Two New Books from Heavenly Monkey

October 21, 2007

News from Heavenly Monkey regarding two new publications; you can read and see more about both of the following via Heavenly Monkey’s New & Upcoming page:

Two new books have just been issued from the Heavenly Monkey studio. Iskandariya is a prose poem by Brigit Pegeen Kelly, featuring 11 aquatints by Washington artist Briony Morrow-Cribbs. The text has been set in 18-pt Perpetua and printed damp on paper made by Reg Lissel, and specially tinted to match the color of the kitakata that the aquatints are printed on. The book (5 x 9 inches, [9]pp of text, interleaved with aquatints) is sewn into a non-adhesive structure by Claudia Cohen, with a wraparound etching for a dust jacket. It is held in a printed paper chemise and slipcase. From the edition of 50 copies, the first 15 form the Boxed Issue: these are isued in a Japanese silk traycase and contain a suite of 12 state proofs, and a pamphlet (printed letterpress from polymer plates) chronicling the book’s design and production. By advance order, six of the Boxed Issue copies have been further embellished: these are bound in full limp vellum by Claudia Cohen, and contain a set of the aquatints hand colored by the artist. The Boxed Issue was fully subscribed (although available through HM’s regular booksellers); the slipcased copies (numbers 16 – 35) are priced at $600.

The second new title appears under the Heavenly Monkey Editions imprint. Titled The Temperamental Rose & Other Ways of Seeing Colour, it is a collaboration between Barbara Hodgson and Claudia Cohen, exploring their shared interest in systems for codyifing color. The book features 15 color charts, some reproductions of actual charts from history, and several fanciful creations drawn from literature. Each chart is hand colored, one spins, one (Purgatory) pops up, and one is embroidered. The book (7 x 9 inches, 40 pp) was set in Fournier and printed from polymer plates at Black Stone Press. The paper is Arches. The edition of 30 is uniformly bound by Claudia: leather spine, 19th century textured paper over boards, with numerous spherical leather onlays. A traycase holds the book and a set of six artist’s pigments, each in a small, labelled and wax-sealed glass vial. The first eight copies also include an original sketch for one of the charts, bound in. The edition was fully subscribed prior to publication, but copies can be had through Heavenly Monkey’s regular booksellers.


A Living Chapter in the History of the Book in Canada

October 10, 2007

From Rollin Milroy:

An Evening Celebrating Six Decades of Work by
Typographer, Designer and
Private Press Printer
Simon Fraser University – Harbour Centre
Vancouver, British Columbia
Friday 16 November, 2007

Happily coinciding with his 80th birthday, an evening celebrating the influence and scope of Robert Reid’s typography, graphic design and letterpress publishing will be the focus of this year’s Yosef Wosk – Simon Fraser University – Alcuin Society lecture.

In collaboration with the event, a new Web site chronicling his career, illustrated with many of his books, has just been launched at

The featured speaker at the Nov. 16 event will be renowned West Coast artist TAKAO TANABE, who was introduced to Reid in the early 1950s by Joe Plaskett. Tanabe and Reid collaborated on a variety of printing and design work through the decade, and both taught at the Vancouver Art School. In the early ’60s Tanabe’s own Periwinkle Press further established his reputation as an innovative typographer and graphic designer. Other speakers will be Heavenly Monkey publisher Rollin Milroy, who will start the evening with an illustrated overview and highlights of Reid’s publishing work; and librarian Peter McNally, who will speak about Reid’s work as designer for McGill University Press. The evening will conclude with a talk by Robert, focusing on some of the people who’ve had particular influence on his career.

Starting in the 1950s, Robert established a reputation as the leading typographer and book designer on the West Coast. In the 1960s he moved to Montreal and McGill University Press, where he oversaw design for all of the academic publications and a number of special, limited editions. In the 1970s he moved to New York and spent the next 25 years packaging over a million books for major publishers. In 1998 he returned to Vancouver, and over the past decade has published a number of limited edition books on a variety of topics. Details and images of many of these books can be seen at the site.

The Robert Reid lecture is followed on Saturday 17 November by the third biannual Alcuin Society wayzgoose fine press fair, also in Vancouver. Work from two dozen letterpress publishers and book artists will be on display at the Vancouver Public Library Central Branch.

Both events are free and open to the public. Please forward this message along to anyone interested in graphic design, typography, publishing and the history of the book in Canada. Details and updates can be found at the News page of the Robert Reid site, or the Alcuin Society site.