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book design + typography

the weblog of carleton wilson graphic design (Visitar)

Farewell to Jim Rimmer

book design + typography (+)   17/01/2010

Jim Rimmer, one of the true craftsman of Canadian type design and book arts, passed away on January 8th, 2010. Jim was a beloved figure in the letterpress community and was also a noted designer of digital type. His digital typefaces were made available c (+)

Never More There

book design + typography (+)   29/11/2009

This fall I designed and typeset a book of poetry titled Never More There by Stephen Rowe. Stephen is a poet from Newfoundland and this is his first full collection. While reading the manuscript, I was struck by the tree imagery that Stephen used througho (+)

Group Thinkery

book design + typography (+)   29/11/2009

Group Thinkery is a relatively new resource for discussing book design and publishing. Here is the description from the site:Group Thinkery is the brain-child of book designer Christopher Tobias of Tobias’ Outerwear for Books. . . .This site is intended t (+)


book design + typography (+)   31/10/2009

I just stumbled upon what I think will be a really useful application. It is called Fluid and it allows you to create site specific browsers (SSBs) and run them as if they were desktop applications. This means that once you create an SSB, you can keep its (+)

The iSchool Podcast

book design + typography (+)   28/06/2009

The iSchool Podcast site is a great new resource from The iSchool, Faculty of Information Studies, University of Toronto. These podcasts hope to bring “public lectures and other events on the field of Information to a wider audience.” Included in these po (+)


book design + typography (+)   20/06/2009

An Odyssey in Typography. (+)


book design + typography (+)   20/06/2009

Here is an interesting new search engine called Wolfram|Alpha. The site description states that “Wolfram|Alpha is the first step in an ambitious, long-term project to make all systematic knowledge immediately computable by anyone.” (+)

BookCamp Toronto

book design + typography (+)   07/06/2009

I attended the first (hopefully annual) BookCamp Toronto yesterday. This ‘unconference’ was held at the iSchool, Faculty of Information Studies, on the St. George campus of the University of Toronto. Some really interesting exchanges happened in the sessi (+)

The Plastic People of the Universe

book design + typography (+)   07/06/2009

At the el Mocambo, February 25th, 1999for Patricia Grant & Paul Wilson.In that dark room, beneath the low hung ceiling,  smoke sitting heavy in the lung, I imaginedthe streets of Prague teeming with Elvis Presleys,leather jackets in every shadowed doorway (+)

A.F. Moritz wins Griffin Poetry Prize

book design + typography (+)   07/06/2009

This past Wednesday evening, Al Moritz was awarded the Griffin Poetry Prize for the best book of poetry by a Canadian. It was great being there at the gala to watch Al accept this award. He is one of the preeminent poets writing in Canada today, but this (+)

Li Po

book design + typography (+)   26/04/2009

Stumbling into the rickety craft,Quietly muttering to himself.About the rudeness of bartenders,Li Po cast his teeming essence.Upon the brilliant universe, theHeavens rippling under his brow..He sat languidly in the boatAnd listened as the jovial din.From (+)

Autumn Thoughts, Sent Far Away

book design + typography (+)   24/04/2009

We share all these disappointments of failingautumn a thousand miles apart. This is where.autumn wind easily plunders courtyard trees,but the sorrows of distance never scatter away..Swallow shadows shake out homeward wings.Orchid scents thin, drifting fro (+)

On Once Again Watching Bruce McDonald’s Hard Core Logo

book design + typography (+)   16/04/2009

.You still sit on the soft couch after the final scene ends,remote control balanced on your knee, blank screen blackand shining like a beetle’s hard shell. You sit and think:video — you think: what kind of hell? — you wonder: end?Outside your house the ve (+)

Alcuin Book Design Awards 2008

book design + typography (+)   12/04/2009

The Alcuin Society has announced the 27th Annual Awards for Excellence in Book Design in Canada. The winning entries are all exceptional examples of book design, and I personally find such excellent work extremely inspiring. Congratulations to all of the (+)

The Griffin Poetry Prize

book design + typography (+)   12/04/2009

I’m a few days late on posting this, but the shortlist for The Griffin Poetry Prize was announced last week and I was very happy to see that my good friend and mentor, A.F. Moritz, had made the Canadian shortlist for his book The Sentinel (Anansi). The Ca (+)

Chuang Tzu and the Butterfly

book design + typography (+)   12/04/2009

Chuang Tzu in dream became a butterfly,And the butterfly became Chuang Tzu at waking.Which was the real — the butterfly or the man ?Who can tell the end of the endless changes of things?The water that flows into the depth of the distant seaReturns anon to (+)

