Friday, December 21, 2012

Nashville...and the world - congratulations you didn't get canceled Today 12-21-12

Someone asked me what's all this "As Seen on Nashville on TV" nonsense about the other day.

Well really they said, "Hey that's great why are you doing it?"

And I said, "Isn't it obvious?" And we both laughed!

But actually I think I gave a really long winded answer about public art and perception of self and ownership of ideas.  And then I really went on a long time about what it means to be aware of a moment happening in the moment.  And what that does to the moment.

And then I started talking about all the attention our city is getting and how it is changing so quickly and that we have to treasure the parts that make us unique and special as a people.

It is pretty fun to see your city in a semi made up way on tv.  Since I didn't make the story up - it seems sort of like a dream I might have of a familiar land that isn't quite how I remember it.   Though instead of Hayden Panettiere in it - it  would be my Mom or someone I haven't seen in a long time since high school.

But I digress...

As seen on Nashville!!!!
Hot damn
We made these prints so that they could be used!


Today we stopped by a few places here in Nashville that have actually been seen on Nashville the show to give them they're real prize of fame!

Our Print

It felt good to bestow our print that commemorated the event upon the people that are Nashvillians.  It really makes  the whole experience complete in my mind.

Reality to fiction to film to post production to the airwaves to my mind's reality back to shared physical reality again!  When folks started making prints to convey ideas across space and time this all would have seemed like pure fantasy to them!

And now we bring it back into this other intra-space that we all time travel on together
What a crazy world!!!!

I'm happy it is still turning
And I'm glad we have something to smile about as a group

Let us know ...if you know of a place that has been seen on Nashville and we'll try to get over there to properly celebrate.

And of course don't hesitate to pick up your own copy!  These projects are funded directly through your support.

Power to the people!

Your humble servants at Isle of Printing.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

11th hour save from Isle of Printing's new Material Commerce Division

Yule tide greetings friends and neighbors!

Due to our extreme stance and this subject we at Isle of Printing willfully eschewed that scourge upon family values know to most as Black Friday and for good measure we thumbed our noses at Cyber Monday and Titillating Tuesday and whatever else the people at Entertainment Tonight have come up with to talk about lately.

While others--devious self serving, greedy scoundrels--sought to rob you of your time with those you love, we stayed out of the way.  More family, more friends we said!  And I am positive you were probably the better for it!

Thus in the continuing efforts of IOP to give you exactly what you want exactly when you need it we bring you the 12th Annual 

Oh Shit! I Haven't Bought Any Gifts Yet Weekend Extravaganza!!!!

Take a moment to peruse the listings we have dutifully loaded onto out little Etsy Shop and consider making someone much happier just in the Old Saint Nick of time!

It is our pledge to ship anything ordered this weekend and monday out by Tuesday so you can get it in your hot little hands ASAP (USPS) - get in touch if you need something faster!

Further more 
Conveniently offered here on the Internet are a few new things to make the end of the year more exciting that we have been cooking up just for you (and me!)

Here's a quick run down of the good tidings we bring!

Nifty Laser Style Bird Ornaments! 

If you can put a bird on it you should! Or so I heard. 
Straight from our hearts to yours via our laser cutter: six exciting hand-drawn birds etched into birch with some really nicely dyed twine to hang them from your tree or a nail or your ear.
Illustrated by the illustrious Shelby Rodefffer and packaged with a tiny red heart! You can't beat this holiday treat!  

$20 for all 6 in the set!

Laser Charms…with the Convincers! 

Hey, that's my wine!  Hey, why not have another glass! Hey, what's your number?
Some things don't need too much convincing…maybe just a tiny, tiny small voice of reason or gusto to help you out.  Which luckily you can find in our small grouping of tiny men extolling the virtues of whatever you think you are hearing them say.  

Laser cut from our collection of antique typographic ornaments into birch plywood, these dapper fellows will help you through any situation and help you rest easy knowing that drink is in fact still yours....and that you are very handsome/lovely.

Set of 10 charming fellows with sturdy clasps (roughly 1 1/2 inches tall)  packed together on a fancy recycled card.  

$25 for a set of 10

Do you see what I see!?

We've always been proud of our town. So it was with great relief that we found out last year that network TV was proud of Nashville, too!
Hooray Nashville!  Hooray those of you with cameras, budgets and clout!

