The Canadianist: Highs and Lows

Our friends to the North, Everlovin’ Press in Kingston, Ontario, have created a new series of fine letterpress prints called The Canadianist, featuring five illustrations from select artists to comment on Cananadian culture, from high to low .

Illustrator Tom Froese and Everlovin’ conceived the series to promote the Canadian design and illustration community and showcase the beauty of letterpress. They had previously collaborated on a postcard series entitled Greetings From Canada with a similar tongue-in-cheek mandate.  The Canadianist is their sequel to that. Five artists were invited to address one theme each: Fashion, Food, Flora, Know-How, and Colloquialisms.

Froese says, “Vince and I have a passion for letterpress, and of course would like to establish Everlovin’ as the choicest letterpress printer for designers in the country.” They chose the artists and assigned them themes that they thought would suit their styles and would provide lots of potential for ‘assemblages of Canadiana.’” Read the rest here.

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Loving Couple, Loving New Orleans

“It’s not often that I get to design anything personal, so getting married was really the most wonderful excuse to go all out and design something conceptually meaningful and aesthetically characteristic to my wife’s and my sensibilities,” says Cody Dingle on designing his own, luxurious wedding invitations.

Of course, he did much more than that. He virtually illustrated their love story, designing a website for their friends and family, providing important details about their big day including an RSVP form, suggested hotels and B&Bs, and even a map of New Orleans (where they live) pointing out the different areas of the city and noting the locations of their nuptials and reception. Read the rest of the article here.

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Design Links: A Chain of Creative Inspiration

HOW is pleased to kick off a new, inspirational series called “Design Links,” which, every other week, will feature three artists whose work is fresh, fun and stimulating. Each artist picks the next link—someone who personally inspires him/her. These links will likely take us around the world and show work in categories from graphic design, illustration, fine art, photography, printmaking and more. It will be a tour de force of creative inspiration and revelations.

We’re leading the chain with one of our favorite designers—John Foster. His poster and music packaging designs are both intricate and eclectic. Working from his studio, Bad People Good Things, in Maryland, he likes using materials on hand and can often be found “pulling” posters and getting messy with ink. Read the rest of the story here.
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Business Cards That Pack a Punch

Your card should make a bold statement about your business and ideals, because it’s still one of the most important and essential components to any business, especially designers and artists. Truly great business cards all have three things in common: good design, high quality printing, and durable, beautiful paper. If you want to make a good first impression, your card needs to be printed on a nice, rigid stock, not something that’s floppy and dare I say, impotent when you hand it to a potential client.

I’ve witnessed designers inspecting each others cards, studying the impressions, feeling the paper’s texture, and mentally guessing its weight. It’s the proverbial tinkling match to see who has the nicest card. Here we feature the best of all worlds when it comes to design, printing, and paper. Each card has a story to tell and the printing and tactile qualities are something to behold.

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Design: Abbey Fowler

Client: 6.25 Paper Studio

Printer: Zeeland Print Shop

Abbey Fowler is a owner and creative force at 6.25 Paper Studio in Grand Rapids, Mich., so of course when she designed her business cards, paper was of utmost importance, and Neenah is her go-to paper choice for all her products. “With business cards you have to go thicker,” she says, adding, “Otherwise if you die tomorrow, you’ll eternally regret it and say, ‘Damn, I should’ve used that luscious 220 lb paper. Now my life legacy is a flimsy 80 lb business card!’” Read rest of story here.

Perfectly Imperfect: Human Connection

Although letterpress printing is a traditional, laborious process, and flies in the face of modern technology, it’s never been more popular. People crave the beautiful imperfections and sensory experience of this timeless media, and designers value the handiwork and intrinsic qualities it adds to their creative output. In this feature post, we show the designs of Felix Sockwell, Gary Rozanc and Chad Michael, plus the printing talent John Selikoff (Vote for Letterpress Press, South Orange, NJ), the craftsmen and women at Studio on Fire (MPLS), and Gary Rozanc himself. Read the article here.

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NPR poster detail by Felix Sockwell.

Good Book Design: “Trust Your Gut”

For the past few years those in the publishing arena have been bemoaning the demise of print, claiming e-devices will take over. Thankfully that hasn’t happened, and it likely never will. According to an article in the March 2 issue of Forbes, “ebooks make up only an estimated 23% of the $35 billion dollar industry–and Pew Research reports that just 4% of Americans are e-book only.” People still like the tactile qualities of books and they put their money on it.

Penguin Books creative director, Paul Buckley, says, “Originally there was reason to worry, but that worry is a thing of the past. It has become clear that most titles will sell in both mediums, and neither will destroy the other. Print lives another day!”

There are many factors leading to a successful book, marketing, shelf presence, good cover design, and of course, content. But what makes a successful cover design and what is the role of design and paper selection in the book buying decision? I asked Buckley to weigh in. Read the rest of the article here.

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Cover design: Buckley; Illustration: Shout (Alessandro Gottardo); printed on Neenah Paper.