Sunday, September 30, 2012

An evening with Stephen Marche, Monday, October 1st

The Alcuin Society is pleased to announce an evening with Toronto writer Stephen Marche, author of Love and the Mess We're In, a new novel published by Nova Scotia's Gaspereau Press. Gaspereau recently blogged about this new title here.

The innovative design of this book is by designer Andrew Steeves, winner of numerous Alcuin awards for his work.

The two have worked closely together on this project, and its unusual typographic elements have produced a beautiful and unusual book.

For more information, please see the poster on web site:

Place: Alma Van Dusen Room, Lower Level, Central Library, VPL

Date: Monday, October 1st, 2012

Time: 7:00 - 8:30 pm

Seating is limited; admission is free

This event has been co-sponsored by Vancouver Public Library.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Alcuin Awards Event in Toronto

On October 1, 2012, The Arts and Letters Club of Toronto will host the Alcuin Society and the winners of the 2011 The Alcuin Society Awards for Excellence in Book Design in Canada. The evening will also honour Stan Bevington, C. M, D.F.A., who was awarded in 2012 the Robert R. Reid medal for Lifetime Achievement in the Book Arts in Canada by The Alcuin Society.
The Alcuin Society: Robert R. Reid Medallion
Robert R. Reid medal, photo credit: Peter Lattimer
John Maxwell, Assistant Professor, Master of the Publishing Program, Canadian Centre for Studies in Publishing, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver will speak on The Coach House Press as a Digital Pioneer.
John holds a PhD in Education from the University of British Columbia. John has been working in the Internet and new media since the early 1990s. John’s research and teaching focus is on the impact of digital technologies in the cultural sector (and particularly books and magazines), the history of digital media, and the emergence of digital genres and mythologies. John’s current work includes an emerging set of web-based tools for supporting book & magazine workflows in editorial and production, and historical research on digital innovation at Toronto’s Coach House Press in the 1970s.
John Maxwell, Assistant Professor, Canadian Centre for Studies in Publishing
presenting a lecture for the Alcuin Society March, 2012 in Vancouver
Stan Bevington has led The Coach House Press since its founding. Coach House Press has been an innovative publisher of Canadian fiction, poetry and non-fiction and has also been equally innovative as a printer of those works.
The winning entries for the 2011 competition will be on display on October 1st in the LAMPS Room of the Club from 5:00 PM.
Place:   The Arts & Letters Club of Toronto
             14 Elm St.
Date:    Monday, October 1st
Come between 5:30 and 6:15; dinner will be served at 6:30
Cost:  $23.75 per person payable at the door
Reservations: Phone the Arts & Letters Club after September 24th, at 416-597-0223 Ext 2 to leave a message for your reservation, plus special requirements (food allergies, vegetarian meal, etc.)
We hope you can attend!

Monday, September 03, 2012

THE { New / Old } BOOK: A Symposium on the Printed and Electronic Book

The Alcuin Society is pleased to announce that this year, the presentation of our Annual Awards for Excellence in Book Design in Canada will be part of a special one day symposium dedicated to printed and electronic book.
Thursday October 18, 2012
Library Square, Vancouver Public Library
Conference starts 9 am, awards presentation ends 9 pm
Headlining our symposium is celebrated designer Chip Kidd, who will be the featured presenter of The Alcuin Society 2011 Book Design Awards. Mr. Kidd lives in New York City and Stonington, Connecticut. He is the co-author and designer of the two-time Eisner award-winning book Batman Animated. His book jacket designs for Alfred A. Knopf, where he is associate art director, have helped spark a revolution in the art of American book packaging. His new book is Batman: Death by Design.