Like silly school girls I think we all tune in once a week to see what magic has made our lives fit inside that box in our living rooms!

Hey I go there to the 5 spot...
Wait that's my bank!
Isn't that the bluebird cafe?  
I park in that lot.....

Maybe we see what we want to see (sometimes even our posters!) but I know we all are having a good time checking out the semi-made up version of what our lives are like. 
Anyway at least now the world can see what we all do when we aren't whittling on our porch or discovering electricity and shoes for the very first time (again).

How to celebrate such a thing in our city? How about the way we always have? With a nice letterpress poster!
Now you too can celebrate any and all fame surreptitiously derived from living in the location of a TV drama!  

Be you a major player or a minor pan shot, this is our town and it was on TV by god!

$20 in Nashville Red and brown chipboard  or in Nashville Red and white cardstock

Help make my dream of this poster being on the show happen and support the local arts in a very direct way!

Order here!

Amazing refillable wooden notebook  

"Mama if plywood is flat and rigid how come this wooden notebook bends and flexes like a noodle?"

If you are looking for a notebook that is wooden, novel, and quite beautiful you have come to the right place.  Crafted from a single piece of 1/8 birch, this notebook is laser cut in such a way as to have a flexible spine while retaining its tuff wooden good looks.  Inside is a replaceable letterpressed notebook with a one of a kind cover made from a real live IOP poster.  A classy cloth elastic band holds everything closed for easy transport.

A marvel of science and craft! Get yours today!

Size 5 5/8" x 4 3/8"

$30 for blank amazing wooden notebook 
Custom monograming $15 (see product details for current styles)
Makeready note refills available $10 each

Notebooks here!

Custom Version Here

Giant letters that make you happy you can spell.

A collaborative project that has been four plus years in the making - has finally arrived!!!!

Seen for the first time here today online and available for purchase

Our goal: to design a shadow typeface composed of a fill, a shadow and a major letter form that would give us the most design mileage possible from one letter set.  Each letter has three separate blocks that can be used alone or combined together in a seemingly endless parade of permutations. 

Our hope - to give people the opportunity to artfully use type in their lives in a big way!

A joint typographic project between mad Swiss printer Dafi Khüne of Baby Ink Twice and your humble servants here at Isle of Printing - 
With just 26 soldiers we can wage war on stupidity one word at a time.

What can I do with giant letters?  
Spell your name!
Spell your kid's name!
Tell the world you had a baby in the coolest way ever: XX or XY!
Insult your neighbors!
Make a paper word blanket!
Have fun with a librarian!

The possibilities of language are nearly limitless!

Get the very first prototypes to be run ever now!

Thus far we have toiled and produced
All the letters to spell I S L E  O F  P R I N T I N G
plus W D Y X ! 

What can I do with that? Use your brain, dummy!

You could spell HOTDOG! FOXY! HOE!

More letters in the works....completion date pre X-mas 2012
Help us finish this project by buying a letter today!

$20 per letter
Size 18" x ?" depending on letter
Variable colors (dealer's choice based on careful psychic reading of your order)

Prehistoric laser buddies for your tree or cup hook over the door

When we think of lasers we think of plastics and when we think of plastics we think of petroleum products...and when we think of petroleum products we think of DINOSAURS!!!!

Ergo, we are always thinking about laser dinosaurs.  Our intrepid intern assistant pointed out that laser dinosaurs are very close to lasered dinosaurs.  So with a little work on her part we made that happen.
Illustrations courtesy of one Kelsey Taylor…lasering courtesy of the 21st century.

Get a set of happy dinosaurs before they are extinct.... Again!

Hang them on your tree or 
Be the first on your block to ditch mistletoe for dinosaurs as the new doorjamb kissing sensation!

Set of 4 $20

(later tonight!)

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Let's get together and have some fun

We like to think that if we are honest and our hearts are true - when the bow of creativity is bent back and our eyes are fixed on the prize.... That goodness will spring forth like a deer bounding through the woods and the sky will smile down on our creations. And heaven will dance in the embrace of love.

Or you might say

Into every box of cereal you reach, we hope you find a prize.

Often life is a puzzle and you must struggle to find the gem of day.  So hard to do.  Why couldn't it be easier?

Today we hope that we can make it a little easier for you - with a few pieces of paper you
(we) can be clever enough to put a little zip in your zing.

That's it!!! Tell me more chippie!

