Meet the Makers: Graphic Designers Vincent Perez and Benjamin Nelson

By Tianna Edwards

After sitting down with local graphic designers Vincent Perez (Everlovin’ Press) and Benjamin Nelson (Benjamin Nelson Design), it’s easy to see why such talented individuals chose Kingston to grow their businesses. They are laid back, kind and warm artists who quickly feel like friends after a 30 minute chat; they embody the Kingston charm. Find out why these creatives call the Limestone City home.

Vincent Perez – Everlovin’ Press
Photo by Scott Adamson
Photo by Scott Adamson

I meet Vincent Perez at a Farm to Fashion Show hosted by Fete Events. He suggested this shindig as an alternative to coffee (Fete is a client of his) and it’s the perfect landscape for our interview – clinking wine glasses, loud chatter and all. The aesthetically ­pleasing space is fitting considering Perez’s work as a designer.

Originally from Kitchener, Waterloo, Perez came to Kingston to study – and like many – ended up falling in with the community, “I’ve certainly taken breaks from Kingston. I’ve studied in Halifax, but I came back here because I felt there was a lot of support here for me,” says Perez. Adding, “I don’t take it for granted that there’s something special about this city. I felt like it was very easy to integrate and get to know folks.”

Perez started his Letter Press business, Everlovin’ Press, in Kingston about 7 years ago but explains that his clients are not strictly local. “A lot of my work is for clients outside of Kingston, so Kingston is a base which provides affordable rent, a great location in terms of being in between larger cities, Ottawa, Montreal, Toronto – where a lot of my clients are located.”

So, why letterpress, you might ask? The medium is quite unique and very retro. Perez explains with a few reasons, “Printing has arrived at sort of this perfect grail that it’s always been pursuing, so digital offset printing is perfectly regular, wonderfully detailed – all of this stuff. And I think we’re used to that now and that’s great but I think there’s a bit of a backlash and we’re returning to something like an admiration for human error.”

He adds that besides the satisfaction he gets from following a project through from start to finish, he also enjoys the physical demand in a world where so many are sedentary, “It’s also really nice to just sort of sweat and at the end of the day be physically exhausted instead of just mentally exhausted. I didn’t have that in my life previously and I’ve seen that with colleagues, too, that were doing things that were computer driven and have turned to things that are hand done.”

Check out Perez’s work at

Benjamin Nelson

I meet Benjamin Nelson at the Toucan for a pint and find him nestled in a corner booth with a special gift for me – a person he’s never met before – a bright orange and gold, chevron­printed journal. “Are you the sweetest person?” I ask in a surprised (very high-­pitched) voice. “Not really,” he contests.

Nelson is not only a designer, he’s half of the band PS I Love You, and has travelled the world to places like Tokyo on tour, yet chooses Kingston as his base. “I think probably because I am very much a homebody. I like being home and I like being in a comfortable space. It was a good community and a good group of people that I was involved with in terms of music and art,” says Nelson. And he’s involved with a lot of artists in the community, including Perez and Julian of Ironclad.

Nelson also designs for Paper Bag Records which is something he always imagined himself doing, “When I was starting out doing posters when I was 23, in the back of my mind I knew I wanted to work for a record label and be the main designer and then last year I was like ‘you’re doing that now!’ and it felt kind of good.” Nelson prides himself on his ability to reference nostalgia in his work and emulate old design.

When he was young, he was most inspired by iconic 90s branding like the Ghostbusters and the Blue Jays, “the Blue Jays’ logo is the best logo with the best colour combination,” he says. Overall Nelson just loves what he does, “It’s rewarding when you can see something from the idea in your brain printed on paper and bound. Seeing it from beginning to end is extremely satisfying.”

Check out Nelson’s work at