A Living Chapter in the History of the Book in Canada

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 www.robertreidprinting.ca.

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 robertreidprinting.ca 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.

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