Archive for the ‘Jim Rimmer’ Category

Jim Rimmer Documentary Screenings Announced

Monday, October 11th, 2010

News from Richard Kegler re his documentary of type designer & typefounder Jim Rimmer, Making Faces: the film “will be screened in early November in Two Rivers, Wisconsin; and Seattle, Washington. Both screenings will feature a Q&A session from film maker Richard Kegler.
The Hamilton Woodtype Museum in Two Rivers is presenting their second annual Wayzgoose Conference Nov 5-7 with a great array of speakers and ending with a screening of Making Faces.

The Seattle screenings are part of the Type Americana Conference and in conjunction with the Northwest Film Forum on Nov 12 and 13.”

For more information on the film, please see Richard’s blog MAKING FACES – JIM RIMMER FILM PROJECT.

— Paul Razzell

Jim Rimmer’s typefoundry finds a new home

Tuesday, April 27th, 2010

This past Sunday several hundred people gathered at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver to celebrate the memory of Jim Rimmer, typographer, typefounder, printer, and graphic artist.

Since Jim’s passing in January of this year, many people in the printing, typography, and fine press communities have been worried — and with good reason — that Jim’s typefounding and casting knowledge would pass on with him.

It was an exciting moment, then, when the young and energetic Jason Dewinetz of Greenboathouse Press announced in his eulogy that much of Jim’s typefounding and printing equipment will not be moved to a museum or university archive. Instead, Jason has arranged to purchase this equipment from the Rimmer family and move it to Vernon, B.C., where it will continue to be used in the production of finely printed books. We couldn’t hope for a better home for this equipment.

Jason’s announcement was a relief to many, just as it was a relief to learn several years ago that Richard Kegler of P22 Typefoundry had purchased the rights to distribute Jim’s digital font library, thereby relieving Jim of the task of promoting his own work—something Jim seemed constitutionally unable to do.

It is great to see Jim’s legacy passed on in such a tangible way.

Two documentaries about Jim Rimmer in the works:

Many of you already know that Richard Kegler is finishing work on a documentary film about Jim Rimmer called Making Faces: A Documentary on Cutting Metal Type. See

There is another Rimmer documentary in the works: Ryan Mah, who apprenticed with Jim, filmed Jim at work every Sunday for three years. This footage is now being edited and From Lead to Gold: A Portrait of Jim Rimmer will appear this fall. You can watch the trailer here:

Rimmer from Ryan Mah on Vimeo.

We’ll report on both of these films when they are released.

— Paul Razzell

You are invited to a reception & tribute ceremony in honour of the late Jim Rimmer

Friday, April 2nd, 2010

— Paul Razzell

Filmmaker seeks donations to complete documentary of Jim Rimmer

Friday, March 19th, 2010

I’m posting this on behalf of Richard Kegler, the filmmaker whose Making Faces: Metal Type in the 21st Century — a documentary of type designer and type founder Jim Rimmer — stands in need of funding if it is to move forward. Kegler’s obituary of Jim Rimmer, who passed away this winter, will appear in the fall 2010 issue of Parenthesis. Read Richard Kegler’s appeal for donations below. Click here to donate.

About this project

Two years ago I shot footage (in HD video) for a documentary on possibly the only person who designed and fabricated fonts in both digital and metal formats. This person, Jim Rimmer, has died this year and this delayed project is in need of finishing. My commitments to starting a book arts center and making it work in one of the poorest cities in America has taken more of my time and resources than ever imagined.

With additional funds I can secure finishing assistance and be able to produce the film and schedule screenings as well as produce a DVD that will be made available via documentary and educational channels.

The trailer for the film was made with an optimistic target release of Spring 2009. The trailer can be seen on youtube here:…

This project has a dual goal of documenting the almost-lost skill of creating metal fonts and of capturing the personality and work process specifically of practitioner the late Canadian graphic artist Jim Rimmer (1931-2010). P22 type foundry commissioned Mr. Rimmer to create a new type design (Stern) that became the first-ever simultaneous release of a digital font and, hand-set metal font in 2008. The skills needed to create a metal font are known by very few people and Mr. Rimmer was generous to a fault when it came to sharing his knowledge. Considering that Jim Rimmer was possibly the only individual who designed and cast typefaces in metal as well as in digital format, this opportunity to document the processes of the historic with the contemporary would not present itself again.

This documentary was begun with a minimal budget but with expectations of a final edited film in Hi-Def digital video that would be accessible and useful for typography professionals and graphic arts schools and to a more general audience interested in motivation and obsession of a fascinating, esoteric and culturally omnipresent field of work. The final film on DVD is planned to be screened at festivals, graphic arts conferences and made available to schools, other interested organizations, individuals and broadcast outlets.

The home stretch in finishing this film is primarily making the time and securing additional assistance in tightening up some detail. Then it will be ready for the world. The lack of firm obligations to backers or release dates made this a hazy obligation. Every kickstarter backer for this project will now be my motivation to have the obligation to get this project finished. Many levels of pledge rewards will provide a pre order opportunity.

Thank you
Richard Kegler

Remembering Jim Rimmer

Monday, January 11th, 2010

Printer and typographer Jim Rimmer, who passed away last Friday, touched the lives of hundreds of artists, illustrators, printers, typographers, musicians, and friends over the years, and no doubt there will be many tributes to Jim in the coming weeks and months. One early tribute is the Facebook page Remembering Jim Rimmer, which you can see — and contribute to — here.

Photo copyright Ryan Mah.

