from the Design Lab
We have been working feverishly on our Design Lab website, and we couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate its completion than with the release of this project so dear to us and a wonderful feature in one of our favorite publications, Bark Magazine.
Throughout history, natural and man-made disasters come accompanied by many things, tragedy, tears, loss, unity, recovery and hope. I cannot think of a more perfect sign of hope than to see a dog wearing a Search and Rescue vest working diligently alongside his or her human partner. Not only do these dogs work to find life amid the destruction, or bring closure to grieving families; they also bring a much needed comfort and sense of normalcy to those around them.
In the wake of the Japan earthquake, we all watched as search and rescue teams worked tirelessly to find survivors. It was then that we set pen to paper and created an illustration dedicated to honoring their life-saving work.
We had hoped to find an outlet for this project and our opportunity came when our friend Olivia San Mateo, owner of Olive-Route Press told us about a letterpress exhibit in Japan that she was participating in. She would be donating 5 letterpress pieces to the show benefitting victims of the disaster; she had selected 4 and was missing one. Perfect. When we showed her our illustration, she loved it and to our surprise and utter delight, offered to print it and send a few pieces to the gallery show in Japan. Unknowingly, our illustration was a perfect candidate for letterpress printing, simple, clean and ready to separate into polymer plates.
We may have created this illustration, but Olivia’s skill and gorgeous letterpress printing brought it to life; Thank You Via for such beautiful work and for making this possible. We created 50 limited edition, 8×10 prints, signed and numbered. A couple of these prints were sent to Bluemoon Letterpress in Japan for the exhibit called Letterpress of Pray to help raise awareness and funds to aid tsunami and earthquake relief efforts and the rest are available for purchase on both Olive-Route’s and Design Lab’s online shops. Since giving back is of such importance to us, a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation, an incredible group of people and dogs working everyday to strengthen disaster response in America by recruiting rescued dogs and partnering them with firefighters and other first responders to find people buried alive in the wreckage of disasters. Quantities of these prints are very limited, so stop by today, purchase your print and help us say thank you to these amazing canine heroes and their human partners.
Our prints were hot off the press when we were contacted by Bark Magazine about them. They had an article on the art of letterpress in the works and had seen a sneak peek from our print job on Olivia’s blog. Too perfect. In collaboration with Bark Magazine, we set out to design a gorgeous 6 page spread, photographing amazing printed pieces by skilled printers from all over such as BirdDog Press, Fickle Hill Press, Olive-Route Press and Hound Dog Press among many others. Much of the photography was actually done in Olivia’s beautiful letterpress shop and the writing by our dear friend, letterpress enthusiast and Bark Magazine creative director Cameron Woo. The cherry on top of course was having not only our Japan print featured, but our beloved Photo Lab Thank You coaster tags printed by the amazing Cranky Pressman featured as well. Overall it was a dream project: letterpress + dogs + Bark Magazine, not sure we could have asked for more.