2014 was a jam-packed, fast-paced year, filled with many challenges and opportunities, many of which I could have never predicted. As in previous years (2011, 2012, 2013), here is my annual recap of how my year unfolded.
- I started January by releasing my hand-lettered lessons in the form of colourful, downloadable wallpapers. I also launched my 12 Months of Type project, where I set out to get messy and make lots and lots of letters each month with different mediums. You can check out the full progress of the project here.
- At the beginning of February, I launched my year-long lino printing project, Two-word truths. All twelve prints are now completed and available for purchase in my shop – check them out here! Also, due to popular demand, I released my Toy block alphabet print, based on a typographic experiment from my Instagram feed. I closed the month by dabbling in some sign painting.
- March was huge! I started the month with the release of 4 hand-painted signs, created for 12 Months of Type. These signs, available for purchase in my shop, were featured in Quipsologies, and later in UC Quarterly. I created a fun spring chalkboard for my friends at Hanks. I worked a special hand-painted anniversary commission for two dear friends. My poster advocating better cell phone etiquette on public transit was published in Spacing Magazine. And I managed to refresh my portfolio, with the help of my pal, Chris Roberts.
- In April, I was proud to unveil two pieces of hand-lettering for Influence Magazine. I also completed a special lino-printed birthday commission. And I got to go to Type Camp!
- On May 11, I completed the Sporting Life 10K in just over 56 minutes (a personal best!) and raised over $1000 to help kids with cancer go to camp. And at the end of May, I went to New York for the first time – you can see my complete adventure on my travel blog, NYChristopher.
- I had been plenty busy with my typography club, Ligatures, all year, organizing at least one event each month. But in June, we launched our first retail item, the "We Totes Love Type" tote bag, designed by yours truly. I was also blessed with a beautiful email from a teacher in Connecticut. World Pride hit Toronto at the end of the month, and it was amazing! Lots of photos here.
- July was relatively quiet. I did celebrate my 32nd birthday.
- For the August long weekend, I attended the centennial celebration of my hometown in Ponteix, Saskatchewan – check out some photos here. I also did a custom chalkboard commission for two new homeowners. With Ligatures, we hosted our biggest event of the year: a double screening of "Sign Painters: The Movie." So much fun!
- September was a busy month for client work, but I continued with 12 Months of Type and Two-word Truths.
- The most exciting part of October was the unveiling of my Honest Ed's interview for Uppercase Magazine. It was such an honour to profile Mr. Wayne Reuben and to work with photographer Becca Gilgan.
- Just in time for the holidays, I launched my winter collection in early November. The work included my new 2014 holiday cards, a special screen print created for the Buddies in Bad Times Art Attack auction, and some new metallic, lino-printed Thanks cards. I was also honoured to attend RGD's annual Design Thinkers conference on behalf of Uppercase Magazine. You can check out my recaps here and here. And finally, I completed my largest chalkboard project to date – 4 huge chalkboards for a new Toronto restaurant, Loaded Pierogi.
- And all of a sudden, it was December! For the second year in a row, I was selected as a vendor for Toronto's favourite winter market, City of Craft, which ran December 12-14 at The Theatre Centre. This year's event was exceptionally fun – you can see a full recap here.
This year wouldn't have been possible without the unending support from family, friends, clients & patrons. Thanks to everyone who purchased holiday cards (now sold out!), donated to my 10K run, commented on my Instagram photos, attended a Ligatures event, or visited my booth at City of Craft. Your generosity & kindness inspires me. I am truly blessed to be able follow my passion and do work I love each day.
I wish you all a safe, happy & healthy 2015.
After 365 days of exciting typographic experiments, here is a compilation of all the work and mediums I created for 12 Months of Type
I started the project back in January, with a few goals in mind:
- to create more art
- to practice, practice, practice my lettering
- to get away from my computer
- to try techniques and materials I've never used before
- to get messy!
As with every project, there are always things I would change if I could do it again. And I am very sad that I did not get to complete as much work in the final two months of the year because of other commitments. But on the whole, I am very happy with everything I learned this year.
You can see the full month-to-month evolution of the project here.
Watch for a new lettering project coming soon!
Thanks to everyone who made this year most memorable. For those of you who are hungry for a new hand-lettered calendar, please watch for updates in early 2015. (Hint: it's the last calendar you will ever need.) Happy New Year to you and yours!
The masses converged at Toronto's magnificent new Theatre Centre on Friday evening to feast in this year's offerings at City of Craft. With over 60 vendors on two floors, it truly was the best place to check out Toronto's finest crafters and get a head start on holiday shopping. Below are some photos of my booth, as well as the excellent installations created by the talented Kalpna Patel.
I would like to thank Becky, Michelle, Kalpna, all of the CoC volunteers, and well as the staff at the Theatre Centre for making this year's event magical and memorable. But above all, I must thank each and every one of you who stopped by my table to say hi, share their love for lettering and purchase some of my work. This support from the community is the best holiday gift I could have ever asked for.
Happy Holidays to you and yours!
Come find my booth this weekend at Toronto's favourite winter market, City of Craft.
December 12, 13 & 14, 2014
The Theatre Centre
1115 Queen Street West
(one block west of Queen and Dovercourt)
$2 (Kids 12 & Under FREE)
See you there!
Here's a behind-the-scenes look at how I made this year's Thanks cards, which are currently available for purchase in my shop. As with many of my projects, it all starts with several hand-lettered sketches (above) which are narrowed down to my top choices. From there, I scan and begin the clean-up process in Illustrator.
Here's a look at the sketch vs. the finished version. Notice the differences?
Then, I transfer the reversed image onto a lino tile and begin carving.
Add a little ink, and...
Voilà! The finished pieces!
Pick up your 4-pack of these handmade Thanks cards for only $20 in my shop.