For Mom

I'm gonna let you in on a mom-of-more-than-one secret. Some days...we have favourites. Sure, sure—there's room in our hearts to love all our kids equally. But, sometimes one might just be liked a bit more than the others. Why not give your mom the gift that keeps on giving... An UPPERCASE subscription will ensure that (at least four times a year) you are the favourite child.

Get 10% off in our shop with the discount code 'mom' until May 14.

Shatner brings us together

I live in a neighbourhood of contrasts. Walk one way and you'll meet new Canadians from many different countries. Head in the other direction and you'll stumble on multimillion dollar homes. Our street has a group home, an artist, many renters, a few young families, and some people who have lived here for over 40 years. We like this mix and it's why we chose this neighbourhood to raise our family in. But, it can be hard to get to know people when you don't have much in common.

That's where Shatner comes in.

One night the 20-something renter from next door came looking for a bottle opener. She loudly exclaimed, "Hey! Shatner show!" as she saw the Shatner Show print in our living room.

No matter what our differences, Shatner can bring us together.

New in the shop: Christmas Gift Pack + Subscription

It's really cold outside today and now it is snowing. The malls have their Christmas decorations up. Next week is American Thanksgiving. So I guess all signs point to Christmas! So in preparations for gift-giving season, I've uploaded a special item to the shop: an UPPERCASE Christmas Gift Pack + Subscription. This includes all available back issues (#7-#11) plus a subscription mailed to the USA or Canada for $150 (you save $20). I have VERY LIMITED QUANTITIES and once these are gone, that's it for issue #7; it will be sold out. (Issue #7 is only available as part of this pack. You might try the workroom for single copies of #7.) Please order your Gift Pack here.

Mike's show online!

Thank you to everyone who came out last night! What a busy First Thursday it was here in UPPERCASE. I've just finished posting the remaining letters from Mike Kerr's show of letters. You can view them all in detail in the online shop.

Here are some images of the paintings; the majority are original acrylic works painted on square boards. There are also a few framed prints.

Mike is a VERY prolific sketchbook artist and he let us leaf through his books, much to the delight of all!

Expansion Sale!

There are lots of great gifts in the store—and it is ALL on sale! Why wait until boxing day? Let's have the sale now while people are out and about!

Pantone things are 50% off, Moleskine journals and sketchbooks 25% off, Russell & Hazel 50% off, all greeting cards & calendars 50% off, books are 25% (with the exception of books and magazines published by UPPERCASE which are 10% off*). There are fun stocking stuffers, just $1-$5.

Plus: Special treats for UPPERCASE magazine subscribers or those that mention the blog!

*in our Calgary store only.

Expansion News!

For those of you who drop by my store in Calgary, you may have already figured this out: Glen and I are expecting a baby in March! I am expanding, literally.

I don't normally share such personal information on my blog, but this is such momentous news that it merits a special announcement. With this life-changing event in my near future, I have been thinking about the future of UPPERCASE. My passion lies in publishing and creating: the magazine, our books and making unique products is where I would like to dedicate my time. The next issues of the magazine are already in progress and I'm planning two books that will be published in the fall of 2010. It is truly exhilarating and fulfilling to conceptualize, design, write, and edit the magazine and our books and I look forward to spending more time focussed on these pursuits.

There will be some changes in the new year, specifically to the physical storefront in Art Central. I will be closing the store in Art Central, beginning in January for a hiatus/maternity leave. We will no longer be stocking the products and books from other companies, but customers will still be able to purchase our publications and products. I love my space in Art Central and UPPERCASE will be there for a long time; the space will just be evolving over the next while. I will continue to host exhibitions, special events and participate in First Thursdays, although perhaps on a more limited basis for the first while.

The blog and online shop will continue as usual and I have some new ideas that I look forward to implementing online early in the new year.
It has been an exciting year; the magazine is doing really well (nearly 900 subscribers!) and UPPERCASE published two books: Jen11 and the brand new Camilla Engman book.
For those in Calgary, I invite you to join us this Thursday for the launch of Camilla's book. The store is also fully-stocked with great (and affordable) Christmas gifts so I hope to see you soon.
Thank you for your continued support and encouragement. It is gratifying to know that UPPERCASE has such an appreciative audience.

Polaroid Notes

A new shipment of papergoods has arrived in the store! Lots of lovely new things, particularly from Chronicle Books. One of my favourite photographers, Jen Altman (Jen11, Old School) has curated a Polaroid Notes card set, based on her book "The Love of Light". The cards are just slightly larger than an actual polaroid picture,  but with some visual texture and laminate coating the notes really do feel like the real thing. Drop by the store to see what else is new!

New books on the shelf

These two books arrived for the store yesterday and I can't wait to sit down with them. Taschen's new book series on type is lushly illustrated and comes with an access code to high resolution images. And Ethan Bodnar's book contains contributions by many people who have been involved in UPPERCASE shows and projects such as Frank Chimero, Marc Johns, Jeff Kulak, Kate Bingaman-Burt, Linzie Hunter and Will Bryant. We have an updated selection of books on design, typography, creativity and creative business: just in time for tonight's First Thursday celebrations.