In addition, we will have eight other speakers addressing the state of the art of the book.
  • Marian Bantjes, is a designer, artist and writer working internationally from her base on a small island off the west coast of British Columbia, near Vancouver. Marian is known for her custom typography, detailed and lovingly precise vector art, her obsessive hand work, her patterning and ornament. She was an Alcuin judge in our competition for the year 2009, and she will speak on ornamentation in books.
  • Peter Cocking will speak on the life of a book designer. He has since 2002 focused on book and typographic design as the art director of D&M Publishers, the publishers of Douglas & McIntyre and Greystone Books. Peter is the recipient of more than 40 awards for his design work, and as art director has led D&M to more design awards than any other Canadian publisher.
  • Crispin Elsted of Barbarian Press, one of the finest private presses in Canada and perhaps all the world, will speak on the subject of private press printing. Barbarian Press was established in 1977 in Kent, England, where Jan & Crispin Elsted worked with Graham Williams at the Florin Press. They returned to their native Canada in 1978 and set up shop in Mission, British Columbia, about 50 miles east of Vancouver in the Fraser Valley.
  • Selma Zafar is a senior user experience designer at OpenRoad Communications in Vancouver, with over 10 years experience in designing innovative and usable software and hardware. She will speak to the usability of the printed book.
  • Eric Menninga has over 20 years of experience programming software for the Macintosh and PC. Currently a developer at Amazon, he was previously with Adobe Systems, Inc. for 19 years. He will speak on the technology of ebooks.
  • Shelley Gruendler, a graphic designer, typographer, and a recent addition to the Alcuin Society board, is the founding director of Type Camp. Shelley holds a PhD and an MA in The History and Theory of Typography and Graphic Communication from the University of Reading, England and a Bachelor of Environmental Design in Graphic Design from North Carolina State University, USA. She will speak on typography in the historical book.
  • Kevin Larson is Researcher Microsoft Advanced Reading Technologies. He received his PhD in cognitive psychology in 2000 from the University of Texas at Austin. His academic research was on word recognition and reading acquisition. Among other speaking engagements, he has spoken at ATypI 2003 in Vancouver, at ATypI 2007 in Brighton, and at ATypI 2009 in Mexico City. His presentation will discuss the science of reading ebooks.
This event will feature the live music of Paul Gregory.

The Alcuin Society Annual Awards for Excellence in Book Design in Canada is the only national competition of its kind that recognizes and celebrates the art of book design in Canada. The Society is very proud of its winners, who represent Canada at the international exhibits and competition at the Frankfurt and Leipzig Book Fairs held annually in Germany, among other exhibition venues around the world.

The Alcuin Society invites you to join us in celebrating the 30th anniversary of its awards with this day-long symposium, THE { New / Old } BOOK. Extra special thanks go to Shelley Gruendler for her key role coordinating this event, the scope of which is without precedent in the history of our awards. This diverse gathering of minds is sure to be enlightening experience you won't want to miss!

Alcuin Society Members + Students: $100 / Public: $150

The Alcuin Society's Symposium of the Book October 18, 2012

For those wishing to pay by cash or cheque, please email to make arrangements.

We recommend early registration, as spaces are limited.

Update! 25 new student tickets have been released for sale!

Click here for a PDF Flyer.

For more information, contact

Saturday, September 01, 2012

The Return of the Vancouver Book Fair

Announcing the return of the Vancouver Book Fair. This year, we are moving the event to a new venue. The two day affair will be held at Robson Square in downtown Vancouver. Special thanks go to patron Yosef Wosk, and this year the event sponsors are the Alcuin Society and

Below are the details of the event:
UBC Robson Square, 800 Robson Street, Vancouver, BC
Saturday, September 22ND 10AM To 5PM
Sunday, September 23RD 10AM To 5PM

Over 20 of BCs top booksellers featuring rare and exciting material for sale:
  • Americana
  • Antique Maps & Prints
  • Art Books
  • Author Signed Copies
  • Books about Books
  • Canadiana
  • Children's Books
  • Detective Fiction
  • Ephemera
  • Fine Bindings
  • Fine Press
  • First Nations
  • History
  • Literature
  • Military
  • Modern First Editions
  • Nature
  • Photography
  • Science & Technology
  • Science Fiction/Fantasy
  • Transportation
  • Travel & Exploration
Admission to the event is $5, which is good for both days.

The event is easily accessible by public transit, and parking is available at both Robson Square and on street. The facility is also wheelchair accessible. Photos from our 2010 event are viewable here. You can download a PDF flyer for the event here.

We hope to see you there!