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Pie Tree Press & Type Foundry

Jim Rimmer (1934-2010) was a keystone in the letterpress and private press scene that has flourished in Vancouver since the 1980s. Trained as a commercial compositor in the 1950s, his natural artistic talents and mechanical skills led him to a career as a graphic artist, printer, and perhaps most significantly, type designer and caster. He helped Gerald Giampa (Cobblestone Press) learn the basics of Monotype casting in the 1970s, and was type director of the Lanston Monotype Co. during its time in Vancouver. In addition to numerous digital fonts, Jim designed, engraved and cast more than half a dozen fonts in metal. In 2004 he completed the first engraving and casting of Carl Dair's Cartier face in metal. Digital versions of his types are available from P22.

A large archive of material from the last decade of Jim's work is held by the Special Collections Library at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, B.C. In the fall of 2006 an evening celebrating Jim's work and career - dubbed Rimmerfest - was organized at SFU. A DVD of the evening was issued by the university.

In addition to printing numerous broadsides and books for other publishers over the past 25 years (most notably Jim MacIntosh's Colophon Books), Jim's Pie Tree Press published limited editions four major books. All four featured his bold and distinctive multi-color linocuts, and the last two were set in types designed, cut and cast by Jim:

SHADOW RIVER. Selected Poems of Pauline Johnson. (1997, folio, 18 pp.) This book was initially conceived as a project for a class Jim was teaching at a local community college, but it proved too much for the students so Jim completed it on his own. The book was set by hand and printed on Arches Cover. It featured 10 tipped-in color linocuts. Jim bound the book in quarter split hide (suede) with printed papers over boards. A subsequent hors de commerce issue, identical to the first except for being completely reset in Centaur, was printed by Jim 1999, for distribution to family and friends.

A CHRISTMAS CAROL. (1998, 4to, 118 pp.) Set in Caslon on Jim's Monotype caster, with Goudy Lombardic Initials and Goudy Text for display. Printed on Mohawk Vellum in an edition of 100 numbered bound in quarter cloth with printed paper over boards; and 26 lettered copies half bound in leather. All binding was done by Jim.

LEAVES FROM THE PIE TREE. (2006, folio, 70 pp.) Part autobiography, part sample book, this perhaps is the work that best captures the spirit and breadth of Jim's endeavors. Set by hand in Quill, a face he designed, cut and cast. Printed on Arches Cover, with numerous illustrated pages, several printed on Japanese papers, and a photo-essay (printed offset) illustrating Jim's process for creating a new type in metal. Edition of 40 copies. (There also were 10 copies issued through P22, with the P22 device added to the title page, available only with the purchase of Jim's full digital font library.)

TOM SAWYER. (2009, folio.) Printed in Hannibal, a type created by Jim and used for the first time here, cast from matrices compatible for use on his Monotype caster. Printed on Arches Cover in an edition of 75 copies, of which 25 were for private distribution, quarter bound by Jim. Some copies may be available from Jim's family, who can be contacted at the number below.

Telephone: 604.522.5321
Address: 328 11th St, New Westminster, B.C. V3M 4E2

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Jim Rimmer, Illustrator
Brochure (9 x 12 inches) issued to art directors. Twelve original prints (linocut, wood engraving, metal engraving) each printed on a different paper, most in multiple colors, bound side-stab in printed mill board with cloth spine.

A Snippet From A Christmas Carol
Pie Tree Press Mouse Type Library
Eight-page (3.25 x 4.25 inches) extract plus one-color linocut frontis, stapled into a three-color printed wrap. Date unknown; probably 1980s.