Spring and Fall

book design + typography (+)   09/04/2009

….to a Young Child.Margaret, are you grieving Over Goldengrove unleaving? Leaves, like the things of man, you With your fresh thoughts care for, can you? Ah! as the heart grows older It will come to such sights colder By and by, nor spare a sigh Though wo (+)

This Living Hand

book design + typography (+)   06/04/2009

This living hand, now warm and capableOf earnest grasping, would, if it were coldAnd in the icy silence of the tomb,So haunt thy days and chill thy dreaming nightsThat thou wouldst wish thine own heart dry of bloodSo in my veins red life might stream agai (+)


book design + typography (+)   06/04/2009

I imagined it as a kind of pulley & lever system,*lowering the stunned Rumi to the ground,a road crew of worker-angels sweating in the late*morning heat, coughing from effort, the airthick with dust. Laying him out onto the packed*dirt of the roadway, col (+)

J.S. Bach - St. Matthew Passion

book design + typography (+)   06/04/2009

Last Thursday I attended Tafelmusik’s performance of Johann Sebastian Bach’s St. Matthew Passion. This was the first time I had attended an orchestrated passion play and it was really quite impressive. The music itself was complex, with characters interac (+)

St. Kevin and the Blackbird

book design + typography (+)   04/04/2009

And then there was St. Kevin and the blackbird.The saint is kneeling, arms stretched out, insideHis cell, but the cell is narrow, so*One turned-up palm is out the window, stiffAs a crossbeam, when a blackbird landsAnd lays in it and settles down to nest.* (+)

Much Madness is divinest Sense—

book design + typography (+)   03/04/2009

Much Madness is divinest Sense—To a discerning Eye—Much Sense— the starkest Madness—’Tis the MajorityIn this, as All, prevail—Assent— and you are sane—Demur— you’re straightway dangerous—And handled with a Chain—**Emily Dickinson** (+)

God’s Grandeur

book design + typography (+)   02/04/2009

The world is charged with the grandeur of God.**It will flame out, like shining from shook foil;**It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil Crushed.Why do men then now not reck his rod?Generations have trod, have trod, have trod;**And all is seared (+)

Junction Sonnets I

book design + typography (+)   01/04/2009

Light fragmented and trestlework shadowsupon the ground: the walking bridge a blackiron diphthong rising above steel rails.Underneath, gleaming silver, the train trackscurve northwest through factory landscape,liquid like mercury in thin autumn light.From (+)

My First Review Ever

book design + typography (+)   30/03/2009

In anticipation of a number of the poems I am going to post in April, I just discovered that the first review ever written about my writing – a review for my first chapbook, Junction Sonnets – is online over at Broken Pencil. I have to say I was pretty pl (+)

My First Ever Review

book design + typography (+)   30/03/2009

In anticipation of a number of the poems I am going to post in April, I just discovered that the first review ever written about my writing – a review for my first chapbook, Junction Sonnets – is online over at Broken Pencil. I have to say I was pretty pl (+)

A Modest Contribution to NPM

book design + typography (+)   30/03/2009

As my own modest contribution to National Poetry Month this year, I will be posting some of my favourite poems here, along with a few of my own poems. I hope whoever visits over the next while will enjoy this impromptu anthology. So, April 1st I will begi (+)

National Poetry Month 2009

book design + typography (+)   29/03/2009

April (some might say, fittingly, “the cruellest month”) is National Poetry Month. There are myriad happenings going on across the country, but one of the most intriguing projects will occur online. Julie Wilson, of Seen Reading fame, has put together a c (+)

The Best Used Bookstores in Toronto

book design + typography (+)   28/03/2009

 Photograph by blogTO.Speaking of bookstores, blogTO gives a list of the best used bookstores in Toronto. Of course, I have to declare Pandemonium as my favourite, given that it is located at Dundas St. and Keele St. in the heart of the Junction, and just (+)

Most Interesting Bookstores of the World

book design + typography (+)   20/03/2009

The Lello bookstore in Porto, Portugal. Photography by delviking since I got involved with writing and publishing, my dream occupation has been to own and operate a bookstore. I was seriously considering it enough to attend the Canadian Bo (+)

Berlintypes: Type Specimen Books

book design + typography (+)   13/03/2009

Berlintypes has some amazing sets of type specimen books on Flickr. Here is a set of pre-WWII collections and here is a set of post-WWII collections. The design that goes into such specimen books is something I find truly inspiring. There is also a collec (+)

C.S. Richardson on Book Design

book design + typography (+)   12/03/2009

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The Typographic Desk Reference (TDR)

book design + typography (+)   10/03/2009

I just received in the mail today my copy of a new book published by Oak Knoll Press titled The Typographic Desk Reference. It is, as the title suggests, a reference guide to all things typographic, written by Theodore Rosendorf, also with a foreword by E (+)

The Book Cover Archive

book design + typography (+)   10/03/2009

Here is a book cover resource that I had not run into before: An Archive of Book Cover Designs and Designers by The Book Cover Archive. Working mostly in this field of design, I always appreciate these kinds of sites. They can be used for inspiration and (+)

The Vignelli Canon

book design + typography (+)   27/02/2009

I went to see Massimo Vignelli speak at Design Thinkers in my first year of design school. At the time I didn’t realize who he was or the impact he had made on graphic design in the latter half of the 20th century. I know a little better now. With The Vig (+)

Book Design + Typography Websites

book design + typography (+)   22/02/2009

Over the years I have collected quite a few links to websites about book design, book cover design, typography, type design, etc. I have posted them in a few different online arenas, like in Facebook group I started and on listserves that I belong to. I a (+)

Handel’s Water Music

book design + typography (+)   21/02/2009

I attended Tafelmusik’s performance of G.F. Handel’s Water Music last night. It’s alway a treat to go hear Tafelmusik perform. I’ve been attending concerts for the past few years and have heard some amazing music. If you’ve never gone to hear Tafelmusik, (+)

Mitchell Parry @ the Art Bar

book design + typography (+)   18/02/2009

This evening I met up with Mitch and a few of his other Toronto friends for dinner prior to his reading at the Art Bar. Mitch’s reading was excellent; he read several standout, darkly lyric poems. It was really a treat for me to hear his work again becaus (+)

The End of the Alphabet

book design + typography (+)   16/02/2009

I just picked up The End of the Alphabet, a novel by C.S. Richardson, one of Canada’s best book designers. There is an interesting interview with Mr. Richardson on the website. The excellent book design was created by Kelly Hill; it was awar (+)

Universal Leonardo

book design + typography (+)   13/02/2009

I just stumbled upon the Universal Leonardo website. I am fascinated by Leonardo Da Vinci, as I think many people are. The sheer genius and creativity of the man is awe-inspiring. I haven’t explored all of it yet, but this site seems to be an excellent re (+)

Helvetica Moleskin

book design + typography (+)   10/02/2009

Helvetica Moleskin. Awesome. But damn, no longer available. Limited edition for a showing of the documentary Helvetica in Japan. I’ve seen the documentary several times – at Hot Docs, the RGD Design Thinkers conference, and, well, yes, I own the DVD. If y (+)

The bpNichol Poetry Chapbook Award

book design + typography (+)   07/02/2009

If you published an English poetry chapbook in 2008 and are Canadian, entries are now being accepted to the bpNichol Poetry Chapbook Award. Here are the details:A prize of two thousand ($2000) is offered for the best poetry chapbook in English published i (+)

The American Package Museum

book design + typography (+)   06/02/2009

Package design was not something I was very good at in design school. Something about the 3-D nature of such designs really didn’t sit well with me. I think it probably had to do with my all-consuming love of and concern for typography and book design. An (+)

CNQ 75

book design + typography (+)   05/02/2009

This week I received the latest issue of Canadian Notes & Queries (CNQ). It is the 4oth anniversary issue, guest edited by Carmine Starnino, and it looks to the future of Canadian culture with short articles on literature, film, visual arts, music, blogs, (+)


book design + typography (+)   30/01/2009

I finally got around to sending in my 2008 and 2009 subscriptions to The Devil’s Artisan, a journal about the printing arts that I collect . I hadn’t ordered the 2008 issues before now because I’ve been so busy this past year with freelance design and suc (+)


book design + typography (+)   28/01/2009

Recently I was asked by my dad, a fairly new Mac user, if there was an automatic save feature he could run for his programs. I didn’t know of one and being a compulsive saver of any file that I’m working on (a by-product of using some of the Macs in desig (+)

The Book Collector

book design + typography (+)   28/01/2009

Well, it’s 2009. I’m slowly edging my way back to this blog. I’d beg your patience if I thought anyone was reading this. Ahem.Anyhow. This past fall I designed a cover for Tim Bowling’s new collection, The Book Collector, which was published by Nightwood (+)

H&FJ Gotham

book design + typography (+)   11/09/2008

Things have been busy, which is why it’s been a while since I’ve posted. I’ve been working on designing five books and only one is complete and off to the printers. The typesetting of the other four books continues. Work has been hectic as well. A little (+)

Smart Girls Writing Something Catch the Eye at Once

book design + typography (+)   22/08/2008

I don’t have very many poems posted online, but here is a poem that was awarded first prize in U of T Magazine’s alumni poetry contest in 2007. (+)

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