Gracious

Designed the layout with papercut illustration by Nikki McClure, and designed the red "chop" logo for Jay T.

How time flies. Best of intentions, but busy, always busy. Blogging never seems to wind up at the top of my priority list. However, there are some favorite projects I’d like to share. I am just going to give you a visual sampling and catch up that way.

I did not design this, but printed and foilstamped it.

The spring has been a bit disappointing around here. The garden is really mixed. Some things prosper, others might as well get torn out of the ground. The weeds seem to be doing VERY well. But I still consider myself very fortunate to have my little bit of ground to work, and appreciate the general fertility of this planet which through all the climate disruptions, pollution, and other factors that make it appear that humans want the extinction of species more than anything, it perseveres… it does everything it possibly can, because it seems it cannot do otherwise.

Designed and printed this for my good friend Gregory Smith, who designed and built the beautiful Dohm Sayre Bindery here at the press.

I wish we could say the same about humanity.
With all we know about ourselves, we can’t seem to behave thoughtfully on a global scale. My facebook status a few weeks ago said “Aggregate behavior tends toward the irresponsible.” I do believe that. Each in our own little way, take a little more than we return to the system (as Americans we can hardly do otherwise), and this all adds up to one gigantic problem of scale. And since it appears that part of human nature involves taking for yourself what you fear others will take in your stead, it takes an extraordinary human emotional intelligence to relinquish the many, many conveniences and easy benefits our global culture has to offer. When corporations are falling over themselves to offer you every imaginable delicacy, convenience, style variation, and fetish object (like my iPhone)… when the system is geared to siphoning money off of every transaction, no wonder it relentlessly encourages us to spend, spend, spend. Prop this thing up. Inflate the bubble.

A fun project for my favorite coffee roaster... with an illustration I made from a classic scene from Spinal Tap.

I just love how we were recently schooled on the nature of the housing “bubble” and admonished that we did not take our lesson from the tech “bubble”, when the whole economy IS a bubble, and the prosperity of everyone, it would seem, depends upon every one of us expelling as much hot air into it as possible, even if we must borrow a king’s ransom to do so. Truly, if we all trimmed ourselves back to the absolute essentials, the whole thing would explode and come crashing down like the Hindenburg that it is. Think of all the people whose livelihoods depend upon our common agreement to  pursue extravagance. That is, almost every one of us. Letterpress is certainly an extravagance.

Kellie drew this lovely bee herself, and I worked it into a logo. She is a friend from elementary school, and my beekeeping bud and helper.
Just one piece of a large portfolio of wedding pieces for a wonderful customer. I love my customers!

It just makes me want to be thoughtful about what we really, truly need. I know this is a hackneyed sentiment at this point… even consumer culture has fetishized these notions and printed them stylishly on t-shirts and notepads and calendars that fly off the shelves, enriching someone. Yet, the question remains. It is irreducible. What do we really, truly need? If our communities were intact and observed the sort of interdependence that is natural to our species… if we took care of each other, healed each other, fed each other, fixed each other’s wheelbarrows, played with each other, and legislated the fact of our importance to each other, we would need very little else.

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Owner, designer, printer at an historic letterpress printshop

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