16 September 2010


The fall list is well underway here in the shop, but I wiggled some time free yesterday to print a broadside commissioned by Halifax poet Matt Robinson. We’ve been doing a fall broadside for Matt for a number of years now, and I always look forward to trying to give his poems some sort of typographic presence. Sometimes we use an image, but more often than not we simple play with type. This year we used Rod McDonald’s type Slate.

I had some trouble with pin holes in my polymer. Sometimes no matter what you do you can’t get the dust out of wherever the dust is hiding. I ended up taking different letters from different plates and cobbling the form together, just as I would with wood type. The ink on the large type is a mix of blue and silver inks. Maybe 40% silver. I didn’t exactly measure things where this was a one-off.

Speaking of Matts, our own Matt has the first side of the sheets for the new edition of George Elliott Clarke’s Whylah Falls printed and will likely be printing the second side today or tomorrow. This page has a trumped-up newspaper clipping. George and I both get a kick out of small town-newspaper-speak, especially corrections and notices. For me, this interest goes back to my short career in journalism and my life-long interest in newspapers.

Today, I’m working on the jacket for Clarke’s book. We wanted to echo the imagery of the earlier editions of the book while doing something that was uncluttered and clearly in the Gaspereau look. The type is Jonathan Hoefler’s high renaissance flavoured Requiem. (Jonathan, like me, turns 40 this year.)

I’ve been blustering around the printshop like a dog with a bone, muttering, keeping odd hours, making strange utterances. Must be Fall. Gary, like me, is trying to juggle too many things all at once, managing the shopwork, dealing with orders and accounts, fixing broken equipment. Let’s just say I haven't seen the cribbage board out at lunchtime in a while. Well, we'll have to change that when Laura the queen of cribbage gets back. She is still away on her Nashville road trip. Basma has been filling in for her, helping Connie and Gary keep things moving through the bindery. Matt, our pressman, seems remarkably calm for a fellow who’s about become a father for the first time, and any day now. And speaking of firsts, the other day he quizzed Gary and I up about the upcoming wayzgoose (Saturday October 23), and seemed excited by the idea of the shop being full of curious people. But there's a lot to accomplish before then.


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