Tomorrow Is Too Late - Toronto Hardcore Punk in the 1980s

Archived concert ticket stubs, posters, photographs and hours of interview content were collected to help produce a 320 page coffee table sized book documenting Toronto’s hardcore punk scene of the 1980s - Tomorrow Is Too Late (TOHC).


Co-authors of TOHC, Derek Emerson and Shawn Chirrey spent years collecting these momentos from fellow 80s punk scene members (pre-internet era, no less), with a goal of making "the yearbook [they] never had" to authentically capture the time and the culture. 


"There have been really great books that either do an oral history of a punk scene or they a great visual history, and we hadn't seen anybody really attempt to do one that combined both. Our vision was to have 50% visuals and 50% oral history text to capture other people's visions of what the punk scene was," explains Chirrey.


In addition to the nostalgia the book evokes from those involved in the 80s punk scene, TOHC has received numerous positive comments from the creative community about the design / layout (done by Goods & Services) and the unique print features executed by Flash. Several designers have admitted to have purchased the book primarily because of the design rather than being big fans of the music itself. 



Chirrey raves that "Goods and Services really pulled the whole book together, both the words and the visuals, and provided a lot of direction to help capture that spirit." The book hosts photos in black and white and only one typeface with one weight, which plays into the restrictions that were present at the time. For the second edition cover, Carey George (Creative Director at G&S) employed an interesting old school technique to intentionally avoid using photoshop and created a unique design as it would have to have been done in the 80s.


"We had the entire design team work as a collaborative project on the aesthetic of the book. We wanted something that had the spirit of the book and had the energy of that music at the time, but not necessarily be a fanzine in the copy." - Carrey George


As for the print process, both authors knew they wanted to work with Flash to take advantage of their high-quality production values and approach to difficult techniques such as the double-faced printing on the edge of the book. 


The extensive research in combination with the careful design and print considerations make TOHC an exceptionally comprehensive document of Toronto's hardcore punk scene in the 80s.


Officially released on October 13, 2018, TOHC's entire first print run of 1000 copies sold out within less than three weeks, and the next print of 500 copies are already half-way sold.




Copies are available online and in Toronto stores including Type, Rotate This, Sonic Boom and Soundscapes.


This Wednesday, January 23, attend a 'meet the authors' night where Derek Emerson, Shawn Chirrey and Taylor Toth (Goods & Services) discuss the book's design inspirations and processes.