Category Archives: Books on Communication Design

JR: Can Art Change the World?

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This is the first major, in-depth retrospective monograph on JR, the enigmatic and anonymous Parisian photographer, artist and activist behind some of the world’s most provocative, large-scale public photography projects. Created in close collaboration with JR, this book includes all bodies of work, his collaborations with other artists and institutions such as the New York Ballet, and previously unpublished behind-the-scenes documentation of his studios in Paris and New York, where he and creative collaborators live and work.

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Working anonymously, pasting his giant images on buildings, trains and bridges, the often-guerrilla artist JR forces us to see each other. Travelling to distant, often dangerous places—the slums of Kenya, the favelas of Brazil—he infiltrates communities, befriending inhabitant and recruiting them as models and collaborators. He gets in his subjects’ faces with a 28mm wide-angle lens, resulting in portraits that are unguarded, funny, soulful, real, that capture the spirits of individuals who normally go unseen. The blown-up images pasted on urban surfaces—the sides of buildings, bridges, trains, buses, on rooftops—confront and engage audiences where they least expect it. Images of Parisian thugs are pasted up in bourgeois neighbourhoods; photos of Israelis and Palestinians are posted together on both sides of the walls that separate them.
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Swipe was pleased to be included as one of JR’s stops in last month’s Nuit Blanche. While here, he did a pasting on the spines of his books, which we then cut free as they were sold, allowing attendees to take home a “piece” of JR’s art. Do you live in Toronto? Come check out the display in our shop, and pick up a copy of the book for yourself, or to give as a gift to the art lover in your life.
Can’t make it to our 401 Richmond Street West location? Send us an email info at swipe dot com or give us a call 416-363-1332.

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The Big Sale. It's Big, and It's a Sale.

Well, it’s finally starting to feel like spring, and we all know what that means:

Cleaning!

No? Okay then, let’s try:

Sale!

That’s right. In honour of the season and its renewing, motivating forces, we’ve decided to comb through our collection at the 401 Richmond store and reduce prices on a selection of products, books and magazines for pretty much all of the next month. It’s the inaugural Big Sale, and it’s aptly named, unlike our former annual Sidewalk Sale (which we were never actually allowed to have on the sidewalk).

Big Sale offerings include Bodoni’s mammoth Manual of Typography from Taschen;
$5 back issues of magazines and annuals such as Communication Arts, Archive and Print; a mixture of classic and contemporary products from Nava, Arzberg, Umbra, imm Living and Rosti; information-loaded digital weather-station clocks designed by Philippe Starck; past issues of the architecturally uplifting 2G Magazine (which has – rather sadly – just gone digital with the newest issue, so grab those printed copies while you can); and some elegant one-off pieces of silverware (because really, who says you need a table setting of four?).

We’ll be discounting these items, and more, right through to Sunday, May 26, when we’ll be open for the final day of Doors Open Toronto. (Another excellent reason to visit the 401 Richmond building, and Swipe in particular.)

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To purchase any of the products or titles mentioned here, please visit Swipe at 401 Richmond Street West, call us toll-free at 1-800-56-swipe or email us at info@swipe.com.

Not So Grimm: Communication Arts Features One of Swipe's Own

It’s an exciting time here at Swipe – not only is the glorious Communication Arts May/June 2013 Illustration Annual (#54) now available, but we’re proud to announce that it features the illustration work of our very own Lisa Vanin.

You may have noticed Lisa’s decorative paper birds flapping their dreamy wings in Swipe’s window display at 401 Richmond, or picked up one of her sweet bookmarks celebrating the store’s 25th anniversary – see below.


Well, her signature blend of flora, fauna and fable appealed so much to the Canadian Opera Company that they commissioned her to create the poster art for their GrimmFest performance festival, held in late 2012. The result, lush and fantastical, and a Grimm-worthy fairy tale in itself, can now be admired on the glossy pages of Communication Arts.

Packed with talent, the Illustration Annual showcases the very best illustration work of the past year, featuring both firmly established and new-to-the-scene illustrators.

So congratulations, Lisa! You’re in illustrious company.

You can view Lisa’s work at lisavanin.com, or purchase one of her enchanting zines, buttons or magnets in-store at Swipe.

Communication Arts May/June 2013
Illustration Annual (#54)

2013: Coyne & Blanchard, Inc.
$29.95

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To purchase any of the products or titles mentioned here, please visit our downtown Toronto locations, call us toll-free at 1-800-56-swipe or email us at info@swipe.com.