Posts in Letterpress
Are non-Western cultures conversations peppered with trite, colloquial sayings?
Like, in Kapushi, Zambia (population: 26 people per mile) — does one friend say to another (in Kaonde) upon receiving news that their baby was trampled by antelope, “Everything happens for a reason”?
These condensed and optimistic phrases are woven into our chats and unless you are a hermit or deaf, we are all guaranteed to hear at least one per day.
There once was a Frenchman that could, and would, eat large objects. He ate them bit by bit and was able to digest bicycles, televisions, shopping carts, chandeliers, and even an airplane. This took patience and, reportedly, gallons of mineral oil.
Bit by bit.
This wasn’t some sort of performance art piece — he never meant for it to be a metaphor.
But he ate a plane.
Such deliberateness! I like to imagine that he carefully considered each piece as he pried it off and swallowed it.
Mister Eat All The Things (Monsieur Mangetout) could be an inspiring mascot for an economic philosophy.
I’ve been told that a printing press in the shop is just as good as three acres and a cow. We’ll see. WE’LL SEE.
Anyway, I made this card for the president of The Society of Distributism because he has a fancy book signing coming up — 150 lucky people will receive the card. Oh, and a signed book.
Hello, January. I hate you. Not as much as February, but I still hate you. I tell my children that you are full of fun and possibilities but I am lying.
Perhaps this card captures my true feelings:
Winter has been creeping in like a gas leak and I am always pleasantly surprised to find myself awake in the morning.
“That’s nice.” I say, as I stretch and crawl off my sofa-bed. Never one to miss nuance, I wonder why I’m not in my own bed.
Good design sometimes requires getting into character – I’ve been dressing like a gypsy (not showering) for our latest Tanek project. A paper fortune teller is easier to mail than a crystal ball and some might argue – more accurate. Tanek will send 300 of these out to their dearest friends – I only hope they take the responsibility of predicting the future seriously:
It’s hard to put a price tag on joy and laughter, but we did: $10.
Actually, four cards for $10. This, and Jen not wearing a top, made our shoppers more giddy than usual.
The Zeichen Press booth was a beacon of laughter bobbing in the sea of wrist-warmers, nose-rings, and ironic Christmas sweaters.
I hid behind our card racks for two days and talked to Jen about important things like iron lungs and Santa Clause while our customers snort-laughed (my favorite kind of laugh). There was even a gal that was laughing so hard she had to stamp her foot on the floor. Those responses made me feel like this:
And I think Jen felt like this:
Finally, a man came up to us and told us all about human exoskeletons. (See blog post #390: Freak-Magnet) Eventually, he rode away on a unicorn.
What I guess I’m trying to say is that the No Coast Craft-O-Rama was, once again, awesome.
PS: No show would be complete without a little danger and ours came in the form of an icy, yet beautiful, drive home.
Jen and I were trying to enjoy the wholesome spirit of the annual Book Arts festival
when Winter walked into the party, tracked snow on the floor, didn’t laugh at my jokes, and clogged the toilet. I wasn’t surprised.
To keep up morale, I invented a pack-less backpack and inflatable underpants. For some reason, this reminded Jen to tell me my fortune. She made one of these:
and filled it with “fortunes.” But I don’t really think they were fortunes.
Oh, Jen! You’re such a kidder!
Listen, I could break out of this place if I had some sturdy cornhusks, one tablespoon of vaseline, two steel springs, and a puppy.
But do I really want to?
Jen is printing a card
in preparation for the MCBA Festival, not the Mutation Chinchilla Breeders Association—a real thing—but the Minnesota Center for Book Arts festival. It’s Saturday, November 19th and if you like celebrating books via buying book-like items (handmade paper, journals, our cards) you should totally go.
My contribution to the show is this lovely display signage I designed:
See you there!
Consider the following multi-purpose items:
• Airplane seat cushion —> flotation device
• Pop can —> pipe (for tobacco use only)
• Puppets —> mittens
• Pencil —> weapon
• Mr. Potato Head —> drug mule
• Van —> meth lab
• Goat —> wife
• Human skin —> lampshade, a la Ed Gein
• Ice pick —> lobotomy tool
• Human hair —> dress
The list goes on.
Sometimes an item is designed with a second purpose in mind (Mr. Potato Head) but not always. Congratulations to all the clever folk that breathed new life into an everyday object.
The Zeichen Press mail bags are full of requests for No Solicitors signs. Your requests have not fallen on deaf ears! (Except for you, Anonymous – I can put my own shoes on.)
Greeting cards don’t always fit into a category and that is okay; think of the card as that conversation piece in your living room:
This is a lot of build up for a new card.
Fine, here it is:
I know this is the second Zeichen Press card that references bacon wrapping.
Our U.K. distributor placed another large order and while Jen is printing her fingers to the bone, I am busy documenting important behind-the-scenes developments. The Zeichen Press ship sails on serene waters now that Jen and I have embraced our roles in this partnership.
Today, she stepped over me and made her way to the shop to print this:
That seems important but so does this:
I won’t try to fight it – and why should I?
My youngest sister
(why is she so angry all the time??) is getting married this weekend and I designed/Jen printed some invitations for the blessed event.
The event will be very celebrity-heavy. By “celebrity” I mean “family.” It will be full of family. You can crash the wedding if you want – but no pictures. Just kidding. Take pictures – I can’t stop you.