A Little Post About The Post-Apocalypse

Anyone that knows anything about end of the world knows that our imminent demise is fast approaching. That’s right, humans—on that fateful winter solstice day of December 21st, 2012 at precisely 11:12 UTC (personally, I’ve taken the day off) we will find out why the Mayan calendar ends. Some say the Mayans predicted the end of this epoch and the start of a new, “Yay new!” or “Boo, we are all going to die!” Interpret how you wish, but in the case of our Alien Workshop KTC series, we’ve braced ourselves for the latter.

Each board depicts a possible death-by-an-apocalypse scenario. Whether it’s death by alien invasion, nuclear fallout, or natural disaster, we have your skate graphics covered. Each board comes with a propaganda-like guide entitled 2012, So You’re an Apocalypse Survivor. There’s a limited batch of Alien Workshop branded apocalypse-proof steel cans that has all three board designs packed safely inside for all your bug out needs. We posted a few detail photos over on Facebook.

To get the word out, we have sent mysterious letters asking a chosen few to continue the mission: to ensure skateboarding post-apocalypse. Alien Workshop is even burying five canisters around the planet for the lucky living to find—hidden away from abduction beams, radiation, and known fault lines, of course. Check out the video we made below for a hint to the whereabouts of the first one.

Working on this project was a dream come true because: 1. I have apocalypse dreams all the time and 2. I grew up on skateboard culture. I would hang out every day after school at my local skate shop thinking, “Dude, how sick would it be to, like—do a board graphic!”  And Alien Workshop! With their love for Dayton and conspiracy theories, we were in alignment like the planets on apocalypse-eve. So suffice it to say, I will love this project until the end of time…or longer.

2012 Apocalypse Series by Alien Workshop and Real Art from Real Art on Vimeo.

Via: RealArt Blog
Written By: Crystal Dennis

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Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum

While for most people the words “wooden type” might not cause immediate excitement, once you step into the Hamilton Wood Type museum in Two-Rivers Wisconsin, that quickly changes.

The history of wooden type has seen it fall in and out of favor many times over the years. Movable wooden type was first developed in China around 1040 AD, though was rejected in favor of clay type, due to the presence of wood grain in the print, and the warping of the wood blocks due to the ink.

Wooden type returned to in China in the 1200s when a cheaper and more efficient method of producing it (including typesetting with bamboo strips to hold the blocks in place) was developed, making wood type a worthwhile alternative to clay. In 1834, William Leavenworth brought the use of wooden type back to America for much the same reasons, it was cheaper then lead, and now, it could be carved by machine, making it much more uniform.

Then in 1868, a young man named Edward J. Hamilton was asked by a rushed printer, with no time to order a special type set from Chicago, to carve a set of wooden type. Hamilton did so on a foot-powered scroll saw on his mothers back porch, and the type was a hit. By 1900 Hamilton was the largest wooden type provider in the United States. Many of America’s most famous printed materials were done in Hamiltons’s wooden types including the infamous “Wanted” posters so often seen in westerns.

Over time, wooden type, and then physical type altogether fell out of common usage. Today the Hamilton Wood Type and Printing Museum is the only museum “dedicated to the preservation, study, production and printing of wood type.” The museum is run by volunteers from the Two Rivers Historical Society, has over “1.5 million pieces of wood type and more than 1,000 styles and sizes of patterns.”

The museums most impressive display is the 145-foot wall of type, the world’s largest wall of wood type and the 1,000s of different styles of wooden type in drawer after drawer. The museum also has “a fully functional workshop and educational venue” ‘illustrating antique printing technologies including the production of hot metal type, hand operated printing presses, tools of the craft and rare type specimen catalogs.”

As letterpress and other, once largely forgotten forms and crafts of typography come back into style, it seems wooden type, and the Hamilton museum which has kept the tradition alive, is once again ready for the spotlight.

Via: AtlasObscura.com

Melvin the Magical Mixed Media Machine

Melvin the Machine is best described as a Rube Goldberg machine with a twist. Besides doing what Rube Goldbergs do best – performing a simple task as inefficiently as possible, often in the form of a chain reaction – Melvin has an identity. Actually, the only purpose of this machine is promoting its own identity.

Melvin, who was created by Dutch Studio, HEYHEYHEY, takes pictures and makes video’s of his audience which he instantly uploads to his blog, Facebook and Twitter account. Besides that he also makes his own merchandise. The whole crazy process happens in about four minutes!

Via: ThePreSurfer

The Santa Claw

Have you ever wondered what happens to Santa’s leftover gifts? The ones that never appeared on Christmas wish lists. Well…nothing. Until now. This year the Fat Man sent his friends at Real Art all the unused presents, and we gave them a home in The Santa Claw.

Yep we said claw. We built the biggest claw game ever. And you—or anyone in the entire world—can play the game from your own computer. Best part…if you win, we’ll send the leftover Santa goodies straight to your door.

Visit www.thesantaclaw.com for all the details. Check out the prizes, leather chaps, Dokken records, hand-held crossbows, t-shirts, Lenticular Sacred Heart Jesus, games, balls, models, scooters, skateboards and much much more. Log in now, create your customized avatar and be prepared for a clawsome good time!

