Onça Design Roundup: Winter 2018


Spring seems to finally have arrived in Vancouver, which means it is time to showcase the books I worked on that I have received in the past three months. For those of you awaiting news on The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, I’m sorry but I have to make you wait until next week. Soon, though!


Let’s Get Frank is the biography of Frank Palmer, an advertising executive from Vancouver that went on to build one of the most successful advertising agencies in Canada. When I designed the text, I wanted the chapter starts to have as much personality as the man himself, so I made the titles big and bold.

The text font is Calluna, while block quotes and sidebar are set in its companion Calluna Sans. The titles use Jubilat. The front cover was designed by Lisa Ma, with photographs of Palmer taken by Adam Blasberg.

Let’s Get Frank: Canada’s Mad Man of Advertising, by Robin Brunet. Douglas & McIntyre, 2018. 6 × 9 inches, 232 pages, $29.95.


Indian Fishing is completing its 40th anniversary this year, and although much of the anthropological language has become outdated, it remains a popular reference work on the fishing tools and methods of the First Nations of the Pacific Northwest. I had to rebuild the cover and page layout based on scans of the most recent edition—from the 1990s—making this at the same time a simple project and a challenging one. There was little original design to do, but getting the layout to match the original as closely as possible was not easy.

The whole book is set in Arno Pro, except for the title, which uses Kepler Semicondensed. The cover photo, supplied by Harry Bohm and Vickie Jensen, features fishing implements that Tim Masso created based on Stewart’s descriptions in Indian Fishing.

Indian Fishing: Early Methods on the Northwest Coast, 40th Anniversary Edition, by Hilary Stewart. Douglas & McIntyre, 2018. 10 × 9 inches, 182 pages, $28.95.


A Field Guide to Insects of the Pacific Northwest is the second field guide I’ve designed for Harbour. I had as much fun working on this one as on the Common Fishes guide (Lamb et al., 2015)—not least because I got to work with beautiful macro photographs of awesome insects. Having the guide handy next time an unknown bug makes its way into my apartment isn’t too shabby, either.

The entire pamphlet is set in various weights and styles of Skolar Sans, an extremely flexible typeface designed for scholarly publications. The exception is the title on the front cover, which uses Minion Pro and a Bonheur Royale capital, following the style of earlier guides. The front cover photographs (and most of the interior ones) were taken by Werner Eigelsreiter.

A Field Guide to Insects of the Pacific Northwest, by Dr. Robert Cannings. Harbour Publishing, 2018. 37 × 9 inches, 8-fold, $7.95.


This is the most exciting publication in this batch: a new poetry collection by David Zieroth. I worked with Zieroth a few years back when I got to design the front cover of his last book, Albrecht Dürer and me, but this was the first time I had a chance to design a poetry layout. I also designed the cover, which makes it all the more exciting—I’m just ecstatic with the result.

The poem titles are set in Mr Eaves Sans, while the body font is Cardea OTCE. The beautiful cover photograph, featuring the titular Second Narrows Bridge, was taken by Margery Patrick Zieroth.

the bridge from day to night, by David Zieroth. Harbour Publishing, 2018. 6 × 9 inches, 80 pages, $18.95.


Last but not least is Greg Gilhooly’s memoir of overcoming sexual abuse, I Am Nobody, which I typeset. In the time of #MeToo, it is important to remember that men can also be victims of abuse.

The text was designed by Nayeli Jimenez, using Calibre for the titles and Register for the body. The dust jacket was designed by Will Brown.

I am Nobody: Confronting the Sexually Abusive Coach Who Stole my Life, by Greg Gilhooly. Greystone Books, 2018. 6 × 9 inches, 340 pages, $18.95.


Recommended Book:

Stories of Your Life and Others

by Ted Chiang

The title story of this book is the basis for Arrival, which was nominated for Best Picture at the 2017 Oscars. Other stories highlight physics, neuroscience, mathematics, sociology, and even religion. It is hard to choose a favourite story, but one that has stayed with me, "Seventy-Two Letters," discusses the advancing technology of golems and its applications to manufacturing, biology and the future of humanity.

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