Monday, November 23, 2009

The Seth Non-Canadians Don't See

An interesting post over a tthe Comics Comics blog on the work Seth has been doing as a designer. Several of the entries focus on the design work he's done for Biblioasis. This might also be the time to announce that he is completely redesigning CNQ: Canadian Notes & Queries, hopefully in time for issue 79 (May, 2010). More on this to follow.

From the Comics Comics article:

Seth’s commitment to Canada also extends to the publishers he works with. Drawn and Quarterly is a Montreal firm, although of course one with an international reach. What non-Canadian readers might not know, however, is that Seth is also closely involved with several other Canadian imprints and magazines, often in his capacity as a book designer but sometimes as a writer. This work is often done for quite small presses, such as the Porcupine’s Quill and Biblioasis (in my opinion two of the best publishers not just in Canada but in the world).

Since Seth has fans all over the world, I thought it might be a useful service to call attention to some of the work he’s done that non-Canadians wouldn’t necessarily know about. If you care at all about Seth’s work, all these items are worth tracking down. Even when working with small specialty presses, he lavishes on each task the same care and attention that he gives to projects for The New Yorker and Penguin Books.

For the entire article, please go here.

His latest design project, Zach Wells's Track & Trace, also comes up for some praise of the Freefall Magazine blog:

Opening a small package in the FreeFall mail I was immediately enchanted by the little book that came out. The cover a textured white stock with embossed shoe prints wandering around the grey title plate, literally tracks in a snowy white background, how wonderful. I ran my fingertips over the textured surface embracing the promise of an absorbing experience with the enclosed poetry. The decoration continued inside with a single snowflake dangling at the end of a dotted white line on a black page, how elegant. The decoration continues throughout the volume with wintery scenes that say so much in their sparse nakedness. Seth has decorated this volume beautifully, I can’t wait to discover the poetry enclosed. It is everything that my tactile sense wants in a book. I’m now off to explore the contents.

Another publisher and book design teacher told me a few weeks back, upon seeing this volume, that no one has done design work like this on a trade poetry book in Canada since the 1940s. It remains to be seen if the extra details will help to sell any more copies: it is painfully hard to even get many independents to stock poetry these days, let alone at Chapters or Indigo. But it seems to be helping in getting people to pick it up. That, at least, is a small victory.

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