‘Though an angel should write, / still ’tis devils must print.’— Thomas Moore (1779–1852)
The goal of the Devil’s Artisan is to foster an appreciation of the physical and social aspects of bookmaking in Canada. We reach out to a global audience of typographic and printing arts enthusiasts who appreciate the value of the printed word even in this digital age. We publish, for example, articles on historical subjects (Rous and Mann Limited; Louis Blake Duff), on type designers (Carl Dair; Jim Rimmer; Rod McDonald), on book design and designers (James Reaney; Laurie Lewis; Seth) and on wood engravers (Gerard Brender à Brandis; George A Walker; Jim Westergard; Alan Stein). We are eager to profile new and small book arts presses in different parts of Canada (Rabbittown Press, Fredericton, NB; Running the Goat Books, St John’s, NF; Frog Hollow Press, Victoria, BC) as well as experimental presses operated by a new generation of print enthusiasts (The Complaint Department; and Pas de chance).
DA holds itself to the highest standard of book design and production. The magazine is typeset in Rod McDonald's digitization of Carl Dair's classic Canadian typeface, Cartier, and is printed offset on a Heidelberg KORD by Tim Inkster at the printing office of the Porcupine’s Quill on the Main Street of Erin Village in Wellington County. The sheets are folded and sewn into signatures on an ancient Smyth National Book Sewing Machine. The text stock is acid-free Zephyr Antique laid, made to order by the Cascades Paper Company in St Jérôme, Québec.
Publishing with anachronistic printing technologies and retro-futuristic ideals, each issue also features a printed keepsake, loosely inserted, which illustrates some theme. Often these are collaborations with artists featured in the issue, and are frequently printed letterpress, by hand, on handmade paper supplied by Nancy Jacobi of the Japanese Paper Place.
A Brief History of The Devil's Artisan
The Devil’s Artisan was established in 1980 under the editorship of Paul Forage, William Rueter (University of Toronto Press) and Glenn Goluska, latterly of Coach House Press (Toronto) and print design consultant to Phyllis Lambert at the Centre for the Study of Architecture in Montreal. The magazine was founded ‘for the purpose of presenting to Canadian readers information on the craft of printing and bookmaking, on bibliographic and historic matters and on communicative, sociological and technical subjects related to printing in this country’.
The Porcupine’s Quill purchased the magazine in the spring of 1995 and has published two issues a year, spring and fall, since that time (Number 36).
The focus of the journal has broadened somewhat, since its inception, from an early technical interest in the craft of fine printing to its current role as ‘Canada’s Journal of the Printing Arts’. The magazine has, however, remained committed to its constituency—and hence is released in the spring at Bill Poole’s Wayzgoose festival of the Book Arts in Grimsby on the Niagara peninsula, and in the fall at the Ontario College of Art & Design Book Arts Show on McCaul Street in Toronto.
Get the Magazine
A one-year subscription to DA consists of two issues—one in May, the second in December. The cost is $27 for individuals and $33 for institutions, HST included. For subscribers outside Canada, the cost is $30 US. $36 US for institutions.
A downloadable subscription form in PDF format is available by clicking on the Subscribe link in the navigation menu.
The Devils Artisan now accepts subscription orders paid by Visa (only, we are not able to accept Mastercard or Amex) by voice phone at (519) 833-9158 or (preferably) fax at (519) 833-9845. Please include your name, VISA card number and expiry date on your faxed order. Please also include a voice telephone number or an e-mail address in case of unexpected trouble. Please do NOT send us credit card information via e-mail (it’s dangerous). If in doubt, e-mail publisher Tim Inkster. For story suggestions or other editorial concerns please e-mail editor Don McLeod.
The Devil’s Artisan is also now available on abebooks.com, where Mastercard payments are welcome, as well as Visa.
The Devil's Artisan is remarkable in Canadian publishing in that most of the physical production of our journal is completed in-house at the shop on the Main Street of Erin Village.
We print on a twenty-five inch Heidelberg KORD, typically onto acid-free Zephyr Antique laid. The sheets are then folded, and sewn into signatures on a 1907 model Smyth National Book Sewing machine.
To take a virtual tour of the pressroom, visit us at YouTube for a discussion of offset printing in general, and the operation of a Heidelberg KORD in particular. Other videos include Four Colour Printing, Smyth Sewing and Wood Engraving. Photographs of production machinery used on these pages were taken by Sandra Traversy on site at the printing office of the Porcupine's Quill, December 2008.
The Devil’s Artisan would like to acknowledge the generous financial support of the Canada Council for the Arts and the Ontario Arts Council.
‘The DA journal provides with every issue a set of articles providing quality information and insight into the world of the printing arts and those involved, both contemporary and historically. Not to ment ion the nice little freebies they often tuck in, like these dingbats bookmarks!’ — Richard Coxford, bookseller