29 September 2012
Ferry crossing from Digby, Nova Scotia, to Saint John, New Brunswick. (Tuesday 25 September)
Signage in the belly of the Digby–Saint-John Ferry. Never seen that typeface anywhere before.
Fall colours and construction signage on twisty Highway 7 between Ottawa and Peterborough, Ontario. I needed a little Canadian shield before taking on several days of Great Lakes Basin.
I skirted north of Toronto and paid a surprise visit to the Inksters at The Porcupines Quill in Erin Village, Ontario. (Wednesday 26 October)
Tim Inkster suggested that the first picture of a printing press on my half-continental printing road trip be of James Reaney’s little Nolan proof press, which he recently aquired and which presently lives in his warehouse. Reaney (1926–2008) was an Ontario poet and playwright. Between 1960 and 1971 he edited the journal Alphabet: A Semi-Annual Devoted to the Iconography of the Imagination.
The pressroom in the basement of The Porcupines Quill, Erin, Ontario. This is an offset Heidelberg KORD press on which the Inksters produce books for the trade market.
Wild letterforms: I stopped for the night in the east end of Hamilton, Ontario, to check in on my three Ontario nephews.
I had a great visit and lunch with my friend Will Rueter at The Aliquando Press in Dundas, Ontario.
Rueter’s Vandercook press. “Oh, Don’t photograph that! It’s a mess.” Yes, but it’s a mess made while making something worthwhile. And not much of a mess by the standards of my printshop.
After visiting The Aliquando Press I drove to Queenston, Ontario where I visited the extraordinary Willowbank School for the Restoration Arts and spent an evening of stimulating conversation with its director, Julian Smith, and staff members Adam Smith and Lisa Prosper. (Adam was an architecture student at Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia couple of years ago and we became friends when he was researching his thesis, which involved some discussion of the links between typography and architecture; I also gave a talk at Willowbank back in 2011.)
In the morning I crossed the border at Fort Erie and drove around the bottom of Lake Erie and Lake Michigan on Interstate 90 for about fourteen hours. The highlight of that drive was certainly hitting Chicago at rush hour. (In my neighbourhood, the worst I usually get on my drive home is encountering cows on the road in the village of Gaspereau if I’m driving home at milking time, so an hour-and-a-half crawl past Chicago at 25 mph or less was a novelty.) The photo is of the wonderful signage on the toll gate on Chicago’s Skyway bridge – the only bridge I’ve ever been on where they charge you a toll not only to get on, but also to get off.
I made it to the northwest corner of Illinois and (finally) out of the sprawling flat sameness of landscape that comprises the lakeshores. This morning (in Freeport, Illinois) I woke up within an hour of the Mississippi River. Yahoo!
ANDREW STEEVES ¶ PRINTER & PUBLISHER