Psychedelic Poster Art from Vancouver: The Ephemeral Turned Collectible

Fat Jack, Mother Tucker’s Yellow Duck, Hydro Electric Streetcar. The Retinal Circus,

Article by Colleen Watson O’Reilly


ancouver has a rich history as a
rock and roll city, and few have a
better appreciation for that history
than Rob Frith. Besides owning
Neptoon Records—the oldest independent
record store in Vancouver—and a record label by
the same name which has released new music as
well as compilation albums of the best …

“The Bones of Thought”: Punctuation in Translation

Punctuation in Translation exhibition

Article by John Fleming


anice Gurney is a contemporary painter whose recent work expresses an apparently binary semiotic in what she has called “punctuation in translation” or as we viewers might say,
“punctuation painting.” Intrigued by a quotation in P.D. James’s novel Original Sin taken from the
Meditations of Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius (A.D. 121-180) and used by …

Bank Note Iconography and the Ornaments of Commerce

Canadian Bank of Commerce, $5 and $20

Article by Don McLean


ver the course of the next few years, Canadian paper currency will be changing to Canadian plastic currency as the Royal Canadian Mint introduces the next generation of money, printed on plastic laminar. The change will bring two benefits: an increased lifespan for the notes, and increased security to prevent forgery. The graphics on …

A Wonderful Syncretion: A Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) Beaded Orange Lodge Crown

Mohawk Headdress

Article by Christina Bates

igures 1 and 2 show a headdress in the shape of a royal crown, decorated with Orange Order symbols executed in Iroquois raised beadwork. A remarkable syncretic object, its form and decoration express both Aboriginal and European ethos. The crown was found in a dilapidated state in the Folk Culture collection at the Canadian …

The Bite of Metal and the Smell of Ink: The art, craft and design of traditional printing renewed

The bite of metal and the smell of ink: The art, craft and design of traditional printing renewed

Article by Larry Thompson
pulled my first letterpress proof–a brief quote from Hamlet composed of hand-set lead type–on Margaret Lock’s Vandercook SP-15 flat-bed proofing press during a workshop in 2003. I seem to recall being rather nervous, and for good reason, having just acquired a vintage Vandercook press of my own. It was an unaccustomed leap of faith. …

Full of Beans and History: The Medalta Bean Pot

Bean Pot

Article by Judy Donnelly

istorians have observed that pottery is one of humankind’s oldest manifestations of graphic design. Strong, beautiful, often simple lines and shapes, painted and carved onto pots of all types, have for thousands of years told stories, denoted tribal allegiances and religious beliefs, and communicated ideas, transforming useful vessels into beautiful objects, often with a …

Alphabets as Ornament in the Making of Decorated Paper and Objects

Editorial by John Fleming and Marian Bradshaw

In this issue we choose among a multiplicity of examples in which the graphic and the decorative arts intersect, overlap and combine in surprising ways. The graphic arts are centred upon writing and drawing, most commonly in the sense of linguistic sign systems, ranging from the hieroglyphics of early Egypt through calligraphic Chinese …