Litographs: Word-shaded art

Litographs

I first learned about Litographs at the 2013 Scotiabank Giller Light Bash. Their posters were part of the swag bags given to guests at the end of the night. There were a variety of options from Moby Dick to Alice in Wonderland, however, I was lucky enough to get my hands on the Pride and Prejudice one.

pride and prejudice posterIf you can’t figure out why one would get excited over a poster then you have never seen one of Litograph’s designs. To the left, you can see my poster inspired by the classic Jane Austen novel, Pride and Prejudice. It’s gorgeous, right? Not only is it gorgeous, it is made entirely out of words, which are completely legible! Every Litograph design emerges from the text of a book. They use the words from the book itself to illustrate the memorable characters and scenes we have all imagined when reading one of our favourite books.

Litographs specializes not just in posters, but will place the same design on tote bags and t-shirts (for both men and women). You can watch their video here, detailing how they make their t-shirts.  All of the Litograph products come with a choice or colour from black and white to green or purple, and they are all printed locally in Cambridge, MA.

Another great thing about Litographs is their choice in books. They don’t just go the classics and instead have a varied list of book options for every book lover out there. Their genres include American Lit, British Lit, Children’s, Epics, Essay Collections, Mystery, Nonfiction, Plays, Poetry, Sci-fi Fantasy, Science, Shakespeare, and Story Collections. Recently, Litographs has also just started a chain of literary tattoos, which you can opt in to be a part of. I am eagerly awaiting their actual temporary tattoo line.

Litographs wuthering heights toteSince I already have a poster, I have now been eyeing their Wuthering Heights tote design. It is quite whimsical with the view from the window.

However, Litographs is always coming up with new designs, and if you subscribe to their newsletter they will notify you every time a new design is available to purchase. Their most recent addition is that of the Time Traveler’s Wife, and it is giving Wuthering Heights a run for its money. I especially like Litographs time traveler's wife designit as a t-shirt.

You can browse their collection here and see for yourself the endless options. Litographs would definitely make a great present for any book lovers you know or it would also make a great gift for yourself. We all need a little spoiling now and then, and I definitely like the idea of art lovingly made from the words that have brought me joy. What could be better?

 

 

 

 

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Shaped with love: Book sculpture and art by BookBW

BookBW I have always loved the unique you-can-find-no-where-else products on Etsy, and one day when I was browsing through the different shops, trying out different searches, I came across the Etsy shop of Benjamin Wieler, a local Toronto artist who works with vintage books to produce works of art from origami shapes made from a book’s pages to framed pages that have been manipulated into beautiful conversation pieces to hang on the wall.

Last summer, I fell so in love with his creativity that I couldn’t help myself—I had to make an order. I ended up purchasing a combination of two things featuring my favourite book War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy.

 

bookbw art featuring a page from War and Peace with a heart surrounding the word loveThe first piece of art is an original paper collage using recycled paper from a vintage book, which in this case is from War and Peace. It is a black and white drawing of a heart that deliberately surrounds the word “love,” which is pulled from a major scene in the book. This one happens to be when Nikolai is musing on his love for Sonya after a confrontation with his mother, who wishes him to transfer his emotions elsewhere for the sake of a more profitable match (how dreadfully selfish of her, am I right?!). Frankly, I love Nikolai and Sonya, and despite knowing they don’t end up together, I still root for them. On that train of thought, Benjamin is very considerate of what scene you want for your piece of art. If, like me, you choose to have a custom made piece then he involves you in deciding what scene you would prefer to have permanently encapsulated in your frame. I absolutely love how it turned out, perfectly tailored to me and my book lover needs!

Image of books on a shelfThe other piece I purchased was not only for interest’s sake, but it was also a great way to make sure War and Peace wasn’t just thrown away with one page missing. Instead, I was able to use the book to its utmost potential and create a beautiful set of book art to display in my apartment. This beautiful addition was a book safe—and let me tell you, it is a lot nicer than those cheap fake plastic “book safes” you can purchase at Michaels or the Dollar
image of a book safe hiding a chocolate barStore. Benjamin literally and painstakingly cuts the pages out of the book to create a lovely little hiding place for whatever your heart desires! For me that would be the chocolate bar I want to keep hidden from my ravenous boyfriend when he comes to visit! Shh.

IMG_20140402_214638Now these were the only two literary-inspired pieces I bought, however, I was delighted to find a surprise waiting for me when my package was delivered. Delicately wrapped, I found a beautiful hanging ornament made by intricately folding book pages. Can you just imagine having a dozen of these beauties and decorating an entire Christmas tree with them or hanging them in your window?

If you find these works of art as beautiful as I do then you should check out Benjamin Wieler’s Etsy shop, featuring many great book art and sculpture pieces you can purchase, or feel free to contact him personally like I did and get something designed with just you in mind. He also has a Facebook page and a blog.