And, the Typeface opens this evening. I'll be doing some finishing touches in the gallery and running some errands, so the store will open at noon today. We're open until 9pm. See you all soon!

Crafty T-shirts

If you're looking for a cool gift for guys, I highly recommend Mike Perry's fun and fabulous book of Iron Me On fabric transfers. I gave this set to my 8-year old nephew Eddie. He loved it and looks smashing in his newly crafted cobra t-shirt. The squishy band-aid pictured below also made the cut.

We carry two of Perry's popular books: Hand Job: A Catalogue of Type and  Over and Over: A Collection of Hand Drawn Patterns in our on line shop.

Sweet things

Here are a few shots of the gallery before First Thursday began.

The selection of sweets included cupcakes by Lindsay Racher (you can read her story in issue one, entitled "Healing through Baking"). She even made ones with tiny magazine covers! Deidre and her sister created beautiful and delicious chocolate-covered strawberries as well as pigs-in-blankets. And Glen brought us a bowl of gumballs to match the magazine's front cover and recurring graphic theme.

The new show is called "Treehouse" and so we made some simple leafy branches that emerge from the gallery wall. In addition to the artwork, we have products by My Imaginary Boyfriend, Suddenly It's Real, Small Stump, Tracey Cameron and others. {Some of the art prints from the show are available in our online shop.}

The magazine launch was a great success; thank you to everyone who came to celebrate with us and also to those who sent their congratulations. {more photos on Flickr}


My hands are shaking and my heart is fluttering.

The idea of publishing a magazine has been floating in my mind for many years, but I didn't make the decision to proceed with it until this past Christmas. Deidre and I began working on it in earnest in January. I still can't quite believe that we accomplished so much in just three months. UPPERCASE magazine is really the culmination of a dozen years of freelance graphic design experience and four years of this creative entrepreneurial adventure called UPPERCASE. All the skills I have acquired over the years have been put to use... and then some! It has been an amazing learning experience and so creatively satisfying.

Blanca Gomez provided the perfect cover image. Blanca, I am so grateful for your generosity. Thank you.

Deidre, thank you for your inexhaustable flow of ideas. And for truly putting your heart into it.

Thank you, Glen, for writing some terrific articles and for listening to me talk about the minutiae of the magazine's progression.

The shipment of magazines is on its way from Winnipeg and we expect them tomorrow. Everything's on schedule for the launch celebration this Thursday from 5pm - 9pm. In the meantime, I'm transforming the gallery space for the treehouse show, adding new subscribers (thank you!), filling our biggest Eclectonote order ever, and sending out Jen11 orders. I'm going to leave this post up for a while, to bask in the moment... and I've got a lot more work to do!

See you on Thursday!

Announcing the Suitcase Series: Camilla Engman

The Suitcase Series Volume 1:
Camilla Engman

Artist Camilla Engman may live in Gothenburg, Sweden, but her appeal is international. A professional illustrator and exhibiting artist, her images are whimsical, poignant, humourous and insightful. With her keen eye for finding the extraordinary in the everyday, Camilla documents her inspirations and artwork on her popular blog. Nearly 2000 fans visit her site on a daily basis (with three quarters being from North America) to get a glimpse into Camilla’s creative life.

UPPERCASE is proud to have been the first gallery outside of Sweden to feature her work, in our 2005 exhibition “Best in Show”. We are excited to be collaborating on a book of Camilla’s art and life, the first volume in our “Suitcase Series”, to be released in the fall of 2009. I am looking forward to travelling to Sweden next month and meeting Camilla (and her cute dog, Morran) at long last.

The Suitcase Series presents in glorious detail the lives of select artists and designers. The books are image-based, full of artwork, sketchbook pages, beautiful photographs and artifacts from where the artists live and work. Interviews with the artist are included in both their native language and English. The books’ size will be small and intimate, like a diary/sketchbook and each book in the series would have a special treasure added: perhaps a small limited-edition art print, a vellum envelope filled with foreign paper scraps for collage, fabric swatches, etc. The book becomes a precious souvenir of a creative journey shared between the reader and the artist.

For our book and magazine subscribers, you will be receiving the Jen11 and Camilla books as part of your subscription. If you'd like to preorder Camilla's book by itself, click here. All pre-orders will include a unique keepsake of the project.

{ PHOTO: Elisabeth Dunker }

Online sale: UPPERCASE card packs

These UPPERCASE typographic greeting card sets are on sale and in very limited supply: there are just five full sets of the Love of Letters card sets available, seven Love Letter sets and twenty We've got your Number sets! The multi-purpose card sets are the very first product designs that I made for UPPERCASE and were included in the Communication Design annual a few years back. You can view the full range of cards included in each pack in the products' pages.

Take heart

Do you need a last-minute valentine? Visit UPPERCASE today for a selection of vintage pre-loved valentines, cards, heart-shaped gifts, and affordable framed love-themed art (just $35!) Scroll some pink paper into our 1934 typewriter and profess your love in a heartfelt note to your sweetie.

Not in a romantic mood? Down with love? Not a problem – maybe the "Love Stinks" print is the one for you. Or ignore all the sugary stuff and treat yourself to a great book or nice sketchbook!

(Please note that the Art Central building will be closed on Monday for Family Day.)