Archive for the ‘Stationery & Pens’ Category

Christian Louboutin: Designer, Artist, Magician.

Thursday, 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

Big Ideas? Big Books.

Thursday, July 16th, 2009

Moleskine recently launched the Folio Collection, a new series of large format notebooks, sketchbooks and accordion portfolios. Aimed at the fine art and design communities, the line simply scales up the classic  hardcover Moleskine to either the standard A4 format (8.25″ x 11.75″) or to an impressive A3 format (11.75″ x 16.5″). Both sizes feature the traditional rounded corners, back pocket, elastic closure, and internal bookmark of the familiar pocket and A5 lines and the paper used in all Folio Collection products is FSC (Forest Stewardship Council)-certified.

Moleskine Folio Collection Notebooks
? c.1890: Traditional / 2009: Moda & Moda


Plain Notebook: 176 pages, available in A4 and A3 format
Ruled Notebook: 176 pages, available in A4 format only
Grid Notebook: 176 pages, available in A4 format only
Sketchbook: 96 large pages in high quality heavy paper, available in A4 and A3 format


Watercolour Album: 60 pages, heavy paper, 200 gsm, cold pressed, available in A4 and A3 format


Portfolio: six accordion-style, available in A4 and A3 formats

A4 format in all styles: $39.95
A3 format in all styles: $49.95


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 e-mail us at:

The Bane of Antiquarian Booksellers Everywhere (Highlighters That Is, Not Conceptual Artists with Goofy Want Lists)

Wednesday, April 15th, 2009


Stabilo Boss Original Highlighter
? 1971: Dr. Hans-Hoachim Hofmann

The introduction of the Stabilo Boss highlighter in 1972 represented the invention of an entirely new product category. The Boss was the first overwriting highlighter, created to exploit the properties of what were, at the time, newly developed fluorescent inks. Stabilo claims that the distinctive oblong shape, which will not roll off a desk, was the result of an anonymous industrial designer having squashed a conical clay prototype in frustration. Well, perhaps. What is undoubtedly true is that Schwan-Stabilo recently had their German trademark on the product’s unique shape upheld in a case against the Beifa Group, a Chinese look-alike manufacturer. As with Kenji Ekuan’s iconic Soya-sauce bottle for Kikkoman, the form of the Boss is synonymous with the brand.

Stabilo Boss Highlighter, Blue, Green, Yellow, Orange, Red or Pink: $1.99

And now a more Swipe-o-centric note about highlighters:

Swipe alumni and Canadian art ortus astrum Derek Sullivan has, for several years, collected used copies of one specific college English Lit. text: Gulliver’s Travels. In the process, Sullivan has compiled an informal typology of idiosyncratic highlighting and marginalia, with the patterns of congruity and variation, both academic and personal, standing in for the anonymous reader. How (or if) this material will ever become art remains to be seen. Derek’s work is also the subject of a newly published catalogue, We May Be Standing on the Shoulders of Giants but Some of Us Are Looking at the Stars, which documents a solo exhibition at the Southern Alberta Art Gallery in Lethbridge last spring. Beautifully designed by the ubiquitous The Office of Gilbert Li, the catalogue does surprising justice to Derek’s unassuming oeuvre. (2009: Southern Alberta Art Gallery; ISBN 9781894699426)



We May Be Standing on the Shoulders of Giants but Some of Us Are
Looking at the Stars

2009: Derek Sullivan & Pamela Meredith cdnmapleleaf



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 e-mail us at:

Greetings, Earthling

Thursday, March 5th, 2009

Greeting cards are among the last examples of formulaic civility that remain in widespread use. Noting the recent explosion of interest in handmade objects (twenty-something knitters on the TTC and the whole Etsy universe) we at Swipe see a desire to revive traditional cultural forms and modes of sentimental expression. And we like it! We offer three categories of greeting cards here at Swipe: letterpress-printed cards by small manufacturers, where possible; note cards with designs by graphic designers represented in the books we sell; and relatively inexpensive offset-printed cards, locally designed and manufactured.


Hello Lucky Letterpress Cards (e.g. I’m Sorry / Jackass)

? 2003: Eunice Moyle

The most recognizable of the letterpress producers we carry, Hello Lucky was founded in San Francisco in 2003 by sisters Eunice and Sabrina Moyle, offering custom social stationery printed on a vintage Vandercook (though one imagines that most of their production is now job printed). Regardless, H.L.’s designs and concepts are the best we’ve seen, incorporating vintage cuts and digital revival wood type in a completely fresh and clever way.

Snow & Graham Letterpress Cards (e.g. Congratulations / Robin)

? 1998: Amy Graham Stigler

One of the first in the market and still among the most successful of the new American letterpress card manufacturers, Snow and Graham of Chicago (founded in 1998), produces smaller unique cards in a readily identifiable fussy but kinda’ sweet style, often featuring patterns assembled from typographic ornaments.

Hello Lucky Letterpress Card with Envelope: $5.95
Snow & Graham Single Letterpress Card with Envelope: $4.95
Snow & Graham Box of Six Note Cards and Envelopes: $15.95


Sweetbeets Letterpress Cards (e.g. Cityscape)

? 2007: Lisa Zuraw cdnmapleleaf

Now, this is the real deal: a designer in Hamilton, Ontario hand-printing on an antique press on 100% post-consumer recycled stock. Local, handmade and super cute.

