May 1st, 2013
Well, it’s finally starting to feel like spring, and we all know what that means:
No? Okay then, let’s try:
That’s right. In honour of the season and its renewing, motivating forces, we’ve decided to comb through our collection at the 401 Richmond store and reduce prices on a selection of products, books and magazines for pretty much all of the next month. It’s the inaugural Big Sale, and it’s aptly named, unlike our former annual Sidewalk Sale (which we were never actually allowed to have on the sidewalk).
Big Sale offerings include Bodoni’s mammoth Manual of Typography from Taschen;
$5 back issues of magazines and annuals such as Communication Arts, Archive and Print; a mixture of classic and contemporary products from Nava, Arzberg, Umbra, imm Living and Rosti; information-loaded digital weather-station clocks designed by Philippe Starck; past issues of the architecturally uplifting 2G Magazine (which has – rather sadly – just gone digital with the newest issue, so grab those printed copies while you can); and some elegant one-off pieces of silverware (because really, who says you need a table setting of four?).
We’ll be discounting these items, and more, right through to Sunday, May 26, when we’ll be open for the final day of Doors Open Toronto. (Another excellent reason to visit the 401 Richmond building, and Swipe in particular.)
To purchase any of the products or titles mentioned here, please visit Swipe at 401 Richmond Street West, call us toll-free at 1-800-56-swipe or email us at email@example.com.
April 26th, 2013
It’s an exciting time here at Swipe – not only is the glorious Communication Arts May/June 2013 Illustration Annual (#54) now available, but we’re proud to announce that it features the illustration work of our very own Lisa Vanin.
You may have noticed Lisa’s decorative paper birds flapping their dreamy wings in Swipe’s window display at 401 Richmond, or picked up one of her sweet bookmarks celebrating the store’s 25th anniversary – see below.
Well, her signature blend of flora, fauna and fable appealed so much to the Canadian Opera Company that they commissioned her to create the poster art for their GrimmFest performance festival, held in late 2012. The result, lush and fantastical, and a Grimm-worthy fairy tale in itself, can now be admired on the glossy pages of Communication Arts.
Packed with talent, the Illustration Annual showcases the very best illustration work of the past year, featuring both firmly established and new-to-the-scene illustrators.
So congratulations, Lisa! You’re in illustrious company.
You can view Lisa’s work at lisavanin.com, or purchase one of her enchanting zines, buttons or magnets in-store at Swipe.
Communication Arts May/June 2013
Illustration Annual (#54)
2013: Coyne & Blanchard, Inc.
To purchase any of the products or titles mentioned here, please visit our downtown Toronto locations, call us toll-free at 1-800-56-swipe or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
February 6th, 2013
It’s a chair! It’s a shelf! It’s… a Bookseat.
Inspired by Le Corbusier’s condemnation of the space-wasting nature of most furniture, and in response to the increase in – and increasing need for – multifunctional spaces in our living and working arenas, Toronto-based Fishtnk Studio created the Bookseat.
Combining more than 12 linear feet (3.6 m) of shelving space with a swoopily curving, generously sized seat, the Bookseat not only functions as storage unit and chair, but also as installation piece. Not altogether surprising, given that Bookseat designer Mani Mani is an interdisciplinarian whose work encompasses installation art, product design and architecture.
The locally sourced, hand-crafted bookcase was first launched at Toronto’s Interior Design Show (IDS) in 2008, winning acclaim both there and at Montreal’s International Design Show (SIDIM). Minor updates saw its relaunch at IDS 2012, and we’re thrilled to have one of these Canadian-made beauties available (for admiration or purchase) at Swipe DX, our pop-up store at the Design Exchange.
Number 22 from an edition of 100, and gorgeously crafted from Canadian Maple, it comes with (or without) a felt cushion in customizable colours. Ideal for any interior. Maybe even yours.
It’s the perfect place to curl up with a book. Or 163 of them. Because – from a quick glance at our shelves at Swipe – that’s how many we think you could fit.
Bookseat #22/100a: $1900 ($2200 with cushion)
January 9th, 2013
The other Swipe. Yes, you heard (read) right. Other.
It’s funny how often we’re asked if we have another location. “Don’t you have a store down on…?” Or, “I’m sure you have a place up in…?” “Nope,” we’ve always replied. “You must be thinking of someone else.”
Well, as of right now we’re (temporarily) changing our tune, and returning to our old stomping ground, with the opening of Swipe DX | Books + Objects, our brand-spanking-new pop-up boutique at the Design Exchange: Canada’s Design Museum. Think of it as a mini Swipe. Swipe condensed. A Swipe espresso.
The shiny little space at Swipe DX will follow the same ethos of good design and high quality that has always characterized Swipe, with a savvy lineup of products, gifts and curiosities, and a streamlined selection of books on advertising and design, urban issues, architecture and interior design.
