Looking back, moving forward

2011 was a busy, awesome year, filled with some big changes, exciting landmarks, and new beginnings. As I move into 2012, I'd like to take a moment to look back on some of the goodness of this amazing year:
  • In January, I started a side project called 12 over 12, where I planned investigate the numbers 1 through 12 - one per month - from January to December, 2011.
  • On February 1, I launched my professional website, christopherrouleau.com (with the help of my ridiculously talented friend, Chris Roberts). I also created my first batch of handmade business cards to get things rolling.
  • In March, I visited my grandparents in Saskatchewan. It was lovely.
  • April rolled around, and I was thrilled to design the identity and season posters for Shakespeare Toronto. I even saw my first poster outside MuchMusic headquarters, which was awesome. (Huge thanks to Peter McHugh for this opportunity!) I also got to design a scripty wordmark for 32blades.com, a syncronized skating blog/forum. (Thanks Chelsey!)
  • June was ridiculously fabulous when I launched the Official Gay Card into the world, a fun website and print piece created to celebrate Pride 2011. The project went viral after it was picked up by Dan Savage at the Slog,  Andy Towle at Towleroad, Trendhunter, and NOW Magazine. After one month, the site had almost 70,000 page views from 137 countries, 2450 PDF downloads & 1575 iPhone downloads. So much fun!
  • In July, I was fortunate enough to visit two Canadian National Parks for the first time - Niagara Falls and Banff. Stunning². In between trips, I was asked to design and hand-bind a series of chapbooks for David Bateman, which were a lot of fun. (Thanks David!) July also marked my 5 year blogoversary.
  • In August, I was able to visit Montreal - and take lots of pictures.
  • September was a busy month. I launched a promo piece called "10* reasons to work with me" - you can see pictures here and here. I also got to design some super fun typographic art prints for a young lad named Lincoln. (Thanks again Stacey!) And finally, I launched two fun task-managment print pieces: the "Let's Get Sh*t Done Sheet" and the "What The H*ll's For Dinner Sheet".
  • In October, I designed a logo for Fulcrum Group, an HR consulting company in Alberta. (Thanks Gary!) I also had the joy of creating my first oil painting for some good friends, Hugh and Tracey. It was a lot of fun. At the end of October, I also announced that I would officially be pursuing freelance graphic design full-time in 2012. Exciting!
  • November was another busy one. After a lovely, relaxing visit to Ottawa, I saw my first non-fiction book cover design come to life. It was so exciting to see the book at the launch, and get a copy in my hands. I also launched my shop and made my first art print available for sale.
  • And, December. On the first day of the month, I launched the Toronto Etiquette Project. This little passion project exploded in the national media, and I found myself on CBC RadioCTV National News, and on the cover of the Toronto Star newspaper. It was a shock and an honour. Feel free to read the exciting progression on my blog here. As of today, the blog has been viewed just under 20,000 times, and the cards have been downloaded almost 3000 times.
As I transition fully into my new freelance career, there are a lot of unknowns about what 2012 will bring. But having said that, I could have never guessed how 2011 was going to unravel one year ago - and I couldn't be happier. Here are some exciting things to watch out for:
  • another annual blog project(s) - announcement(s) coming soon
  • Toronto Etiquette Project 2.0 - coming January/February (hopefully!)
  • more art prints in the shop - as soon as I can
  • Official Gay Card 2.0 - June 2012
  • more typographic love on this blog (as well as some possible collaborations...)
If you or anyone you know needs a designer, or you want to chat about cats or fonts, do not hesitate to send me an email:
hello [at] christopherrouleau [dot] com

And if you are on Twitter, let's be friends! Find me at:

Thanks for making 2011 the best year ever. Here's to another great one!