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“…an auspicious start for the small press Rufus Books”
Times Literary Supplement (July 21, 2006)



rufus books is an independent small press publishing house based in Toronto, Canada, specialising in quality publications of poetry and short stories by writers from Canada, Ireland and Great Britain in both chapbook and full book formats. Affiliates of rufus books have also been established in Dublin and London with the intent to bring greater exposure and exchange of writing and of the craft of bookmaking from both sides “across the pond”.

Using the best papers and techniques that adhere to traditions of old as well as a view to the modern, transcendence of the word in its best possible expression into tangible book form is the focus – and celebration – of all rufus books publications. As such, the choice of artwork, graphic design, and printing is vital in the production of the unique limited edition chapbooks and full-length books created by rufus books.

Most recently, audio recordings by writers reading from their own works have become a supplementary component to the corpus of rufus books publications, an authentic and essential kind of transposition of the written word into the spoken and the listened-to in the voices of its very authors. We do this in the belief that the word gains by being heard, by being experienced in such another aesthetic form.

The logo was devised to represent Canada and its nearest transatlantic neighbours of Ireland and Great Britain, whose authors, artists, and crafters are represented in rufus books publications.

The maple leaf is an obvious choice for Canada for its immediate identification, vitality and rufus-red colouring, but a single leaf to represent England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales proved a more difficult dilemma. At the end of the day the oak leaf was chosen for its all-encompassing Celtic associations, particularly those of enlightenment and harmony (the Celtic word for oak being daur, or doorway between the heavens, earth, and the Otherworld), and permanence (rootedness). The overlapping of the maple and oak leaves thus symbolises the collaboration that brings the written word into tangible book form across these diverse, yet indelibly linked, landscapes.

The lettering of ‘rb’ is a version of that found in the Book of Kells, the ‘r’ having been reduced from the upper case ‘R’ found in the manuscript, with the stem of the ‘b’ being slightly extended to create a more contemporary form.

The inspiration for the design of the maple leaf, based on the woodcarving (right) by Péter Cserháti.
Photo: Gergely Cserháti