— Paul Razzell

Guest Post Number 1: Lunch with the Typophiles by Jason Dewinetz

Friday, June 26th, 2009


Jason Dewinetz of Greenboathouse Press was recently paid the honour of being invited by the Typophiles to give a presentation at their spring luncheon in New York City.

Jason is a fine designer and printer and it is no wonder his work caught the eye of the Typophiles. The subject of his presentation was contemporary fine printing in western Canada, which means he talked about the works of the big three of Canada’s west: Barbarian Press, Jim Rimmer’s Pie Tree Press, and Heavenly Monkey.

I’m very pleased that Jason agreed to contribute an account of his visit to New York to the this blog. The following article is the first in a series of occasional Guest Posts to be featured on the FPBA blog. If you have an idea for a Guest Post, we’d love to hear about it. Please address it to Paul Razzell at NAEditor [at] FPBA [dot] com.

Read ‘Lunch with the Typophiles.’

— Paul Razzell

‘Stern’ font a typographic first

Wednesday, March 18th, 2009


A font issued simultaneously in metal and digital forms? You bet. The P22 Typefoundry is taking orders for Jim Rimmer’s Stern type as a 14A 28a font (16 pt on 18 pt only) or as a digital font. “The response to the metal version of Stern has been overwhelming,” reports P22, who must be the only commercial foundry to offer metal and digital versions of a single face. As someone who has used Jim’s metal type for many years (and who learned how to engrave and cast from Jim) I can attest to the high quality of his casting. And what does Stern look like? See here.

–Paul Razzell

New Biographies of Jim Rimmer and Wesley Bates

Friday, November 7th, 2008

News from Gaspereau Press:

This fall, Gaspereau Press celebrates the lives and work of two Canadian artists and their outstanding contributions to book publishing: JIM RIMMER is a printer, illustrator, typographer, type designer and typefounder. At his Rimmer Type Foundry in New Westminister, BC, he has created 190 digital and seven metal typefaces, including Amethyst and Albertan. He is the author of Pie Tree Press. WESLEY BATES lives in Clifford, Ontario, where he runs West Meadow Press, publishing limited-edition letterpress books and broadsides. Known primarily as a wood engraver, Bates’s work has been commissioned by leading trade and fine-press publishers in both Canada and the United States. He is the author of In Black & White.

Both books are available in illustrated, cloth-bound hardcover editions. To place an order, book an interview or reading, or to request an excerpt or review copy, please contact Emily Leeson at or call 902 678 6002.

In Black & White: A Wood Engraver’s Odyssey

Author: Wesley Bates
Publisher: Gaspereau Press
Genre: Autobiography
Details: $59.95 / 9781554470587 / trade hardcover
Release date: 24 October 2008

In Black & White is Wesley Bates’ account of his career as a freelance illustrator for both trade publishers and private presses. Through Bates’ collaborations and friendships, and his participation in annual affairs like the Typocrafters conference and the Grimsby Wayzgoose, we meet the private-press publishers of Larkspur, Aliquando, Bird and Bull, and Appletree Alley presses. We follow Bates’ growing interest in book arts and typography which resulted in his establishing his own West Meadow Press in 1984.

Bates also describes some of the techniques of wood engraving and printmaking, describing the rise, fall and later resurgence of wood engraving in both the book and advertising industries. Colour and black-and-white reproductions of Bates’ prints illustrate both the examination of technique and the story of an exciting career so far.

This book is a trade hardcover. The text is typeset in Dante and Gill Sans and printed offset on wove-finish paper making 148 pages trimmed to 7 × 10 inches. The sheets are Smyth sewn, and case bound in cloth-covered boards stamped in foil. The book includes over 75 illustrations.

Wesley Bates was born in the Yukon and raised in Saskatchewan. He now lives in Clifford, Ontario, where he runs West Meadow Press. Known primarily as a wood engraver, Bates’ work has been commissioned by numerous publishers, including Penguin, Random House, McClelland & Stewart, The Porcupine’s Quill and Gaspereau Press.

Pie Tree Press: Memories from the Composing Room Floor

Author: Jim Rimmer
Publisher: Gaspereau Press
Genre: Autobiography
Details: $59.95 / 9781554470624 / trade hardcover
Release date: 24 October 2008
A new and expanded trade edition of Jim Rimmer’s letterpress limited-edition original makes available the autobiography of this gifted type designer and private-press printer.

Beginning with his less than shining early academic career, Rimmer recounts his first experiences setting type at Vancouver Technical High School and leaving school after grade ten for a six-year apprenticeship in the composing room at J.W. Boyd & Sons in the 1950s. With stories about the colourful characters who inhabit the printing trade and his alternately calamitous and successful attempts at refurbishing printing and typecasting machinery, Rimmer revels in the influences and misadventures that have shaped his life.

Pie Tree Press contains reproductions of Rimmer’s illustrations and presswork, as well as samples of his original metal and digital type designs. The book also includes photographs and detailed descriptions of Rimmer’s unique typecutting processes and a new chapter on his experiences with Giampa Textware creating digital fonts in the 1980s and 90s.

This book is a trade hardcover. The text is typeset in Rimmer’s Amethyst Pro and printed offset on wove-finish paper making 128 pages trimmed to 7 × 10 inches. The sheets are Smyth sewn, and case bound in cloth-covered boards stamped in foil. The book includes over 30 illustrations.

Jim Rimmer is a designer, illustrator, typographer and type designer. Rimmer was born and raised in Vancouver, BC, and worked for many years as a commercial designer. He was type director at Lanston Monotype during the 1970s when it was based in Vancouver. At his Rimmer Type Foundry in New Westminster, BC, he has created 190 digital and seven metal typefaces.