It might have something to do with this.
My mother scolded us kids when we played on her typewriter. Sometimes the letters would glob up at the top, a big mess of spindly metal, type, and ink and I'd reach up there and one by one pull down the s, k, p, m, and so on to their respective spots. It was fun to watch the arm swing up to the paper with a press of a button, then to twirl the knob on the side, moving the paper along. Not much has changed since then, besides that little thing called technology, but there's still a marveling amusement at putting one's own words on paper. For me, success in design is as much imagery as it is type and writing. Writing is quite powerful, and when paired with the right typeface - it's a beautiful thing.
A bright, crisp Wednesday morning in October had us meandering through the Pearl District. Our destination was Oblation - papers and press boutique shop. Here we saw large wet dripping sheets of paper being pulled from murky tubs of - get this - shredded underwear. Well...not quite, but the mix to make paper involves finely shredded cotton. Ron Rich, owner of the store/wearer of funky spectacles graciously gave us a tour of the paper making and letterpress process. Great tour and lovely shop - from humble beginnings of making paper in their kitchen blender to this wonderful, exquisite, and charming place they have today.
"...we bought a little book made in 1919...learned the hard way."
-Ron Rich [Oblation owner]
A reception at the delicious makelike studio had Graphic Designers dressed all proper, talking shop, and shopping jobs. I had the pleasure of meeting a few of the characters that work here: Mary, Topher, and Rob. Their writing on their site alone is awesome. Then there's the work - clever, clean, and crisp. Top it all off with their killer interior space and you have that which is makelike. Now I must makelike a box and be square by pointing out that I was, indeed, there. (note picture, bottom right.) If only I could've makelike'd a tie and hung around some more....
MORE MAKELIKE PHRASES
In Portland there is an interesting studio, tucked away somewhere in a peculiarly empty building. Oriental rugs cover the floor, tools of the trade scattered on every surface, posters adorning the walls - a space so full that sound has no bounce, it falls gently on the eclectic interior's belongings. Gary Houston is the curator of this curious space. An artist whose twinkling eyes match the silver hoops in his ears. He is an original. A signature edgy line lends itself to each hand pulled screen-printed piece. In the age of computers, his work emanates a personality that is unhindered by technology. Imagery aside, I'm in love with how he handles type. Thanks for the studio tour and inspiration.
"Enjoy Being." - Gary Houston