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The Many Faces of Glenn P.

Last August, Justin Young of Profis Communications, a close friend of George Yabu and Glenn Pushelberg, founders of the very chic international interior design firm Yabu Pushelberg, wanted to know if I’d be interested in creating some sort of unique gift for Glenn on his approaching significant birthday. I’d been aware of and fans of the team’s work since the late 80s, when I was a regular at Stilife, a club on Adelaide Street in Toronto they designed. ‘Til now, I had no idea the guys are romantic as well as business partners. After a round of discussion over drinks at the brand new Four Seasons Hotel (another YP project), we decided an affectionately satiric ABC book on Glenn’s personality would be just right. Here are a few pictures of the final product.

The amazing Don Taylor, a Toronto book binder, created a plate using my hand drawn typography for the embossed cover.

I came up with sketches based on text that George supplied. An unusually relaxed, easy approval stage followed with a few minor changes. As I moved on to final art, I left an inch of extra paper on the left hand side of each page so Don could sew and bind the original watercolour-on-paper pieces into this one-of-a-kind book.

After all these years, I’m still a wee bit uncomfortable with caricature, especially if I don’t know the person – and this book contained 26 of them! So it was with some mild trepidation I dropped off the art at Don Taylor’s studio (a day before deadline, thank you very much!). Anyhow, George presented the book to Glenn at a small party in Shanghai in late October (those boys get around) and  Glenn was reportedly very pleased and touched by the result. Hooray!

Thanks again to Justin Young and George Yabu for thinking of me for this delightful project. A very happy, belated birthday to the funny, exasperating, tender-hearted, multi-talented Glenn P., whom I now feel as though I know rather intimately, having worked on this extended love letter. You have a wonderfully sly, smart, adoring partner in George. Continued success and happiness to you both!