It’s a taste of all the good stuff. And it’s popping up for the duration of The Happy Show: acclaimed graphic designer Stefan Sagmeister’s latest exhibition and the culmination of ten years of typographic investigation and happiness exploration (“via meditation, cognitive therapy, and mood-altering pharmaceuticals”), on view at the Design Exchange from January 9 to March 3. (Tickets available via the DX website.)
Swipe DX hours are: 12pm to 5pm, 7 days a week. You’ll find us at 234 Bay Street, Toronto. For further information, contact us via the details to the right.
It’s the perfect (other) downtown drop-in spot for birthday shopping, or essential-for-the-office shopping, or I-needed-to-do-something-interesting-on-my-lunch-break shopping, or I’ve-got-to-meet-yesterday’s-deadline shopping. Or just for a browse and a chat. Whatever your reason, we hope to see you there soon.
Oh, and Swipe Design | Books + Objects, the main store, at 401 Richmond? We’ll be business as usual, with bright new books and sparkly new products in this happy, happy, happy, happy, happy new year.
Twice the Swipe. What could be better?
December 18th, 2012
If you happen to have read our original post on the revolutionary Mutewatch, you’d know that this design-conscious timepiece is not only a sleekly styled, conversation-worthy accessory, but also a practical everyday wristwatch, complete with alarm, timer and USB-charging port. Plus a touchscreen interface and glowing, on-off LED display. And while we might trumpet about the perfect synchronicity of form and functionality, it can’t. Because it’s mute. Silent. Noise free. Even in alarm mode.
For the last six months it’s been available at Swipe – the only Mutewatch retailer in Canada – in Poppy Red and Charcoal Grey. Both bold, both beautiful.
So what’s next? (Drum roll.) Enter Svart. This special-edition black (svart) Mutewatch comes with geometric gold detailing and a kaleidoscopically inspired gift box. Created in collaboration with Swedish artist Jesper Nyrén, it draws on the connections between shape and content, nature and architecture: “I have started with thoughts about time and repetition,” explains Nyrén, producing a design “based on crystalline shapes that are repeated, mirrored and shift in different colours.” Just released, it’s gorgeous and ultimately giftable.
And if you’re pining for basic black, but ornamentation is not your thing, no need to worry. Another new addition, Pure Black, has also joined its red and grey siblings in the classic Mutewatch.
All four styles can be purchased at Swipe. Quantities are limited, so call or email to secure yours.
Mutewatch (Poppy Red, Charcoal Grey or Pure Black): $299.95
Mutewatch Svart by Jesper Nyrén: $329.95
To purchase any of the products or titles mentioned here, please visit our downtown Toronto location, call us toll-free at 1-800-56-swipe or email us at email@example.com.
November 29th, 2012
It’s not every year you turn 25. Especially when you’re an independent, physical bookstore in an increasingly virtual market. But this month we’re passing the quarter-century mark and we couldn’t be more honoured and excited. Without the loyalty of our customers, we couldn’t have reached this point, and we’re more than grateful for your ongoing interest and support.
Today’s Swipe – the light-filled, colourful space cocooned within the 401 Richmond art hub – is a far cry from the mail-order company that co-founders Tina Hadjidimitriou and David Michaelides opened in a Ryerson Avenue office in 1987. Back then, Tina visited creative agencies with catalogues in hand, took orders, and personally delivered the books. The pair opened their first retail store on Berkeley Street in 1989, with a focus squarely on advertising and design.
A successful bid to run the Design Exchange store in 1994 meant a five-and-a-half-year stint as Swipe/indx, with inventory expanding to include objects as well as books: examples of good design – classic, contemporary and notable – by both Canadian and international designers. These were the days of Swipe’s iconic-ad-mimicking campaign by Chiat/Day, under art director Gary Holme. “Our little store isn’t so much of a novelty anymore,” read the Swipe take on the famous “Think small” Volkswagen ad: “In fact, some people who visit our little boutique don’t even think 1,000 books on advertising and design is any big deal.”
Swipe (and its 1,000 books) moved to 477 Richmond Street West in early 2000, and finally relocated to the larger, current space at 401 Richmond Street West in 2008.
Today, Swipe still offers an impressive selection of books on advertising and design (from layout, to marketing, to typography, to textiles), and a diverse collection of design objects. Add to this our extensive range of publications on architecture, green design and urban issues, our high-quality gift items and our carefully chosen books and products for children, and you have one of the most eclectic and idea-packed stores in the city, if not the country. (Possibly the continent?)
So, happy birthday to us! We love what we do, and we’re thrilled to keep doing it. We’re already looking forward to turning 50, and with your continued support, we know it’s just a matter of time!
October 23rd, 2012
Starting this month, we’re honoured to be hosting the travelling Canada Sketches exhibition! Ever wish you could peek into the sketchbooks of leading Canadian design and architecture professionals? Earlier this year, IIDEX, the Toronto Society of Architects, and Milan architects Enrico Cleva and Sara Viarengo Cleva collaborated with Moleskine and sent out blank sketchbooks to firms across the country, inviting them to fill the pages with their ideas and inspirations.
