Happy World Pride!

In case you didn't know, World Pride is in full swing Toronto! The annual Pride Toronto celebration is extra awesome this year, with Toronto being the fourth city to host the World Pride celebrations. There are over 580 LGBT events happening over the course of 10 days, culminating in Sunday's Pride parade, which will likely set records for highest attendance. The Church Wellesley village is exploding in technicolour and buzzing with life & excitement. Lots more photos on my blog next week, but watch my Instagram for live updates.

Happy Pride!

Soccer at Hank's

The FIFA World Cup has began! Here is a big chalkboard I created last night for Hank's to celebrate the world soccer championships, as well as the original concept sketch.

Dreaming of NYC

I just got back from an amazing trip to New York City. New photo blog coming soon...

Have a great weekend!

An Alphabet 100 success story

Back in March, I got this lovely email in my inbox:
Hi Christopher,
I am a graphic design teacher at Derby High School in Connecticut. In creating a font/text lesson for my class, I came across your Alphabet 100 series; What a great idea!  I would like to use your blank template as an exercise for my students to choose just one letter and challenge themselves to your same project. They will then have the choose what they think is the best design, and produce it in MS Publisher (we can not afford Illustrator licensing). I just wanted to say THANK YOU for providing the PDF as a free download from your website, promoting young designers and the industry!  
Most Sincerely,
Tracie B.
I replied to Tracie immediately, expressed my enthusiasm about her project, and eagerly told her to move forward with the exercise, with the promise that she would keep me posted on the progress.

Then, two months later, the results came in.

I was SO astounded by the talents of these high school students. Such creativity! Although each piece had its own merits, Tracie enlisted me with the daunting task of selecting a winner (all in good fun). It was nearly impossible to select just one, so I ended up choosing 2 winners.

Here is the winner of Best Process: Brayan

Here is the winner of Best Final: Christian

I was so moved by the entire experience that I decided to send each winner a copy of my Alphabet 100 print.

Tracie sent me the photo above with the winner proudly presenting their posters, and this lovely note:
I can't thank you enough for participating - your professionalism and creativity have added a great deal to the students enthusiasm for the project (and mine too, I must admit. If the teaching gets stale, the kids get bored and aren't open to all that we can show them, so I've got to keep it fresh for me too!) I teach this course every year second term, so maybe I can send you a whole new round of finalists next year! :)
What an incredible experience! I am so happy that I was able to connect with the classroom. Thank you Tracie for reaching out to me with this amazing opportunity. I can't wait to do it again.

Keep up the good work, kids!

12 Months of Type: Nature

Here are some highlights from May's typographic adventures with nature for 12 Months of Type. Check out all previous posts here, and follow my current progress on Instagram.

The making of "We Totes Love Type"

Yesterday, Ligatures type club launched their online shop with their first product, the official "We Totes Love Type" tote bag. I have been working on this project for months, and it was so exciting to see everything come together in the last couple weeks.

I wanted to design a tote bag that 1) people would use, and 2) people would be proud to show off. I settled on "We Totes Love Type" for the front (a fun play on words!) and a pattern of "Totes" lettering on the back. Below is one of the original sketches.

I whipped out my brush pens and did a lot of lettering until I came up with the perfect "Totes" text. The "love" text was based on some previous lettering I did for Ligatures.  And the word "TYPE" is based on actual wood type, courtesy of Snap + Tumble letterpress. Thanks, Tanya!

After sourcing several canvas tote bags across Toronto, I finally found one really great source that offered super strong, thick totes at a fair price. I finalized the layout and then got in touch with Paul Dotey, who offered to help out with the screen printing. Leslie & I went to Paul's studio one evening in May for an epic tote printing party! Here are some behind-the-scenes shots.
And here are the final totes! We're super happy with the results. You can check out lots more photos on the Ligatures blog.

Please hop on over to the Ligatures shop and pick up your tote today!

Two-word truths #6

The sixth installment of "Two-word truths" is now available! You can pick up "Speak out" in the shop for for $20. These 9" x 9" limited edition lino prints are based on original hand-lettering by yours truly. Printed in black ink on bright white 250gsm cotton archival paper. Lots of photos below.

You can still take advantage of the "Two-word truths" print-of-the-month subscription. For $120 (a 50% savings!), you can pre-purchase all 12 prints and receive a new print in your mailbox at the beginning of each month. You can subscribe at any point during the year – I will simply send you all the prints that have been released up to that date.

Or, pick up a single copy of "Speak out" in the shop today!

Thanks for your support!