Sweetbeets Letterpress Occasion Card with Envelope: $5.50
Sweetbeets Letterpress Notecard with Envelope: $3.95


Charley Harper Notecards

? c.1970: Charley Harper

We offer inexpensive blank notecards with Charley Harper’s iconic wildlife illustrations available as sets or individual cards.

David A. Carter Pop Up Note Cards

? 2006: David A. Carter (warning: this site is rated :o for total hokiness)

Delightful blank notecards from abstract pop-up master David A. Carter (of One Black Spot fame) available as sets or individual cards.

Alexander Girard Notecards

? c.1972: Alexander Girard

Originally created in the early 70’s for the Herman Miller™ Environment Enrichment Panel program related to the Action office system, these lovely folk-art-inspired images now grace inexpensive blank notecards.

Charley Harper Single Notecard with Envelope: $2.95
Charley Harper Box of 20 Notecards
and Envelopes: $18.95
(Wave, Curlycue, Clicker, Blossoms, Dots & Spots, or Paisley)
David A. Carter Single Notecard with Envelope: $2.95
David A. Carter Box of 8 Notecards
and Envelopes: $21.95
(Very Long Hello, Beguiled by the Wild, or Winging It)
Alexander Girard Single Notecard with Envelope: $2.95
Alexander Girard Box of 20 Notecards and Envelopes: $18.95


Kate and Birdie Occasion Cards

? 2008: Gloria Wall cdnmapleleaf

Founded by lead designer Gloria Wall in Winnipeg in 2007, Kate and Birdie offers carefully designed, offset-printed greeting cards. With the volumes produced by the large American letterpress greeting card outfits, claims that their cards are “hand printed” are basically meaningless. While they are offset, at least Kate and Birdie cards are locally printed on 100% recycled stock with renewable power.

Kate and Birdie Single Occasion Card with Envelope: $4.50
Kate and Birdie 8 Boxed Cards and Envelopes: $15.95


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 e-mail us at:

Is There Anything So Full of Promise as a Blank Sheet of Paper?

Wednesday, February 25th, 2009

While it’s something of a cliché to pose questions like “Is paper obsolete?” or “Is letter writing a dying art?”, friend of the store Sheree-Lee Olson does, to her credit, acknowledge in her column in this Saturday’s Globe and Mail that paper and electronic media serve different purposes and can co-exist peacefully. And, despite dire predictions, at Swipe at least, there is today more demand for high quality, workaday paper products than at any time in the past 20 years. Between Moleskine, Rhodia, Nava and Whitelines, we have scratchpads, steno pads, cahiers and notebooks to suit just about any need.


Rhodia Pads

? 1932: Henri & Robert Verilhac

Equally at home in a school bag or the breast pocket of an Armani jacket, Rhodia is the orange notebook from France with the cult following. In sizes ranging from 3″ x 4″ to full A4 (12″ x 8″) Rhodia pads feature quality paper printed with a 5 x 5 grid and an innovative scored front cover that folds neatly behind the pad while writing

Whitelines Pads and Notebooks

? 2006: Olof Hansson

An innovative and patented note paper system from Sweden, Whitelines, as the name implies, offers notebooks, pads and cahiers, in “A” sizes, with white lines instead of black or blue. The lines drop out of a very pale grey printed background such that text and drawings are not obscured by the lines on which they sit. The toned background also reduces eyestrain and allows for clear photocopies, with the faint lines fading out when scanned or faxed.

Rhodia Pads: $1.60 to $8.50
Whitelines Pads and Notebooks: $2.95 to $22.50

Moleskine Notebooks

? c.1890: Traditional / 2000: Moda & Moda

What haven’t you already heard about Moleskines? Blah blah Bruce Chatwin, blah blah Hemingway, blah blah Matisse. In truth, the last quality French manufacturer ceased production in 1986, with Italian stationer Moda & Moda reviving the product a decade later based solely on the description in Chatwin’s unaccountably influential Songlines. Overstated history aside, what is actually appealing about the line is the range of interior formats available, from blank, grid and lined note paper, to heavy sketch and watercolour paper, to musical staff, diaries and even storyboard layouts. As an illustration we’ve linked to Ross Lovegrove’s contribution to Moleskine’s Detour project in support of non-profit literacy foundation lettera27.

For most interior formats: small $15.95, large $23.95


Nava Notebooks: One Year Of White

? 2007: Alessandro Esteri

So typical of Nava (and, more broadly, of Italian design) this gorgeous little group of notebooks is as much a conceptual piece as a practical object. Which is not to say that it is not perfect for sketching, doodling, list-making, and jotting. A page a day, a book a month, and 12 books a year. If you’re into ordering your world sequentially, the punched holes on the fore-edge of each book will satisfy the urge: one hole, January; two holes, February; three, March; and so on through December. Oh, and the dots look cool even if you’ve got a less linear personality

Nava Notepad: Minerva

? 1984: Norbert Linke

In 1984 Norbert Linke created Minerva, a pretty little pocket notepad with a matchbook folded cover that quickly became a cult object in Europe and the UK

Nava Saffiano Minerva Notebook Holder

? 2008: Nava Design & Beat Box

Nava and Beat Box now offer a fine leather cover to luxe up the modest Minerva. It comes with a cute mini pen designed by the extremely talented but famously grumpy Enzo Mari (which is available separately for $14.95 as a ballpen or pencil).

Nava Notebooks: One Year Of White: $47.95 the set
Nava Notepad: Minerva: $3.25
Nava Saffiano Minerva Notebook Holder in black or orange: $94.95


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 e-mail us at: