Friday, June 28, 2013

Massimo Vignelli on designing books

Massimo Vignelli talks about his book design process in this video commissioned by Mohawk Papers. His process is inspiring and charming, as is his preference for sketching instead of computer generated layouts. Vignelli also stresses the importance of the grid in his work, saying "the grid is like underwear: you wear it, but it's not exposed."
Massimo Vignelli is renowned for his design work in many areas: packaging, furniture, branding, books, infographics. His belief that 6 typefaces are all one needs to do good design is an endless source of debate in the design world. In 2009, he created the Vignelli Canon, a book which presents the most important design principles as deemed by its author.
However,  beautiful books are produced every year, all over the world, including here, in Canada, as it can be seen in the annual Alcuin Awards. This fall, don't miss  the Alcuin Awards ceremonies on October 2nd in Vancouver, and October 7th in Toronto, to celebrate the 2013 winners.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Roundup of 1984 covers

Published more than 60 years ago, 1984 continues to be relevant to this day, maybe now more than ever. Surrounded by conspiracy theories, lamenting about the government so-called peeking into our private lives, keeping a weather eye on our cell phones and computers, our fears find a place of resonance in the novel. Obviously, there is no shortage of readers and fans for 1984, since it has had so many editions and it feels like it had more (and better designed) covers than any other book in existence.

I recently spotted this new cover and I thought it was exceptional: the title and author are blocked and can be deciphered only when the book is slightly turned into the light. A simple, yet clever solution.

This sparked a research for other 1984 covers, which is by no means exhaustive. Vintage to modern, literal to figurative, simple to intricate, there is something for everybody. My favourite? The one in the middle created by Shepard Fairey in his distinctive style.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Art of the Book Exhibition in Calgary

To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Canadian Bookbinders and Book Artists Guild, a new exhibition will open in Calgary on July 12. The Art of the Book 2013 exhibition is the sixth juried exhibition of its kind and the first to open outside Toronto. It will take place at the Museum of Contemporary Art and will coincide with the CBBAG conference on July 11-13. The show will hit the road after August 22, travelling around Canada for the next three years.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Crispin and Jan Elsted in Geist

Printing, and letterpress in particular, is far from being obsolete. There are still people out there, passionate about books and typography, dedicating their whole life to print as it was hundreds of years ago. That is why it is inspiring to hear about people like Crispin and Jan Elsted of Barbarian Press, out of Mission, BC. Find out more about the experience of a workshop at their press room, their life together and their work process in this article from Geist.


Tuesday, June 04, 2013

A lifetime love for letterpress

Letterpress can spark more passion than most marriages. After 50 years of being in the field, David Clifford, from Black Stone Press, is more ardent about letterpress than ever before. You can see why in this wonderful and inspiring video.