You’ve got mail!

31Mar11

Today I received not one but two (!) pleasant surprises in the mail. No, it’s not one of those “you’ve won a million dollars” spam. No, it’s not tax refund either (not yet, at least).

The first surprise was a parcel in a bubble wrap envelope. I don’t recall ordering anything online…Upon opening, I was greeted by a substantial printed book. It turns out to be the Society of Graphic Designers of Canada (GDC) 2009/10 Annual Report.

Being a relatively new member of the GDC, I wasn’t expecting to receive an annual report. Normally annual reports are dry and difficult to understand. As a result, they usually travel directly into the recycling bin.However, I’m very glad that this GDC annual report will be a keeper.

This year’s theme is sustainability. The designer, Foundry Creative in Calgary, Alberta, took it to heart and decided to print the entire book on the backs of completed jobs. If you can image, a piece of previously printed page is folded in half lengthwise, where each half becomes 2 pages. The result is a custom-made, one-of-a-kind book where the insides of the actual pages vary from one book to the other. There is also the element of surprise as I peek into the folded leaflets to imagine their previous lives.

The book is rightly titled “The message is the medium” on the cover and “The medium is the message” on the back. The book is perfect bind using side sewing. (I’ve to look up my pre-press notes for we’re just learning about post-press.)

In addition to the creative usage of print material, the book is beautifully designed using a vast variety of illustration, typographic treatments and layout to tell the story and present data.

The second surprise is the Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC) catalog. The cover is beautifully illustrated by Luke Ramsey of Pender Island, BC. Although the cover might not entice me to visit MEC and check out their merchandises soon (but it’s entirely my fault since I’m not very active…), the catalog definitely stands out among the competitors. It’s fun, cozy, and approachable which I believe suits the company’s image very well.

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