Electric Pictures has solved branding
and marketing problems for hundreds
of clients. Here’s one example.
Electric Pictures has solved branding and marketing problems for hundreds of clients. Here’s one example.
Project: Parkland Art & Design Faculty Exhibition Promotion
Client: Parkland Art Gallery
Background: Every fall, Parkland College's art gallery hosts an annual exhibition showcasing the work of its art & design faculty. In 2009, I was asked to be the "featured artist" of the year. Since I was both the designer as well as one of the participating artists of the exhibition, I felt like I was my own client. So I took this opportunity to make the promotional poster project a personal project as well and submitted the poster itself to be hung in the gallery as an example of commercial art. Because Parkland Art Gallery is a teaching gallery, I would also showcase the process of creating this poster.
Process: The all-type poster concept was sketched out digitally using existing placeholder fonts available in our lab computers. Using the "sketch" as a reference, I hand set the elements using traditional wood type at Tribune Showprint in Idaville, Indiana, the oldest continuously running letterpress printer in the United States. Tribune printed a letterpress proof for me which was scanned into a computer. Pictures of the letters were refined and rearranged with digital tools. The revised layout was output to film at Weiskamp Screen Printing in Champaign, Illinois. Silkscreen masters were made from the films and I personally hand-printed 20 posters, laying down one ink at a time. Getting my hands dirty felt good as did the manual labor involved with mixing ink, registering the art and drawing down the ink. The resulting prints retained the flaws of the original wood type as well as the inherent flaws of the silkscreen process itself. Signed prints of the silkscreened posters were sold at the exhibition.
Lesson: Today, almost all graphic designers work with digital tools. By default, digital tools are designed to create clean art that is "flawless." Because it’s too easy to make everything perfect with a computer, the resulting art often looks mechanical and cold. To compensate for the lack of the "human touch," many digital artists are trying to bring back the "flaws" of hand-generated art. Digital tools are now available to deliberately add scratches and other digital debris to imitate the imperfections in traditional art. So why not just go back to using pre-digital tools? Type was traditionally set by hand one character at a time with either wood or metal letters. As the type was used over and over, it would naturally deteriorate and the edges would become rough. This roughness reveals the artist's hand and is considered beautiful today.