Hidden gems in Melbourne: Renaissance Bookbinding

In 2012 I discovered a great hidden treasure in Fitzroy North called Renaissance Bookbinding.

I walked in the shop and I was absolutely amazed by the fantastic collection of books, printing presses, metal and wood type collections, not to mention the wide knowledge of Nick Doslov, a great professional bookbinder who has been in the business for over thirty years, and whose love and passion for the trade is worthy of everyone’s respect.

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Connecting The Dots


Almost to the day five years ago Bruno Maag asked me in a job interview about my five year plan. Just out of university with just a few freelance type design assignments on the horizon I told him truthfully that I didn’t have a plan for the following five minutes, let alone months or years.

This seems like a good occasion to catch up with some people who graduated and started their careers in type design at the same time. Elena, Kimya, Marina, Sol and I will talk about our past five years, about our careers, where we come from, where we are now, what we wish someone had told us five years ago and when the things we learned started to fall into place. Continue reading

Gingerbread Advent Calendar

This time four years ago, I was scrambling to finish the semester’s final projects in my senior year of college. In other words, highly suggestible to distractions. I was chatting with my mother on the phone, already a distraction, and she mentioned in passing the idea of making advent calendar numbers out of gingerbread. To which I was like, I will drop everything to complete this task IMMEDIATELY.

I’ve done it again every year, always drawing my own brand new set of numbers and executing them in cookie and icing. For the fifth year, I thought I’d tell you all about my Type A bullshit tips and tricks and secrets for how to do it from start to finish, should you wanna plan to decorate cookies for your roommates or family this year, or have an outing to avoid.

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Book of the Week

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As the name suggests, ‘Book of the Week’ was a series of paperbacks that were distributed every week in Iran between the years of 1961 and 1963. A product of the Tehran-based publishing institute Kayhan, the books gained a great amount of popularity among the general public by featuring literature from established writers, as well as publishing essays on a diverse range of topics such as science, culture, society, poetry and the arts.

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“Tu castigo será verme feliz” — Talking with Carga Máxima

An interview with Azucena del Carmen Cabezas León from the Carga Máxima studio at ATypI São Paulo, October 2015

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We interviewed Azucena León during the ATypI conference in São Paulo in October 2015, when the Alphabettes blog was barely in its first weeks of life. Azucena and her partner, Alinder Espada, had a stall in the conference market place, where she was composing and selling lettering posters. What immediately caught our attention was the bold, fluorescent and immediate hand lettering, with strong messages distilled from the Peruvian version of Cumbia, the popular music of Colombia. The messages combined references to music, ‘la novela’ (soap opera), but mostly, a sense of pure drama: tu castigo será verme feliz [your punishment will be seeing me happy], el buen amante nunca se enamora [the good lover never falls in love], no se gana pero se goza [you can’t win, but enjoy it anyway], está prohibido estar triste [sadness is not allowed], se sufre pero se aprende [you suffer but you learn] and so on. It was not easy to find a free slot during her busy day, as every ATypI attendee wanted one of her posters. Continue reading