At one time, encyclopedias were venerated as ultimate sources of knowledge. People saw the value in investing in these massive multi-volume sets and enjoyed the convenience and status of having a reference section in the comfort of their living room. Ordered through the post or from a door-to-door salesman, acquiring an encyclopedia was a commitment to education and learning.
These days, we have an overload of information at our fingertips and as a result, even the most well-known purveyor decided to halt 244 years of print production in favour of offering an online alternative. Certainly, with Pinterest and Instagram and blog posts and podcasts, there is no shortage of visual inspiration for creatives. But as makers, we appreciate—we yearn—for the tangible. And we crave high quality content that is lovingly curated instead of coming to us in random bits. Coveting, owning and holding a beautiful and informative ink-on-paper inspiring tome… now that’s something that can’t be experienced virtually.
The UPPERCASE Encyclopedia of Inspiration is an open-ended project. There is no shortage of inspiring topics to be explored!
For the launch edition of the project, we are committing to produce three initial volumes:
UPPERCASE has a clear passion for producing unique, high quality books. With our published affection for books entitled “directories” and “compendiums”, the UPPERCASE Encyclopedia of Inspiration is a natural progression. A book set released volume by volume is also a fitting companion to the subscription model we offer through UPPERCASE magazine.
Feed sacks are the perfect example of a utilitarian product turned into something beautiful. Author Linzee Kull McCray explores the history of the humble feed sack, from a plain burlap or cotton sack to exuberantly patterned and colourful bags that were repurposed into frocks, aprons and quilts by thrifty housewives in the first half of the 20th century. Extensive imagery and at-scale reproductions of these fabrics create an inspiring sourcebook of pattern and colour—and offer a welcome visit to a slower-paced way of life.
Flowers and plants have always been the muse of artists and craftspeople. Botanica collects a veritable mixed bouquet of inspiring art, illustration, pattern designs, floral-inspired projects and botanically-inclined lifestyles. Succulents and cacti and the simple potted plant are an of-the-moment trend, but this volume also goes back to historical sources and botanical ephemera, illustrating that creatives have an evergreen fascination with all things floral.
Traditional embroidery and textile arts are enjoying a renaissance in new hands: artists and illustrators who use stitchery, embroidery, needlework, appliqué and textiles to tell stories. Stitch-illo highlights two sides: the textural, labour-intensive works of textile artists who tell stories through their work; and illustrators who eschew a computer and tablet and are turning to needle, thread and fabric as a means to communicate. From cute creations to deeply personal expressions, every stitch tells a story.
Sample cover designs for the Feed Sacks book currently being researched and written by long-time UPPERCASE contributor Linzee Kull McCray.
a book or set of books giving information on many subjects or on many aspects of one subject, typically arranged alphabetically.
Future volumes could explore topics such as typography and lettering, packaging, quilting, ceramics and so much more. The Encyclopedia model is really exciting as it allows for pretty much anything as a worthy topic of investigation and celebration! Each book in the Encyclopedia series will be able to stand on its own merit, but common design elements and a cover band will brand the series together as a cohesive family.
Similar to the reader participation pages in UPPERCASE magazine, readers are invited to get involved with these books. Sorry, the particiption call has closed and submissions are being reviewed.
SHOW YOUR SUPPORT
Although I’d love to be able to personally knock on your studio door and sell you my Encyclopedia, you can show your enthusiasm and support for this project by preordering the first three volumes of the Encyclopedia as a set for $120 ($165 outside of North America). Single titles will be available individually at a later date. The first volume, Feed Sacks, is slated for publication this October. Publication dates for Botanica and Stitch-illo will be announced soon, but they will be published by early 2017 if not sooner. (Ideally, some of these volumes will be delivered together, if timing and pre-orders go well!)
Curating, writing, editing, designing and printing a new book is an expensive process. The editorial and production costs will average $35,000 per volume!
Thanks to your pre-orders, we reached the launch goal of $60,000. The stretch goal is $90,000 which would cover the costs for all three volumes! As of July 18, we're at $75,000! Thank you!!! Each pre-ordered set will includes some special goodies, too.
Please support the Encyclopedia by pre-ordering the first 3-volume set for $120 ($165 outside North America). Prices include shipping.
RISKS / REWARDS
UPPERCASE has a great track record for creating quality books and magazines. The magazine has been published consistently every quarter since spring 2009. We've also independently published 12 books in the past ten years, from small companions to gallery exhibitions to big hardcover books. One book was all about William Shatner (yes, that William Shatner), another was a trilogy of Work/Life: the UPPERCASE directory of illustration. In The Suitcase Series we got to know Swedish artist Camilla Engman and the sweet, crafty life of Tif Fussell's alter-ego Dottie Angel. In 2015, we released an epic hardcover book entitled The Typewriter: a Graphic History of the Beloved Machine as well as the 384-page multi-covered UPPERCASE Compendium of Craft & Creativity. All that to say that UPPERCASE has a history of getting things done!
We will keep you up-to-date of the project progress and scheduling. Unlike Kickstarter or other crowdfunding platforms, by announcing this pre-order we are confident that there is an audience for these books and we are committed to producing them. Of course, if we can raise enough funds for production in advance, that would be tremendous!
WHO IS UPPERCASE?
I'm Janine Vangool. You could say I'm the hen who hatched UPPERCASE. I publish books and magazines for the creative and curious: products that spark the imagination and inspire creativity. Truly an independent magazine, UPPERCASE is supported by its readers through subscriptions. My background is as a graphic designer and my desire to create books from concept to design to production stems from my complete love of books. Holding and admiring them as objects, and writing, reading, learning and loving the entire book experience. I love stepping into the worlds created within their pages.
Prices shown in Canadian dollars. Payment can be made via credit card or Paypal; your payment method will do the currency conversion for you. Pre-orders of individual books will be available at a later date, thank you.
Shipped within North America
includes shipping for all 3 volumes
Shipped outside North America
includes shipping for all 3 volumes