Judith Poirier: Type in Multiple Dimensions

By Marlene Chan

Judith Poirier has been selected as one of three judges for the upcoming competition of the Alcuin Society for Excellence in Book Design in Canada to be held in March 2017 for books published in 2016. She will deliver a public lecture in Vancouver about her work and working process, ‘Type in Multiple Dimensions’, on March 16th.


Judith began teaching book design at UQAM (Université du Québec à Montréal) in 2001, introducing students to the multifaceted history of the book, its design and printing as well as the future of the book. The approach is at once artisanal and contemporary, even futuristic. She views each project as an experiment as she does her own art practice.

Judith’s own method of animating typography involves letterpress printing directly on 35mm film stock, producing a printed publication and a film animation companion piece. She won her first Alcuin Award for the publication component of such a work, Dialogue, in 2010. That same year, the book was awarded a Certificate for Typographic Excellence by the Type Directors Club (TDC) New York. In 2011 the book was short listed in the prestigious international book design competition held annually in Leipzig. The short film, Dialogue, was no less successful and screened at film festivals in London (UK), Melbourne, Ottawa and Montreal. Since then, among the many awards she has received personally for her own work, she continues to facilitate and collaborate on the publication of student works that have incidentally won Alcuin Awards in 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014 through UQAM École de design and La chose imprimée as publishers. Most recently, Judith was on a one year sabbatical in New Zealand (2015) where she initiated letterpress workshops and recently spent a one-week printing residency at the Gutenburg Museum in Mainz, Germany (2016) for her next film. (Her films led her to print in several famous print shops like the Hamilton Wood Type & printing museum in WI, the Center for Book and Paper Arts in Chicago and The Hatch Show Print in Nashville).

Thanks in large part to Judith and her colleagues, the legacy of the UQAM program is now well established and seminal to the career aspirations of students in graphic design and future creation and research about the book and book design.

For more information: