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The Canadianist: Highs and Lows

Written by in #ClassicNeenah, Collections, Color & Texture, Inspire

Everlovin’ Press & Five Canadian Artists
Celebrate Canadian Culture

Mittens, Pancakes, Robots, Snowdrops, and Loons

Our friends to the North, Everlovin’ Press in Kingston, Ontario, have created a new series of fine letterpress prints called The Canadianist, featuring five illustrations from select artists to comment on Cananadian culture, from high to low .

Illustrator Tom Froese and Everlovin’ conceived the series to promote the Canadian design and illustration community and showcase the beauty of letterpress. They had previously collaborated on a postcard series entitled Greetings From Canada with a similar tongue-in-cheek mandate.  The Canadianist is their sequel to that. Five artists were invited to address one theme each: Fashion, Food, Flora, Know-How, and Colloquialisms.

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Froese says, “Vince and I have a passion for letterpress, and of course would like to establish Everlovin’ as the choicest letterpress printer for designers in the country.” They chose the artists and assigned them themes that they thought would suit their styles and would provide lots of potential for ‘assemblages of Canadiana.'”

The five 8 x 10-inch pieces are printed on Neenah CLASSIC CREST® Natural White 130 lb cover, in two colors with hot-stamped foil embellishments. The collection is available for sale here.

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Canadian Woolens

Katy Dockrill

“I couldn’t have asked for better collaborators. Tom and Vince took my initial sketch and pushed me to make a stronger piece. Their constructive criticism was bang on, and I appreciated the time they took to help me create a more meaningful illustration.”

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Canadian Digestion

Tom Froese

“It was a privilege to contribute as one of the project’s illustrators. My collection’s theme is Canadian food, and I decided to play on Canadian clichés to tell a cliché Canadian story — the hangover.”

The aesthetic quality and technological constraints of letterpress printing have always influenced my work. Aside from the tactility of letterpress printed goods, I love the simplicity and honesty of the technique. Just layers of ink, pressed into a sheet of paper with incredible force.

-Tom Froese


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Canadian Know-How

Andrew Kolb

“It’s a treat when stellar people suggest such a fun project, but that’s what Tom and Vince did. First they told me we’re doing letterpress, and then they approved a juggling robot. I thought I’d died. I may actually be dead. This is a quote from a happy ghost artist.”

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Canadian Botanic

Jeannie Phan

“I think Canada has a perception as a vast, but somewhat plain landscape, so I wanted to show the hidden treasures of our flora by showcasing our Provincial and Territorial blooms. These images demonstrate the abundance of Canadian greenery across our country.”

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Canadian-isms

Ben Weeks

“The category, ‘Colloquialisms,’ limited my illustrations mainly to lettering which simplified the process. I loved having an open brief, but getting Tom’s and Vince’s input along the way helped make my concept what it is.

“There are many low-brow phrases we Canadians fondly recognize from some of the less cosmopolitan parts of the country. It’s the way she goes is a phrase from Trailer Park Boys. There’s a character who blew everyone’s food money in slot machines at a casino. His response is, “It’s the way she goes,” as if he had nothing to do with it, and fate was entirely responsible. It looks stupid on the surface but it’s deliberate. It’s smart. A bit like a Canadian version of The Office.

“Lest people think that all Canadians live in frozen trailer parks, I thought I’d balance out the content with some high-brow references. Global Village from Marshall Mcluhan, and Cyberspace, coined by William Gibson, author of Neuromancer, known as the book that inspired The Matrix.

The excellence of the printing process and paper were a big selling point for me to be involved in this project—quality at every step. I’m proud to have my work presented on this beautiful Neenah paper.

-Ben Weeks