Why We're Here

twergipeppermillA young advertising student dropped by the store the other day. Having selected Swipe as the subject for a mock ad campaign he wanted to ask a few questions about the shop, its philosophy and its target market. We obliged, and once again discovered that articulating the shop’s logic is always a useful exercise. The consistent theme throughout the interview was our sense of obligation to the creative community. A somewhat inappropriate counterpoint was a rather childish sense of responsibility to the objects themselves and, to a lesser degree, to their designers. Inappropriate, in that the reaction is an irrational, primarily emotional one. Good designs that are obscure, unfashionable or, for economic reasons, difficult to source seem, well, hard-done-by. Lonely and sad they wait for the day when someone notices them. It is hard to believe that in 1994, the year we started carrying Stelton, the line was otherwise virtually unavailable in Toronto. Or that in 2000 we were one of only two Marimekko dealers in the city. When, in 1995, we first started stocking [popup url="http://swipe.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/toikkabarnowl.jpg"]Toikka birds[/popup] from Iittala, we were told by a college design professor that they didn’t belong in the shop because “they aren’t design, they’re kitsch”. At this point, all of these lines are available at shops throughout the city and, consequently, we have scaled back our selection to a few under-represented items (for example the lovely ashtray that is the heart of Jacobsen’s Cylinda Line).

Twergi Pepper Mill & Salt Grinder
? 1989: Ettore Sottsass

In 1988 Alessi acquired a centuries old Italian firm, Piazza Battista, that specialized in making small turned-wood kitchenwares. One year later, Alessi launched its inaugural wooden product line under the Twergi brand name (logo by Milton Glaser). Most of the items were designed by the late Ettore Sottsass and feature his trademark extravagant use of colour and pattern. With a distinctly unfashionable post-modern flavour, much of the line has since been retired. This pepper mill and the matching salt grinder are among our favourite products. And, yes, lonely and sad they wait for the day when someone notices them.

Pepper Mill: $159.95
Salt Grinder: $121.95


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

Confessions of a Biblio Voyeur


Unpacking My Library: Architects and Their Books
? 2009: Jo Steffens, editor; with an essay by Walter Benjamin

A great way to annoy friends or loved ones with an interest in popular culture is to consistently look past the celebrities in the glossy magazines at the books on the shelves behind them (“Look at her arms; do you think she’s anorexic?” “I don’t know, but don’t you think she’s a bit old to be reading Ayn Rand and Hermann Hesse?”). More than any other conceit, an individual’s library provides reliable insight into their their self image. This delicious little book, based on an exhibition at Urban Center Books (The Architecture Bookstore of the Municipal Art Society of New York), showcases the libraries of twelve renowned architects, simultaneously cataloguing their intellectual influences and betraying their intellectual affectations. Editor Jo Steffens, who previously edited Block by Block: Jane Jacobs and the Future of New York City, offers a series of photographs of each library with the books in place on their shelves, recording the library’s aesthetic and organizational context along with its contents.


In addition to the photographs, each participant is asked to provide a reading list of the ten books that have most influenced them and interviews allow each to assess the  importance of their libraries to their careers. One wonders if, after the initial flattery of being approached for the project, any of the twelve experienced trepidation at the thought of all those strangers looking at their books. While allowing guests to snoop our books is something that we readily tolerate, one’s library is undoubtedly more revealing than the medicine cabinet we keep locked, or the porn collection and notebook of juvenile poetry we hide so scrupulously. (2009: Yale University Press; ISBN  9780300158939)


Oh, and the architects whose libraries and reading lists are featured are:

Stan Allen
Henry Cobb
Liz Diller & Ric Scofidio
Peter Eisenman
Michael Graves
Steven Holl
Toshiko Mori
Michael Sorkin
Bernard Tschumi
Todd Williams & Billie Tsien


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

Bibio: -graphic, -mania, -phile, etc.


Bibliographic: 100 Classic Graphic Design Books
? 2009: Jason Godfrey

Let us begin by admitting that it is impossible for this book to have been sufficiently good for us not to have found reason to criticize it and, conversely, that the book would have had to have been quite terrifically bad for us not to be thrilled to see it published. We sell books. Specifically, we sell graphic design books. Write a history of live bait and Ned “Dew Worm” Johnson* is gonna love it. And yes, we love Bibliographic: 100 Classic Graphic Design Books. In his introduction Godfrey is quick to point out that this is not intended to be a history of Twentieth Century graphic design nor should it be taken as exhaustive. And, while one might take issue with some of the titles included (Chuck Anderson’s Old Advertising Cuts from A–Z) and be offended by (or feel smug about) the absence of one’s personal favourite (Otl Aicher’s Typographie), there are selections here that demonstrate an unexpected level of thoughtful sophistication. The sight of the Morgan Press wood type samples should be enough to encourage any typophile to forgive nearly any other omission (though, as Canadians, it’s hard to accept that Carl Dair’s Design with Type didn’t even make the Further Readings list!). (2009: Laurence King Publishing; ISBN  9781856695923)
* A real guy (as a teenager I tried picking worms to make pocket money) – David


OK, so here’s the list (*asterisks mark the titles that are in print and available from Swipe). Scoff away!