Well, (thankfully) they complied. The sketchbooks were filled with a wealth of illustrations, some beautifully detailed and frame-worthy, then showcased at IIDEX’s International Pavilion. And now? They’re here, fresh from the show and for a limited time only in Swipe’s own humble display.
We’ve got sketches from the studios of Bruce Mau Design, Twenty + Change, Yabu Pushelberg, and Diamond Schmitt Architects, to name a few. They’re only staying until the end of November, so come have a glimpse at the creative workings of Canada’s design greats before they’re on the road again.
In the meantime, check out Azure’s post for more details.
July 14th, 2012
Okay, so filling a glass bottle with water and whacking a flip-top seal on it is hardly revolutionary, but the folks at tap water are determined to relegate plastic-bottled water to the annals of shame. Buying bottled water is an indulgence; it’s wasteful; chemicals inevitably leach into what you drink; producing the bottles and breaking them down again uses up a hefty chunk of natural resources; fewer than 20 percent of bottles are actually ever recycled; and it’s bad for the fish (not to mention everything that eats them, including us).
The tap water website has more information on all of this. And we have the tap water bottles. They’re simple, sleek and sturdy, with a clean design. They’re made from resilient but lightweight glass, with strong clasps and rubber seals. And unless you smash them (and you’d have to make an effort), they’re the ultimate in reusability. Available in three sizes – the large 1 litre, the medium 500 ml and the super-cute little 250 ml – they’re equally at home on your dinner table, your office desk or in your handbag or backpack.
So if you’re not already a convert to glass, come and check them out. And if you are, then maybe you can convert a friend. Or a co-worker. Or your parents.
tap water bottle, large (1 L / 32 oz): $19.95
tap water bottle, medium (500 ml / 17 oz): $14.95
tap water bottle, small (250 ml / 9 oz): $11.95
June 16th, 2012
In a period of angry frustration at his native Newfoundland – “… what cripples the vast majority of our culture and society here is the fact that we dont quite know what to be angry about. We never know where to throw the punch.” – and inspired by a
t-shirt f-ing the many icons of New York City, writer and performer Joel Thomas Hynes sat down to write his own.
The rest, as they say, is history: “… I got a little carried away. Suddenly I was writing a quilt. Maybe a sail for a boat. Maybe a manifesto.” His reworked piece wound up on stage, at a 2006 fundraiser for the Resource Centre for the Arts in St John’s. Recorded (but not broadcast) by the CBC – “And f*** the CBC for not having the nuts to put this on the radio,” reads the final line in the revised work – God Help Thee: A Manifesto first appeared in print, with an accompanying postscript, in the Fall 2008 issue of Riddle Fence, and later in Maisonneuve Magazine. Very little escapes Hynes’ expletive-laced wrath, which reads both as backlash against the idyllic quaintness of Newfoundland tourism campaigns, and ode to a place both home and heart.
In June 2011, Running the Goat Books and Broadsides published the manifesto in chapbook form in a limited edition of 375, which promptly sold out: hand typeset (an entertaining challenge, given the unprecedented number of “F”s and “k”s), letterpress printed, hand tinted and hand sewn.
Featuring impeccable wood engravings by Abigail Rorer, this perfectly packaged diatribe is now in its second printing and is available at Swipe for just $29.95 – plenty of f*** for your buck. (2011; 2nd printing 2012: Running the Goat Books and Broadsides; ISBN 9780986611322)
Word on the street is that the book’s profanity-decorated watermark-effect pages will soon be available in notebook form… We’ll keep you posted.
Oh, and if you like your swearing live, you can download an audio version of God Help Thee from the Rattling Books website.
June 9th, 2012
The botlfilter Personal Water Filter System, that is. Created by proudly Canadian company botl Inc., whose mission is to create environmentally responsible products and reduce plastic waste, the botlfilter system has joined the frontline of the tap-water revolution.
It’s small, simple, portable, and best of all, waste free. Just pop a filter bag inside the stainless steel case, drop it into your bottle of tap water, shake for 15 seconds, and drink happily away.
The filter bag (which is fully compostable and biodegradable) uses activated carbon from coconut shells to trap nasties such as chlorine, chloramines, lead, phenols, pesticides and detergents. Shaking the bottle speeds up the process. The filter case is made of North American stainless steel, with food-grade plastic caps. It’s dishwasher (or soap and water) safe, and infinitely reusable. On top of this, packaging is 100% recycled, recyclable and carbon neutral. The whole system meets NSF Standard 42 for chlorine, taste and odour reduction.
One filter bag produces up to a gallon (about 8 bottles) of tasty water: switch to a fresh bag every 1–3 days, depending how much water you guzzle.
One word to the wise: like most filters on the market, botlfilter is intended for use with municipal tap water, not to purify contaminated water or that from unknown sources. So resist the urge to fill your bottle from the nearest puddle (or even the nearest sparkling lake). Or if you must, don’t blame botl (or us) if you grow an extra head.
botlfilter Portable Water Filter Case, with 4 Filter Bags: $12.95
botlfilter Replacement Filter Bags, pack of 16: $12.95