3 posters that merge in to one. Three parts that make a whole!  Bird into man, man on paper, birds made from space. Space defining matter.....One becomes all.....

Pleasing both in a cosmological sense AND reading high on the gee whiz scale.
14th century technology living it up with the best of the 21st century
Electric lights
Rock and roll
Movie stars

That's some crazy stuff!!!!

but wait check this out 

Each part (poster) was conceived to thrive on its  own when necessary but like a lot things in life it only gets better when you find a few friends to share the party with......

Someday perhaps we'll lay down the microscopic biopic details of how this puzzle got from here to yonder but until then check out this lovely short film by Leigh Jurecka that does a stellar job of telling the tale In moving pictures. Which I do hear the kids love these days. 

A few final thoughts:

#1 Yes each black print was letterpressed twice with silver and silver blue ink
    #1a. Everything went through a press and was touched at least once probably 50 times!

#2 Two of the three prints were cut only by a laser (a laser!) connected to a computer which was 
    connected to my paper sketch pad!!!!

#3 This was a collaboration between Matthew Jacobson and Bryce McCloud at Isle of Printing. It was          a lot of fun - (try it sometime!)

#4  All stunts were performed by the actors (and Bryce IS available as a hand model)

#5 150 of each poster will be available over two days and nights at 3rd man records and the Ryman            Auditorium (which means 75 of each design today)

#6  Though inferred from reality no poster presented claims to really be a peacock, vulture, or musician
     #6a. It takes a tough man to give a tender forecast......

#7 Time is short - be good to those around you and choose love over greed whenever life gives you the      choice. 

more info here at Jack White's website

Many thanks to Jack White, Matthew Jacobson (co designer), the fine folks at Third Man Records, and everyone else in this world who actively support bringing novelty into our lives as a testament that the simple joys available in art and music CAN make our lives 1000 times better than they were before.(*)

Enjoy the show
Your humble servant
Hiram Kneesch

ps Take that Portlandia!

*my current entry for 2012's longest useful run on sentence

Saturday, May 5, 2012

This is not a trick!

I just saw this a few minutes ago - as an avid admirer of sidecars, art, and wire sculptures - I am amazed!

Shi Jindian is the person responsible - neat-o!

that is all
carry on with your Cinco De Mayo fun!

H Kneesch

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Can an 11th century Bayeux hang in a modern world?


I'm not sure where inspiration comes from ultimately but I do know that one day last year there seemed to be the most unlikely answer for several design projects we were working on concurrently.

It is a long story of how we got there so.......
Let's just jump to the middle of the story where  I recall thinking immediately oh well that reminds me of the Norman invasion of England.  And when you think of the Norman invasion of England - we all know you can't see anything but the Bayeux tapestry!

I've always loved the Bayeux tapestry but I never really studied it in detail until recently!  Though the true origin of the tapestry is lost to history - it is thought that the Tapestry was made to celebrate William of Normandy's conquest of England.  These events culminated at the battle of Hastings where Harold, the current King of England, was killed.  Heady stuff right?

After months of obsessive study - I can say without equivocation that it is a true master piece of art and design.  It seems to me as fresh and relevant today as the day it was made. (thanks to my hip 21st century mentality!)

The stitching is effortless and a it amazes me how a  few carefully chosen colors and lines convey such a HUGE amount of gesture and motion.  Hats off you embroidery artists of olde.  I thought I had embraced a medium of restrained production but really letterpress and carving blocks is jet age stuff compared to hand embroidering a 206 ft long tapestry!!!!

You can see the whole thing at this crazy site which might have been designed shortly after the tapestry was finished - and flashing gifs invented -

Anyhow the more I thought about the Norman conquest of England the more I thought how much of the world can be summed up by that continual process of surging tides that rush around the world era after era.

Some for good and some for bad and some for the sake of overwhelming the old with the new.

And as you probably know by now we here at the Isle like a good theme to keep everything tidy as we hop from world to world in our design campaign - conversion - metaphor machination!

So I present without further adieu our song to the soul of the Bayeux tapestry - expect more of this in the future my friends!

your Friendly neighborhood conqueror
 Hiram the Great

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Stuff for When People Get happy

Some think romance is romantic but we here at Isle of Printing know the truth.

LETTERPRESS is the TRUE reflection of love!

Just like love - letterpress leaves and impression, can be beautiful, and can be messy or painful if you don't know what you are doing......

