Category Archives: Book Column

Dickens at 200

Today marks the 200th year since Charles Dickens was born. It’s been fun seeing all of the build-up to today amongst bookish folks. Google has a great artful logo to commemorate the occasion, which will be on their main page all day.

What’s also been fun is following all of the hoopla over in the UK. The Guardian newspaper launched their own “official” Charles Dickens at 200 mini-site late last year as a place to aggregate all of the pieces they’re putting together. It’s worth checking out, but only after you to their archives section to see how the paper covered Dickens way back in 1912 on the 100th anniversary of the author’s birth. It’s neat to be able to compare the thinking and statements.


The Flame Alphabet

The Flame Alphabet is one of those books that seems to have it all on the front end, for me:

  • GREAT cover
  • in the syfy-ish category
  • back cover blurb by MichaelChabon (he’s never lead me astray)
  • interesting book trailer (ok, so I’ve yet to jump on the book trailer bandwagon, but this one was particularly creepy & creative)

I just hope it delivers. It’s certainly seems to have a lot going for it. We’ll see…

Books Arts Documentary

PBS has a great new documentary-short series out with the latest installments focusing on a handful of book artists. This video is under six minutes long. The film starts with a paper engineer who has helped make some of the world’s best pop-up books as well as a paper sculptor (timecode 2:08) who cuts books and images into “book tunnels”. They also talk to an artist (timecode 3:37) that tears, glues, weaves and re-molds books into new collages and forms, in an effort to make her artistic point. It’s all very fascinating. PBS posted the documentary to YouTube and I have embedded it here:


Typographic Calendars for 2012

Here are three of my favorite typographic calendars available this year. It’s amazing what type designers are doing in the way of font choices and materials. I admit that 99% of my “calendaring” is done via computer, but these three pieces almost elevate the calendar to the level of art.

Heather Lins’ A Year in Caps

This one is $32 and is printed on 12 different wooden cards. Each screen-printed with colorful inks and starkly different fonts.

365 Typography Calendar

This one has been around for over a decade (it’s been known as Pentagram’s calendar) and the designers are branching out with this one. The 2012 edition is comprised of original fonts that are not for sale anywhere. The fonts were designed by contemporary designers who used landmarks, technology and pop culture as inspiration. This is sold in two sizes for $35 and $55.

Harald Geisler’s Typographic Wall Calendar

This one is by far my favorite. Geisler successfully ran a Kickstarter campaign to push his calendar into production. His calendar is massive as he used 2012 computer keys to list out every day of the year. No doubt this one would be one heck of a conversation piece. It’s pretty fun. There are various prices. A single calendar runs for $35 (including shipping). Prices go up if you want signed copies or the actual keyboard keys. It’s worth watching the video just to get an idea of the artist and how the calendar is laid out.