American Pop-star, Roy Lichtenstein

Roy Lichtenstein, American painter, sculptor, and printmaker, startled the art world in 1962 by exhibiting paintings based on comic book cartoons. From his studio in New York City, Roy Lichtenstein did cartoon inspired paintings that helped launch the Pop Art movement. He was unique in that he developed a new visual language in an avant-garde style that was disruptive to viewers and yet was accessible and popular with them. He also did innovative art work that incorporated many late 20th-century movements and addressed a number of social issues.

His thirty-five year career of public recognition was celebrated in 1993-94 by The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York with a large scale retrospective of his work.

Born in Manhattan Roy went to high school there. By age 14, he was taking art classes at the Parsons School of Design and also studied briefly with Reginald Marsh at the Art Students League in 1939. He then attended Ohio State University where his major influence was Hoyt Sherman, whose figure-ground relationships inspired Lichtenstein’s treatment of cliche subjects.

In 1943, he was drafted into the Army and served in Europe and then returned to Ohio State, completing his BFA and MFA and then teaching at that campus. From Cleveland, Ohio, he made frequent trips to New York and started to exhibit there in 1949. In the 1950s, he used various techniques of Abstract Expressionism, did figurative work, and like many of his generation, began employing pop art images. But he was searching for a style.

In 1957, he left Cleveland to teach at New York University in Oswego, New York, and in 1961, he began teaching at Rudgers University, where one of his colleagues, Allan Kaprow, used cartoon figures. Through Kaprow, he met many renegade New York artists including Claes Oldenburg and Jim Dine.

In 1962, he had a landmark exhibition at the Castelli Gallery that showed enlarged depictions of advertisements and comic strip images. In fact, it was gallery owner Leo Castelli who, as a major promoter of the contemporary art scene, was a key person in launching Roy’s career.

Although Lichtenstein’s pop paintings had widespread popular acceptance, he began in 1965 to do Abstract Expressionism, but in contrast to others in that style, he did work that was hard and static. In the 1990s, he did large-scale abstract interiors, and he also worked in ceramics and enamelled steel.

Throughout his career, he appeared in many documentary films and did posters for entertainments including Bill Clinton’s United States presidential campaign. Lichtenstein’s murals are in Dusseldorf, Germany; Tel Aviv, Israel; and New York City. He died unexpectedly on September 29, 1997, from viral pneumonia, having worked until the time of his death.

Via: jewishvirtuallibrary.org

School of Advertising Art

Shot by Showdown Visual’s Kenny Mosher this recruiting video tells you what The School of Advertising Art is all about. Way different than the old digs that I graduated from way back in 1991. Props to Kenny for a sweet promo video and to the good folks at saa for their ongoing efforts to raise the creative bar.

Ampersand ID Chart

Via: Swiss Miss

Ampersand Identification Chart is a lovely new limited edition letterpress print from Douglas Wilson. Based on the Snellen eye chart, this three colour print has been designed to keep your typographic eye keen on the details of everyone’s favorite conjunction. Each print comes with an identification key that details the names and weights of all 61 ampersands. Ampersand Identification Chart has been printed by Douglas in a signed and numbered limited edition of 110 at keepcalmgallery.com

US customers can also buy a copy on his site directly.

April AUG: Print Production

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Your work starts its life on the computer screen, hopeful that someday it might become a thing. Some time later it is a very real thing with three dimensions, that reflects color, that you can see, touch, and even smell. And nestled somewhere between the imagined and the real is the magic of print production.

Join the DCS Adobe User Group at our April meeting, where we’ll be discussing prepress and print production techniques. Rob Anspach, Production Manager at Real Art Design Group, will present some of his tried and true methods for getting it done… on time, up to snuff, and maybe even under budget!

We’ll also be making some special announcements and giving away door prizes, so you won’t want to miss it. Feel free to bring examples of your own prepress prowess, questions for Rob. Hope to see you at SAA!

You can download the electronic file release checklist. This document is intended to serve as a general list of things to review and verify prior to releasing electronic files to vendors for outside services. For the best results you should always consult your vendor and adjust this checklist to their specific needs.

Follow up info here

Print G33K Fix

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I had a chance to get the print geek in me out a bit yesterday and this morning. I was on press at the RR Donnelley, Nielsen Plant for a cool 72 page AR press run. While it was a 20hr set of checks—the people at RRD and their equipment are tops. The press we printed on was a marval of modern technology clashed with the basics of the first presses used by Johannes Gutenberg Though he’d not recognize this behemoth piece of machinery.

This monster can print a sheet any combination of 12 colors or coatings, on both sides of the sheet on the same pass through the press and hit it with 2 sets of UV curing lights and a inline dryer at the business end of the press—where it spits out a perfectly dry printed sheets with no VOCs (Volitile Organic Compounds—that just sounds cool) to a viewing area with state-of-the-art color system controls, densitomiters, on-board cameras, and color viewing stations. And if all that isn’t enough oh yea it will clean up after itself, unload the current plate from the previous form and reload each unit with the next plate for the upcoming form. Which leaves the two (2) press operators plenty of time to focus on the color, the quality and what comes out of the press. Really very cool!

KBA reports that the Nielsen Co., Florence, KY (near Cincinnati), an RR Donnelley subsidiary, has taken delivery of the world’s first 16-unit Rapida 105: 12 printing units, a coater and two dryers—a total of nine units—before the automatically convertible perfecting unit, with a further 12 printing units, a coater and double extended delivery system. Its total length is around 138 ft. including the console.
Via:GraphicArtsOnline