Every year we are fortunate enough to help guide many a happy couple through the perilous rapids of bad wedding design into the safe calm eddies of balance and harmony.  It is a personal journey and we feel protective of that experience for our clients.  The truth is it is a personal experience for us too!  Most jobs we do at IOP are fully custom - so our sweat and blood go out in every card.  Why? because we believe that if you are going to make something it should be worthy of taking up valuable space on our increasingly overcrowded planet!

However if you like mediocre design - you're in luck too - the paperless society is a perfect solution!  Just send an email so the poor soul receiving it can delete it as soon as possible.

but I digress.....

After a full year of pumping out the wedding jams for people who I'd like to think are our friends and family now  - we thought we would share them with the wider world

This invitation is a 5-color ode to the tree of life,  circle of life and love.  With a perforated rsvp at the bottom -  it folded up into a self mailer to save real trees from the paper mill.  After all you can't love trees in design if you don't love them for real!  We are very excited to have been involved!

Meg and William's invitation was commissioned by William and his parents after many years as fans of our art prints! We wanted to illustrate the good times the wedding party would be having at their Texas rehearsal dinner and give a bit of western feel.  So the family brought us pictures of the event space and we hand drew the night time scene and then hand-carved the blocks for the barn illustration below.  Once again this is a tri-fold self mailer with a detachable rsvp card.  

Afterwards, we carved MORE blocks for a full-sized print of the barn party!  Which is now framed at the newly weds house!!!

When Ben and Tara came to us to help them with their wedding and save the date cards - we really wanted to do something unique!  Ben owns a handcrafted drink emporium - so we thought it fitting to incorporate the high art of toasting into the save the date cards.  And since we are always trying to give our products a second life and keep them out of the bin - I suggested we make the save date info into drink coasters.   It was also our humble hope that every time their friends had a drink they would raise a glass to the future of the friends...and remember to save the date!

We sourced coaster paper to make them legit and used some of our favorite flourishes from the 19th Century design world to accent the wood type.  After we handprinted them on our press we then die-cut them into actual coasters to pop out and use!

For the invitation we revived another popular design element from the late 1800's.   It consists of a border set that a letterpress printer could put together much like legos to create endless permutations of designs from a few simple shapes.   Here we used it to create a graceful and unique border for the invitation that would compliment the spirit of the event - without becoming too fussy. This invite was printed deeply on all cotton stock one by one, then folded with an embossed envelope and letter pressed belly band.  Classy - just like Ben and Tara!

Mandee and Wes wanted an unpretentious wedding invitation that celebrated a love of nature and represented the venue over in the hills of East Tenn.  We found a beautiful woodcut frame in our collection and a funny border off an old ham bag that fit the bill perfectly!  The cuts are rustic, but the invitations retain a sense of simple elegance through the choice of silver ink on a creamy heavy stock paper.

This invitation is full of ornaments and filigree, but what really sends it home is the custom illustration of the wedding location: Nashville's Shelby Street Pedestrian Bridge.  We all liked the idea that a detachable portrait of the Bridge would be a really nice way to remember the day and be something the guests and family could hold onto long after the wedding had come and gone.

We love to draw here at IOP, and we definitely love to illustrate mice!  Imagine our delight when our friends Mike and Rachel mentioned they liked the idea of a mouse sized representation of the wedding weekend's events!!!!!   Happy days!  Thanks for letting us create this completely hand-drawn invitation of tiny mice doing the things that people do at weddings on the coast of California.....etched into two magnesium plates and then run in two colors by hand on cream stock.   Another trifold self mailer - cause mice need some air!

Trains, trains, trains! Can't go a day in our neighborhood without hearing a train go by. These fine folks decided to tie the knot at the old Houston Station down the street (also near the tracks).  Thus we made them a locomotive to deliver the details to their friends and loved ones with a few details of the historic water tower. Choo choo!

All our clients are hip and on the move come wedding day it seems!


Here's another completely hand-drawn wedding invitation featuring mice, partying hearty on the Music City Queen! Even though this one was only a one-color job, you definitely can't call it "plain!"

That's all for now, folks! Remember, tons of people get hitched every day, but only the genetically superior have their invitations letterpressed, and the best of those folks have them done at Isle of Printing!

love- Gal Friday Rothenhöfer
and your old pal Hiram Kneesch