Fine Press News on the Move

March 28, 2009

The FPBA has a new website and a blog:

I’ve decided to join forces with the FPBA team, so I will be blogging over there from now on. All of the content from this blog has been loaded over there, though I will leave this blog here for posterity.


New Blog: Gaspereau Press

January 17, 2009

Gaspereau Press has set up a blog:

From the press release:

We open our printshop doors for our annual Wayzgoose each October, now it’s your chance to see what happens here all year long. Stop peering through our windows and step right in. Catch our books when they’re least expecting it – sneak a peek at the galleys on the editor’s desk, browse at the binder, get a glimpse of the covers rolling off the letterpress – they don’t mind.

Check in regularly for updates and photos of our printshop activites and publishing adventures. That way, when you buy Gaspereau titles at your local bookshop, you can tell everyone you knew these books back when they were just manuscripts.

CBBAG Ottawa Book Arts Show & Sale

January 17, 2009

Mark your calendars:

The Ottawa Valley Chapter of the Canadian Bookbinders and Book Arts Guild will be holding a show and sale on Saturday, June 13, 2009 from 10:30am to 4pm. The event is free and will be held at the Library and Archives Canada, 395 Wellington St., Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

For further information, contact

New Biographies of Jim Rimmer and Wesley Bates

November 7, 2008

News from Gaspereau Press:

This fall, Gaspereau Press celebrates the lives and work of two Canadian artists and their outstanding contributions to book publishing: JIM RIMMER is a printer, illustrator, typographer, type designer and typefounder. At his Rimmer Type Foundry in New Westminister, BC, he has created 190 digital and seven metal typefaces, including Amethyst and Albertan. He is the author of Pie Tree Press. WESLEY BATES lives in Clifford, Ontario, where he runs West Meadow Press, publishing limited-edition letterpress books and broadsides. Known primarily as a wood engraver, Bates’s work has been commissioned by leading trade and fine-press publishers in both Canada and the United States. He is the author of In Black & White.

Both books are available in illustrated, cloth-bound hardcover editions. To place an order, book an interview or reading, or to request an excerpt or review copy, please contact Emily Leeson at or call 902 678 6002.

In Black & White: A Wood Engraver’s Odyssey

Author: Wesley Bates
Publisher: Gaspereau Press
Genre: Autobiography
Details: $59.95 / 9781554470587 / trade hardcover
Release date: 24 October 2008

In Black & White is Wesley Bates’ account of his career as a freelance illustrator for both trade publishers and private presses. Through Bates’ collaborations and friendships, and his participation in annual affairs like the Typocrafters conference and the Grimsby Wayzgoose, we meet the private-press publishers of Larkspur, Aliquando, Bird and Bull, and Appletree Alley presses. We follow Bates’ growing interest in book arts and typography which resulted in his establishing his own West Meadow Press in 1984.

Bates also describes some of the techniques of wood engraving and printmaking, describing the rise, fall and later resurgence of wood engraving in both the book and advertising industries. Colour and black-and-white reproductions of Bates’ prints illustrate both the examination of technique and the story of an exciting career so far.

This book is a trade hardcover. The text is typeset in Dante and Gill Sans and printed offset on wove-finish paper making 148 pages trimmed to 7 × 10 inches. The sheets are Smyth sewn, and case bound in cloth-covered boards stamped in foil. The book includes over 75 illustrations.

Wesley Bates was born in the Yukon and raised in Saskatchewan. He now lives in Clifford, Ontario, where he runs West Meadow Press. Known primarily as a wood engraver, Bates’ work has been commissioned by numerous publishers, including Penguin, Random House, McClelland & Stewart, The Porcupine’s Quill and Gaspereau Press.

Pie Tree Press: Memories from the Composing Room Floor

Author: Jim Rimmer
Publisher: Gaspereau Press
Genre: Autobiography
Details: $59.95 / 9781554470624 / trade hardcover
Release date: 24 October 2008
A new and expanded trade edition of Jim Rimmer’s letterpress limited-edition original makes available the autobiography of this gifted type designer and private-press printer.

Beginning with his less than shining early academic career, Rimmer recounts his first experiences setting type at Vancouver Technical High School and leaving school after grade ten for a six-year apprenticeship in the composing room at J.W. Boyd & Sons in the 1950s. With stories about the colourful characters who inhabit the printing trade and his alternately calamitous and successful attempts at refurbishing printing and typecasting machinery, Rimmer revels in the influences and misadventures that have shaped his life.

Pie Tree Press contains reproductions of Rimmer’s illustrations and presswork, as well as samples of his original metal and digital type designs. The book also includes photographs and detailed descriptions of Rimmer’s unique typecutting processes and a new chapter on his experiences with Giampa Textware creating digital fonts in the 1980s and 90s.

