November 29th, 2013
Call it our New Black Friday Sale. Except instead of lasting just one day, it’s 35 days. From now until the end of December, we’re happy to finally be allowed to discount Mutewatch. Order over the phone, or come on by to try one on. Hurry, you only have 35 days.
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 $239.95
Mutewatch Svart by Jesper Nyrén: $329.95 $289.95
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
October 11th, 2013
If you’ve shopped at Swipe over the years, chances are you’ve seen one of these. You’ve likely got one or two hiding in your wallet, or lurking at the back of a drawer. Maybe you’re one of those hoarders (we know you’re out there) with a box full of them under the bed. Or a vaseful on the mantel. Or a sparkling array still attached to last year’s Christmas tree. (They come in red and green, as well as blue, silver and gold.) Wherever they are, we want ’em back.
Only a finite number of these shiny little suckers were ever made. And we are almost out. At the end of the leash. Scraping the bottom of the dog-tag barrel. So we’re putting out the call: round ’em up; hunt ’em down; flush those dog tags out of hiding and trade them in at either of our stores – Swipe Design at 401 Richmond, or Swipe DX at the Design Exchange.
They’re just like cash, only better, because they’ve got our name on them. They never expire. You’ll enjoy the sweet-tasting goodness of getting something for nothing, and we’ll get the chance to pass a bit of dog-tag love on to even more of our loyal customers. And if they happen to be attached to your dog? Well, bring Fido too.
October 5th, 2013
Please join us for a talk by award-winning illustrator and children’s author Frank Viva, followed by a book signing and light refreshments.
Frank will be doing a drawing demonstration for the little ones. (Children are welcome too …)
With its rich colour palette of greys, olives, ambers and cream (it’s printed using nine colours instead of the usual four), Young Frank, Architect is a gorgeous publication, an inspiration for budding architects and a lesson for those who think they’ve seen everything.
See our Facebook page for more details.
August 29th, 2013
The extraordinary Christian Louboutin exhibition at the Design Exchange continues for another two and a half weeks, winding up on September 15.
This career-spanning celebration showcases twenty years of the French shoe designer’s theatrical, fantasy-forging creations, from Cinderella-worthy filigree stilettos, to heeled and tasselled leather boots, to a wealth of footwear for men (no less coloured, textured or studded, but with fewer 9-inch heels in evidence…).
“Fetish”, a darkly sensual side gallery of limited-edition, almost unwearable (and certainly unwalkable) shoes featured alongside their erotic photographic counterparts, was created in collaboration with filmmaker David Lynch.
For a less sadomasochistic experience, you can watch Dita Von Teese perform a cheeky burlesque every 30 minutes in the exhibition’s main gallery – a nod to the influence of showgirls and music halls on Louboutin’s work. Okay, so she’s just a hologram – courtesy of technological illusion makers Musion – but if you blur your eyes just a touch, it’s really quite convincing.
In conjunction with the exhibition, Christian Louboutin has designed a range of exclusive memorabilia, available for purchase at Swipe DX for the duration of the show. Items include a luxuriously soft, cashmere-and-modal scarf, a gold-brass keyring and necklace featuring iconic shoe and purse charms, a selection of glam notebooks and note cards, Louboutin tattoos, and his Little Red Guide to Toronto (complete with fold-out map).
Also available for purchase is the impressive monograph Christian Louboutin. Published by Rizzoli, this 304-page volume boasts gold-edged pages, elaborate fold-out binding and a stiletto-wearing pop-up. With interviews, behind-the-scenes photographs and a full catalogue of Louboutin’s work, it offers a comprehensive overview of the designer’s life, artistic and personal journey, and the intriguing history of his signature red-soled shoes.
Christian Louboutin by Christian Louboutin (with photographs by Philippe Garcia and David Lynch): $160
Christian Louboutin Tattoo Sheet: $9.95
Christian Louboutin’s Little Red Guide to Toronto: $22.50
Christian Louboutin Kaleidoscope Notebook: $44.95
Christian Louboutin Loubi Print Notebook (with sticky notes): $44.95
Christian Louboutin Kraft Notebook: $54.95
Christian Louboutin Note Cards (set of 8): $59.95
Christian Louboutin 20th Anniversary Keychain (with shoe charms): $174.95
Christian Louboutin Sweet Charity Necklace (with purse charm): $284.95
Christian Louboutin Scarf: $274.95
May 22nd, 2013
Proclaiming its devotion to making “creative and delicate design stuff to share with people all over the world,” proudly Taiwanese brand Bone has also been making a name for itself, with an ever-expanding collection of quirky gadgets and accessories to help keep your technological life in order.
Take the Ninja Driver, a feisty little (red dot design award-winning) USB stick with a flexible one-piece design that’s both casing and cap – no extra bits to lose. Or their D.I.Y. options (we’ve got the Kung-Fu Master and the Queen’s Guard): self-assembling USB drives with Lego-like, action-figure appeal; perfect for wasting time at the office. Each $34.95.
Bone’s other “design stuff” includes a novel assortment of stands and cases for the now pretty much ubiquitous iPhone and iPad. You’ll find a selection of the best at Swipe, including the origami-inspired New Folding Stand and the streamlined silicone-and-aluminum-alloy Angles Stand Pro (fully adjustable from 0 to 135 degrees, for typing and viewing comfort), both for iPad. New Folding Stand $14.95, Angles Stand Pro $43.95.
Keep your tablet warm and cozy in the iPag: this cleanly styled carrying case has a concealed back pocket for stowing essentials like your charger or phone, and comes in Nylon (black/grey) or Microfiber (grey/green) versions. And for that precious phone? The Phone Scribble and Phone Cell Plus are innovative, silicone-embossed pouches: stylish, soft-lined, bump-proof cocoons with a handy drawstring and a little extra space for accessories. Nylon iPag $39.95, Microfiber iPag $49.95, Phone pouches $24.95 each.
Want more? Check out design darlings – winners of both the red dot and iF design awards – the Horn Stand Portable Amplifier and its bicycle-mountable counterpart, the Horn Bike Portable Amplifier. Each is crafted from a single piece of silicone, amplifying the iPhone’s sound by up to 13 decibels without any need for an external power source. It’s what happens when gramophone and silicone collide… $19.95–$24.95.
If all this cleverness is too much (or perhaps it’s not enough?), you can always keep things simple – and your earphone cords under control – with a Mummy Earphone Wrap. Dead cute. And just $5.95.
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 email@example.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com.
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?
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!