American Line Type Book
Spécimen Général: Tome 1

Die Neue Typographie
, Jan Tschichold*
Modern and Historical Typography, Imre Reiner
The Letter as a Work of Art, Dr Gerard Knuttel
Manuale Typographicum, Hermann Zapf
The Encyclopaedia of Type Faces, W. Turner Berry, A.F. Johnson & W.P. Jaspert*
Alphabet Thesaurus Nine Thousand
An Atlas of Typeforms, James Sutton & Alan Bartram
Wood 2
American Wood Type: 1828–1900, Rob Roy Kelly
A Constructed Roman Alphabet, David Lance Goines
Igarashi Alphabets, Takenobu Igarashi
London’s Handwriting, Colin Banks
Helvetica: Homage to a Typeface, Lars Müller*

Handbook of Designs and Devices
, Clarence P. Hornung
Printed Ephemera
, John Lewis
Semiologie Graphique, Jacques Bertin
Letter and Image, Robert Massin


Trade Marks & Symbols, Yasaburo Kuwayama
Label Design, Claude Humbert
Symbol Sourcebook, Henry Dreyfuss*
Handbook of Pictorial Symbols, Rudolf Modley*
Words and Buildings, Jock Kinneir
The Dictionary of Visual Language, Philip Thompson & Peter Davenport
Old Advertising Cuts from A–Z, Charles S. Anderson
Today’s Hieroglyphs, Hans-Rudolf Lutz*
Alphabets & Other Signs, Julian Rothenstein & Mel Gooding (editors)

Layout in Advertising
, W.A. Dwiggins
Mise en Page
, Alfred Tolmer
Colour in Advertising
, Joseph Binder
Language of Vision
, György Kepes
Vision in Motion
, László Moholy-Nagy
The Graphic Artist and His Design Problems
, Josef Müller-Brockmann
, Aaron Burns
Typography: Basic Principles
, John Lewis
Graphic Design Manual
, Armin Hofmann*


Visual Presentation of Invisible Processes, Anton Stankowski
, Emil Ruder*
A Sign Systems Manual, Crosby/Fletcher/Forbes
Grid Systems in Graphic Design
, Josef Müller-Brockmann*
The Visual Display of Quantitative Information, Edward R. Tufte*
Notes on Book Design, Derek Birdsall*

The New Graphic Art, Karl Gerstner & Markus Kutter
Functional Graphic Design in the 20’s, Eckhard Neumann


Pioneers of Modern Typography, Herbert Spencer
Images of an Era
, John Garrigan, Margaret Cogswell, Milton Glaser, Dore Ashton & Alan Gowans
The Language of Graphics, Edward Booth-Clibborn & Daniele Baroni
A History of Graphic Design, Philip B. Meggs*
Bauhaus: Drucksachen, Typografie, Reklame, Gerd Fleischmann
Typography: When Who How, Friedrich Friedl, Nicolaus Ott & Bernard Stein
Graphic Styles, Steven Heller & Seymour Chwast*
Graphic Design: A Concise History, Richard Hollis*

Seven Designers Look at Trademark Design, Egbert Jacobson (editor)
Polski Plakat Filmowy, Tadeusz Kowalski (editor)
Graphic Design: Visual Comparisons, Alan Fletcher, Colin Forbes & Bob Gill
Publicity and Graphic Design in the Chemical Industry, Hans Neuburg
Design Coordination and Corporate Image, F.H.K. Henrion & Alan Parkin
Graphis Diagrams, Walter Herdeg (editor)
Top Graphic Design, F.H.K. Henrion
The Liberated Page, Herbert Spencer (editor)
Typography Now, Rick Poynor & Edward Booth-Clibborn (editors)
Carouschka’s Tickets, Carouschka Streijffert & Peter Kihlgard

Thoughts on Design
, Paul Rand
Esposizioni e Mostre
, Erberto Carboni
Visual Design in Action
, Ladislav Sutnar
Love and Joy about Letters
, Ben Shahn
Milton Glaser: G
raphic Design, Milton Glaser
The Graphic Design of Yusaku Kamekura, Yusaku Kamekura
Jan Tschichold: Typographer, Ruari McLean


The Art of Advertising, George Lois & Bill Pitts
The Complete Tadanori Yokoo, Tadanori Yokoo
‘Walk Away René’, George Hardie & Storm Thorgerson
Living by Design, The Partners of Pentagram & Peter Gorb (editor)
Forget All the Rules You Ever Learned about Graphic Design. Including the Ones in this Book., Bob Gill
Lo Studio Boggeri: 1933–1981, Bruno Monguzzi (editor)
Paul Rand: A Designer’s Art, Paul Rand
Herb Lubalin: Art Director, Graphic Designer and Typographer, Gertrude Snyder & Alan Peckolick
Cassandre, Henri Mouron
The Left-Handed Designer, Seymour Chwast
Dorfsman & CBS, Dick Hess & Marion Muller
The Art of Graphic Design, Bradbury Thompson
The Graphic Language of Neville Brody, Neville Brody & Jon Wozencroft*
Brodovitch, Andy Grundberg
Siegfried Odermatt & Rosmarie Tissi: Graphic Design, Siegfried Odermatt, Rosmarie Tissi with Jack Waser & Werner M. Wolf (editors)
Nova: 1965–1975, David Hillman, Harri Peccinotti & David Gibbs (editor)
The End of Print, Lewis Blackwell & David Carson
Printed Matter, Robin Kinross, Jaap van Triest & Karel Martens (editors)*


Wim Crouwel: Mode en Module, Frederike Huygen & Hugues C. Boekraad
I Am Almost Always Hungry, Cahan & Associates*
Tibor Kalman: Perverse Optimist, Peter Hall & Michael Bierut (editors)*
Weingart: Typography, Wolfgang Weingart
Maeda @ Media, John Maeda*
The Art of Looking Sideways, Alan Fletcher*
Sagmeister: Made You Look, Peter Hall*
Make it Bigger, Paula Scher*
Designed by Peter Saville, Emily King (editor)
8vo: On the Outside, Mark Holt & Hamish Muir*
Robert Brownjohn: Sex and Typography, Emily King*


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

It's January. It's Annual Season. It's Time to Engage in that Time-Honoured Tradition: Resenting the Success of Others …

It’s a new year and time to get back to work (and by work we mean flip through the annuals, slagging the work that won the awards you should have won).


One Show 31: Advertising’s Best Print, Design, Radio and TV

Once again the North American advertising and design industries’ most prestigious annual has been divided into three separate books: Advertising, Design and Interactive. While the One Show originated as an awards program focused on advertising copywriting, it is interesting to note that this year the three annuals are roughly the same size. And, once again, the Club is offering a boxed set for those who refuse to be pigeonholed. (2010: Rockport; ISBN 9780929837406 Advertising; ISBN 9780929837383 Design; ISBN 9780929837420 Interactive; ISBN 9780929837437 Boxed Set)

One Show 31 Advertising: $87.50
One Show 31 Design (Volume 3): $62.50
One Show 31 Interactive (Volume 12): $62.50
One Show 31 – 3 Volume Boxed Set: $187.50


88th New York Art Directors Annual

Considered by many in the industry to be one of the toughest awards programs, the New York Art Directors Club presents the latest winners in both the national and international categories (includes a DVD with the multi-media award winners). (2010: RotoVision; ISBN 9782888930853)


44th Society of Publication Design Annual (SPD)

The Society of Publication Designers annual is the only international awards program that specifically showcases the work of editorial art directors, with sections devoted to trade, corporate, institutional, newspaper, and consumer publication design. (2009: Rockport; ISBN 9781592535866)


Typography 30: The Annual of the Type Directors Club

The Type Director’s Club annual is the most eagerly anticipated of the awards program showcases we carry. This 30th edition, designed by Werner Design Werks, includes the winning entries from both the TDC55 Typography Competition and the TDC2 2009 Type Design Competition. Also included is a reprint of the original pages from the fifth TDC Competition held in 1960. (2010: Harper Collins; ISBN 9780061726316).



Graphis Design Annual 2010

The flagship annual from Graphis, published continuously since 1952, this year’s volume features linked essays by Robert Priest, one of the platinum winners in this Annual; Office, who branded David Eggers’ non-profit pirate store in San Francisco; and Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, creators of HP’s Vivienne Tam mini-laptop campaign. (2009: Graphis; ISBN 9781932026535)

Graphis Advertising Annual 2010

One of the more recent additions to the Graphis publishing program, since its introduction in 1993, Graphis Advertising has become an important single-volume alternative to the regional and association-based annuals. In-depth features include Adrian Pulfer and Lynn Dangel of Dangel Advertising explaining the latest Crate and Barrel campaign; DeVito/Verdi’s Jay Marsen and Alexei Beltrone on their Legal Sea Foods mock-newspaper ads; and Jim Prior of The Partners discussing the inspiration behind an exhibition for The National Gallery of London. (2009: Graphis; ISBN 9781932026566)

Each $84.95


Communication Arts 2009 Advertising Annual

Communication Arts 2009 Design Annual

Communication Arts recently announced that they will no longer be publishing general magazine issues and instead produce only the six annuals that have become the focus of the publishing program over the past several years. Though we will miss the critical articles that previously characterized the publication, we are gratified that the print version of theses annuals will continue to offer professionals and students an economical overview of the year’s best work.  (2009: Communications Arts; ISBN 007447092074801)

Each: $29.95


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