September starts on Sunday, but let's start the fun today! Vote for your favourite 12 in 13 for 14 lettering option here.

Have a great long weekend!

Angels in Toronto

Illustration credit: Brian Rea / Soulpepper
If you live in Toronto, you must not miss Soulpepper's production of Angels in America, which runs until September 28 at the Young Centre for the Performing Arts in the Distillery.

Tickets available here.

Sign for a sign

A few months ago, I spotted this beautiful hand-lettered sign at a parking lot toll booth in my neighbourhood. It was not being used; literally bolted to the wall sideways, functioning more as an impromptu storage unit than a sign.

One day, I got the courage to approach the toll booth collector and inquire about giving the sign a new home. When I explained my interest in hand-lettering, he gave me a quizzical look, and said, "If you make me a new sign, I will give you this one."

Done and done.

After several sketches and some testing of supplies, here is the replacement sign I created. I used red and black acrylic on a piece of primed masonite board.

And for an added bonus, when I dropped off the new sign this week, John (the collector) uncovered a second sign that was equally charming. How could I not take it off his hands?

In parting, John mentioned that these signs were done at least 30 years ago by a local sign painter named Peter, who has since deceased.

John has a new sign for his toll booth, and I have 2 new beautiful type specimens. Everyone is happy!

Now, back to practicing...

Etiquette is the new black

I wouldn't ordinarily pick up Flare Magazine, but this month I made an exception because...

The Urban Etiquette Project was featured as part of an article on modern manners! Too cool!

If you're near a newsstand, be sure to check pages 180-183 for a closer look.

Special thanks to Austen, Lindsay and Flannery for contacting me and making this happen.

Letters galore!

Here's a sneak peek at a few things I'm working on. Can't wait to share them all in the next couple weeks!

Have a great weekend.


The Octopus Project

Back in March, I received a very nice email from a musician in Texas. He was inquiring to see if his band, The Octopus Project, could use my font Razorblade on their band's upcoming album artwork. After a couple logistical emails, I sent off the files.

Yesterday, I received a delightfully peculiar package in the mail (pictured above and below). What could this be...?

To my surprise, it was a care package from The Octopus Project, with a whole bunch of awesome Razorblade-flavoured materials, including:

handbill-sized postcards,

some wicked posters,

and the actual EP of their new album, Fever Forms.

And to top it all off, the record is electric orange!

A huge thanks to Josh and The Octopus Project for this wicked-fun collaboration, and for the generous credit on the album.

If experimental indie pop music tickles your fancy, be sure to check out their site here.

Staple alphabet

Here's my contribution to Uppercase Magazine's Office Letters project. Submit your own stationery-inspired letters by August 16. More details here.


On our sixth day in Paris, we made a visit to La Gaîté Lyrique to check out the inaugural meeting of pointypo – a Paris-based group of letterers and type designers, led by Jérémie Babou­khian, Jean-​​Baptiste Levée, Yohanna Nguyen, Sandrine Nugue and Pauline Nuñez.

The gathering was super casual, and allowed for anyone to pop in, enjoy a beverage, meet fellow typographers, and share their work.

The whole evening was amazing, and everyone in attendance was very welcoming and encouraging. They were incredibly patient with my French, and happy that I stopped by, all the way from Canada. (Special thanks to especially Sandrine and Jean-​​Baptiste Levée for their kindness and warm welcome!)

If you love type, be sure to check out their website: and follow on Twitter @pointypo.

Wood type souvenir

On our third day in Paris, we came upon an unplanned flea market happening right along the Canal St-Martin. There happened to be a vendor selling old woodtype and letterpress paraphernalia. When my eyes landed on these, I couldn't resist buying them.

These antique woodtype letters (that are actually carved metal - lead?) measure about 4" x 4" each, and feature a gorgeous, chunky slab serif typeface. Perfection.

The nicks and scratches are incredible - truly making them a piece of printing history.

Fortunately, my dear friend Tanya offered to let me ink them and run them through her press – a Morgan Line-O-Scribe – to see how they looked printed. (Below image credit: Tanya Roberts)

We had to do a bit of padding and adjusting (weirdly enough, they we taller than standard North America letterpress letters), but in the end, the results were stunning. More photos on her blog here.

Thanks again Tanya for letting me print these two pieces that I will treasure forever.

Paris 2013 – Hand-lettered signs, part 2

Hand-lettered signs, part 1 here.