Alberta Craft Council, Edmonton, Alberta, with a second exhibition planned for Calgary at the Leighton Centre in 2013, scheduled to coincide with the International 2013 Art of the Book exhibit, an event which occurs every 5 years. See below for more info:
Pulp Paper Pages: Call for entry
An exhibition exploring contemporary paper and book arts. A joint project of the Alberta Craft Council and the Calgary and Alberta North chapters of the Canadian Bookbinders and Book Arts Guild.

Deadline for submissions: February 15, 2012

Exhibition Details: April 14 – July 7, 2012 Alberta Craft Council, Edmonton

Paper and book arts are a vibrant aspect of contemporary craft. This juried exhibition will feature a wide variety of forms, objects, approaches, techniques and concepts found in both the paper and book arts. This major survey exhibition will be presented in the Alberta Craft Council’s Feature Gallery in Edmonton. (The Craft Council will work on other future exhibition locations.)

This call is open to emerging and professional Alberta artists (and artists with a connection to Alberta) working in paper and book arts. Original work created outside of workshops or classes within the last five years will be considered.

Paper arts might include hand-made or hand-decorated papers, paper mache, origami, woven papers, cut and pierced paper, collage, lamps/lanterns, boxes, furniture, and other sculptural or functional paper objects.

Book arts might include hand-made and altered books; book binding and restoration; typography, calligraphy, letter press printing and printmaking in books; and other book-related forms.

Please Note: printmaking, painting, drawing, and scrap-booking are not included in this exhibition.

Various Albertan organizations are generously providing prizes to participants such as:
For more information on this call please visit

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Extra Extra! Our Book Design Awards for 2011: The Official Call for Entries

Our annual book design awards official call for entries for books published in 2011 has just been posted. Read all the details in the bilingual PDF entry form. In addition to posting all the fine print about the competition, we're pleased to announce the names of our three esteemed judges. They are:

  • Stan Bevington, CM, DFA
    Printer, publisher, professor
    Coach House Press (Toronto, Ontario)

  • Ingrid Paulson
    Freelance book designer (Toronto, Ontario)

  • Bonne Zabolotney
    Book designer, typographer, professor
    Dean of Design and Dynamic Media
    Emily Carr University of Art + Design (Vancouver, BC)

Was 2011 the year you produced an outstanding Canadian book? Submit your design to our competition! Note that students in publishing programs are eligible to submit complete books, prepared as assigned projects, in our limited editions category. All submissions in the limited editions category will be returned to the sender. Publishers may submit as many books in as many categories as they wish. For those entering books in the competition, the important deadline to remember is March 10, 2012.

For further information, contact Leah Gordon
Telephone 604 732 5403