Hartman Design Studio Inc.

Redgees Legacy Award Winner

Independent – Alberta/NWT



The brief was to design a retrospective book that would showcase the artist Garry Newton’s entire body of work taking into account his process, materials, approach, breadth of work, personality and idiosyncrasies. The book would represent the exhibition, provide a document for National Archives and create a piece that could provide insight into this artist in a tangible, accessible and engaging manner.

The solution was to embrace and support many of the artist’s bookmaking and printmaking nuances. Starting with the notion of a limited edition set of books (500), like a set of prints – each individually hand-numbered.

To support the artist’s details in typography and process, as seen in his books, a traditional looking AES word processor font was chosen for titling and captions. As with any word processor, certain characters have particular attributes – an ‘R” may sit slightly higher, an ‘A’ may shift down, an ‘in” might always appear tight. For this book, a list of nuances of characters was devised and stringently adhered to in both titles and captions. Titles had the additional appearance of the rubber stamps the artist often used with the waffling of ink from brown to dark blue to brown.

Classic serif typography was used for the body copy and formally set in a traditional looking book grid. This addressed the dignified nature of the work and was paired with the quirky looking captions to highlight Garry’s humour.

Other structural solutions used traditional perfect binding combined with high quality elements and strong attention to craft. A toothy printmaking style of paper was chosen. Ivory for the main image pages was akin to paper Garry often used and a companion white was chosen for the text pages. Four gate folds help to provide larger real estate space for select images in order to showcase the detail of the work. In one case, the act of opening the gatefold also opened the image of one of Gary’s hallmark books.



An extensive ceramics exhibition featuring works by 28 artists from across Canada ranging from vessels to installations. The exhibition demonstrated the excellence and unique character of Canada’s participation in ceramics.

The exhibition curators assembled a representative group of practitioners from across Canada. Working in a wide range of styles and techniques, they exemplify the challenging, diverse and vibrant field of contemporary ceramics. Long-renowned senior artists complement those younger and less-well known; potters working within time-honoured constraints associated with utilitarian vessels, wheel-throwing and atmospheric firing contrast with those deploying conceptual, sculptural or pictorial strategies. Clearly, the field of contemporary ceramics is complex.

Sorting through this diversity and creating pace required a certain kind of mapping. And each artist – rightfully so – required their own space. The cover diecut window provided a glimpse of this diversity. The first page a mosaic with each artist’s work represented multiple time. This collage was then distilled down to create a navigation tool – or contents page – to help guide the reader through the book.

And like most hand-crafted pieces of ceramic, a signature embellishes the bottom and pays tribute to it’s origin. The book did the same.



“Once Upon a Pond”

The objective was to design an art catalogue to document/showcase the exhibition “Once Upon a Pond… Pond Hockey in the Era of Global Warming”. Four contemporary artists were invited to develop work that discussed pond hockey in Canada and the effects of global warming on this sport. Continually warmer climates are effecting the sustainability of outdoor ponds and as a result this popular sport is diminishing, and in some cases, becoming obsolete. The people that play and watch this sport are loosing a sense of community. They are no longer congregating and interacting around a sport event that was/is so fundamentally Canadian.

The strategy considered several aspects of the exhibition and work: the subject of global warming and it’s effects on the sport of pond hockey and community; the need to give the local artists, the essays and the individual ‘invited’ artists their own ‘space’ within the book; all the while creating a holistic piece that would allow the reader to feel that the book was an extension of the show. It needed to showcase the artist’s work without overshadowing but still allow the reader to feel like they were taking a piece of the show away with them. Making the show accessible through the structure, feel, pace, sequence and contents.

An angled, stepped book was conceived and created. Executed in white, the piece mimics the look of broken chunks of frozen ice. Skate marks criss-cross the cover with glints of sunlight reflected by the clear foil. A shiny silver foiled spine further supports the idea of a skate blade.

On the inside, a solid hit of truly Canadian red is followed by a snow-covered translucent sheet partially obscuring the title below – reminiscent of the painted markings below the surface of hockey ice.

Typography headers both on the cover and throughout the book are sliced like skate marks cutting through the letterforms. Blocks of body copy work with the angles of each section. Small page icons support image captions.

The sections or “chunks” are bound into one book. The four invited artists each have their own section. The essays, local artists works and other relevant info are sectioned off as well. This play between connect and disconnect support the message of community trying to stay together while slowly becoming fragmented. This compartmentalization also serves to pace the book giving the reader tangible sections to digest.

The invited artist’s works were tactile, textured, sewn or cut, transparent or opaque. The book was designed to be a natural extension of the artist’s works with a common “feeling” coming from the books materials and structure. Although beautiful as an object, the book was created on a tight budget. Old cutting techniques were employed to create the sections. Discontinued paper was sourced and sections were carefully planned to maximize paper. In support of the environmental impact component, we chose an




Laura Vickerson’s exhibition Retrouver – which means “to find again” or “rediscover” – represents over a decade of diverse works. Visceral beauty and delicate decoration are central strands in the exhibition. Textiles, tacticity, texture, and hand labor/sewing are the main “threads” pulled from Vickerson’s work to create a delicate hand-crafted book that feels like a natural extension of the exhibition for which it was designed. An intricate sewing pattern from the artists’ work is diecut into the cover. The books were sewn one at a time on an old sewing machine and each book hand stuffed into a cheesecloth bag to be discovered and rediscovered. These hand crafted elements support the artist’s conceptual beliefs by engaging labor intensive initiatives.

While this book had to be archival, paper chosen for this piece had 30% Post Consumer Fibre and was made with 100% renewable Green energy. It was printed at a shop that is environmentally conscious and uses vegetable based inks. Textile components are recyclable and reusable and no extra techniques that hindered it’s recyclability were incorporated. This piece was designed to be both archival and memorable. This was not a throw-away piece.



Vault Photomag

This limited edition, themed magazine pays homage to a curated group of photographers who’s work stood out amongst the many. The challenge presented to the photographers was that the work was non-commercial, pushed the boundaries of the craft and somehow spoke to the theme of “Clarity and Confusion”.

The theme became the common thread between the photographers work and the design. A traditional masthead was not only cast in reverse (like the lens of a camera) but barely graced the front. Instead wrapping itself around the back in defiance.

A clear acetate cover allowed the first page to show through so what was second page became cover. Or did it. Typography, structure and grid mimicked the “V” while constantly interaction with image and essays.

Only two ads – designed to theme – were featured keeping the book largely in the realm of coffee table book… or should we say coffee table magazine.

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