True Patriot Love

July 31, 2014



Illustrator Tom Froese and printer Vincent Perez searched all over our home and native land for artists to participate in their recent collaboration, "Greetings From Canada."


The friends, who met at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, have just released a limited-edition collection of letterpress cards with distinctive Canadian imagery.


Vancouver-based Froese had previously worked on the website for Perez’s Kingston, Ontario–based print shop, Everlovin’ Press.


“We latched on to this idea of [Perez] being kind of the most design-savvy letterpress printer in Canada,” Froese says. “We wanted to do something else together, to bring more traffic to him. But it became more than what we can do for Everlovin’. It became about celebrating Canadian design.”


The pair called upon 10 designers and illustrators — a mix of artists they knew and ones whose work they admired — from around the country and asked them to depict their idea of Canadian identity.



“We wanted something unifying and culturally important,” Froese says. The result is a beautiful collectors’ set of cards drawn in a range of styles, from the pin-up girl in a Hudson’s Bay coat eating pancakes with maple syrup (by Jacqui Oakley) to a quirky depiction of the denim-on-denim “Canadian tuxedo” (by Benjamin Nelson).





The pair printed 500 of each card on two mid-century presses at Perez’s Kingston shop, using thick, 100 per cent cotton board.


Of building a cohesive collection while maintaining the individual artists’ styles, Froese says, “Letterpress requires hard constraints that bring automatic unity to it. Part of [achieving unity] was just using the two colours.”


Froese himself illustrated one of the cards, of a musher riding through the snow with a pack of sled dogs. “When I do letterpress, I like to see how I can push it. A lot of my work includes textures and finer details that you might not get from the binary parts of letterpress. I wanted to do something more detailed,” he says. “I was interested in working with white space, so I thought of snow and blank, barren landscapes.”



The cards are the first volume in what Froese hopes are several collections. They are available on the Greetings From Canada website and at select boutiques across Canada, including Old Faithful and Walrus in Vancouver, and Type Books in Toronto.






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