This book is a trade hardcover. The text is typeset in Rimmer’s Amethyst Pro and printed offset on wove-finish paper making 128 pages trimmed to 7 × 10 inches. The sheets are Smyth sewn, and case bound in cloth-covered boards stamped in foil. The book includes over 30 illustrations.

Jim Rimmer is a designer, illustrator, typographer and type designer. Rimmer was born and raised in Vancouver, BC, and worked for many years as a commercial designer. He was type director at Lanston Monotype during the 1970s when it was based in Vancouver. At his Rimmer Type Foundry in New Westminster, BC, he has created 190 digital and seven metal typefaces.

Fine Press Book Association now on Facebook

October 10, 2008

A note from Paul Razzell:

As many of you know, the Fine Press Book Association (FPBA) is an organization of individuals interested in the art of fine printing formed with the goal of promoting the appreciation of beautiful books and printing skills.

In addition to the FPBA website (, we are now online at The Facebook site offers FPBA members the ability to upload images of ther recent or forthcoming books along with descriptions, ordering information, and links back to presses’ own websites. The goal is to increase exposure of member-presses’ books.

Please see You need to “join” — which takes about two minutes. Then use the search field to find Fine Press Book Association. This service is easy to use and it is free.

Once you’re there, I strongly encourage all of you to post images of your latest or forthcoming books with full descriptions, and links to your own websites (or the websites of dealers’ who sell your books). It is this information that will catch viewers’ eyes. So don’t be shy!

book art object

October 4, 2008

The Codex Foundation is publishing a catalogue/commemorative volume of the First Codex Foundation Book Fair and Symposium. book art object, edited by David Jury with transcripts from the speakers as well as five additional essays from book artists from around the world, is expected to be published in November. Keep an eye on the publication website for further details (though Parenthesis 15 has an article by David Jury that notes that 1500 copies have been [will be?] printed, with the books retailing for US $75 and a prepublication price, including postage, of US $65).

Readers will also want to keep in mind that the Second Codex Foundation Book Fair and Symposium will be held February 8-11, 2009 in Berkeley, California. Tickets are $225 and registration for both the book fair and the symposium now appear to be open. See the Codex 2009 web page for more information.

Catching up with The Old School Press

October 4, 2008

A few recent publications from The Old School Press:

An Italian Dream by Charles Dickens is a chapter from Dickens’ Pictures of Italy wherein he recounts his visit to St. Mark’s Basilica in Venice. The details from the Old School Press website: “I had the text set automatically in 12pt Poliphilus from the digital copy by Harry McIntosh at Speedspools. Poliphilus is a type based closely on that cut by Francesco Griffo and used for Aldus Manutius’s Hypnerotomachia Poliphili which was published in Venice in 1499. I printed the text on a dampened hand-made paper from the Carteria Amatruda in Amalfi, a stock of which I bought from Christopher Skelton’s estate some years back. Complementing that are end-papers of a burgundy-coloured Magnani Firenze, another Italian hand-made. The book consists of a single section of 16pp sewn into boards. The front cover carries a photograph, digitally manipulated, that I took on a rather misty day from Dorsoduro, towards San Giorgio, though the latter was not to be seen. The edition is 135 copies. The price is £36 (€42, US$70). (ISBN 978-1-899933-25-9)”

Jump of the Manta Ray is an “epic, erotic poem” by the Spanish poet Carmen Boullosa, with an accompanying English translation by Psiche Hughes with images by Philip Hughes. The details: “A solander box in red cloth holds the book and a portfolio. The text is printed letterpress on 175gsm Somerset paper, making a handsome book of about 340mm (13.4 inches) high and 300mm (11.8 inches) wide. Twenty large images (170mm square) have been printed on an Iris giclée printer on 330gsm Somerset Velvet paper: they come on separate sheets in the portfolio, all signed and numbered by the artist. Two other images, also Iris-printed, act as frontis- and tail-piece for the book. Twenty-nine smaller Iris-printed images (70mm square) appear throughout the text. All the images are listed in an index locating them to the sites where Hughes took the original photographs, from Scotland to Antarctica. A Maziarczyk paste paper covers the boards of the book and the portfolio, each of which has a grey spine. The edition consists of 60 copies of which 50 are for sale. Each copy is signed by the poet, translator, artist and printer. The price per copy is £1,500 (UK), €2,500 (continental Europe), A$3,800 (Australasia), or US$2,500 (rest of the world) according to country of purchase. Carriage and insurance are included.”

To learn more about these and other Old School Press publications, be sure to visit them online at