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Andrew Steeves (CA)

Smoke Proofs - Essays on Literary Publishing, Printing, and Typography

Smoke Proofs - Essays on Literary Publishing, Printing, and Typography

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Why do we accept shoddy books? This is the question at the heart of Smoke Proofs, a collection of six essays and one interview which takes a frank look at the state of the art of literary publishing, printing and book design in Canada. Ranging from the philosophical and the historical to the nuts and bolts of making books and getting them to market, Smoke Proofs argues for an approach to trade publishing which returns to its printerly roots, one in which the characteristics of various tools and techniques are considered alongside the broader implications of their use in the culture. Whether he’s discussing ebooks, the de-professionalization of typography, the design of poetry books, the fetish for colour pictures on book covers, or our complicated relationship with the notion of ‘beauty’, Steeves continually points the reader back to his or her own responsibility for the preservation and use of that amazing, wily and robust cultural tool–the book.

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Andrew Steeves is a writer, editor, typographer, letterpress printer and publisher, and the co-founder (with Gary Dunfield) of Gaspereau Press. He has won over 50 citations for excellence in Canadian book design and received the 2021 Lieutenant Governor’s Masterworks Arts Award with Alexander MacLeod for their collaboration on the letterpress book Lagomorph.

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