Steve Frykholm’s Picnic Posters for Herman Miller

WHY_PicnicPosters_02One day out of the blue our good friend Terrence McClusky sent a link to an incredible little blog post and video about Herman Miller designer Steve Frykholm and his iconic “Picnic Posters”, created for the company’s annual employee & family picnics.

As young designer in 1970 (and Herman Miller’s first in-house graphic designer) Frykholm was approached to try his hand at creating a poster to announce the annual picnic that year. What blossomed from a simple side-project utilizing old school techniques that he learned in the Peace Corps is honestly so wonderful.

“It’s a sequence of events, one color at a time. And then that last one goes on and it’s better than you imagined.” – Steve Frykholm

Be still my heart.

Washing out a screen in preparation for printing.

Frykholm_PPP_washoutClick any of the images above or below to watch the beautifully done short video on Frykholm’s history, process and The Picnic Posters series.

Frykholm standing in front of the MoMA‘s collection of his Picnic Posters.

Screen shot 2015-08-04 at 2.17.46 PMFrykholm watching over the printing & drying process. Screen shot 2015-08-04 at 2.14.17 PMPhotograph of one of the many Herman Miller employee & family annual picnics. I want to travel back in time to this place and day…


How Ink Is Made, a beautiful short film on The Printing Ink process.

The making of Process Yellow ink at the Printing Ink Company. Click to see the movie at Youtube.

I came across this short piece  by Ian Daffern & Tate Young on the ink-making process by The Printing Ink Company via my design & teacher e-friend Denny Schmickle and just love it. Beautifully shot, it’s a cool peek into the work and craftsmanship that goes into the process of making printing inks. Although these are not water-based acrylic inks like I use in my prints, the same basic principals apply for both types of inks and this type of oil-based ink is the standard for most every type of printed material that we see in our daily lives.

Testing colors & mixability at the Printing Ink Company. Click to see the movie at Youtube.

There is something always amazing and somewhat nostalgic to me about the craftsmanship, attention to detail and virtually unchanged technology of printmaking in most of it’s current forms that I adore. It truly is what it is. And this applies even to the materials that are used in printmaking as well, such as inks.

Smoothing out Process Yellow inks at the Printing Ink Company. Click to see the movie at Youtube.

The Printing Ink Company is a family-owned business was founded in 1973 by Mr. William Welfare. A small company with only three employees, including Mr. Welfare, and an operating facility of just 250 square feet, we manufactured and sold press room chemistry and supplies. In 1977 they started making printing ink. At that time we had 5 employees and about 4000 square feet of space. The Printing Ink Company‘s growth has continued since then, and their current facility is 24,500 square feet with 19 employees.

An introduction to The Printing Ink Company, makers of lithographic ink based in Vaughn, Ontario. The passion and the science of the four colour process are presented by Peter Welfare, president and head inkmaker.

Find out more about The Printing Ink Company by clicking here.

Cans of Pantone matched Orange inks at the Printing Ink Company. Click to see the movie at Youtube.

New Bluebottle interview

Quickie post here to share a new interview with me by Amy  from Bluebottle  Art Gallery + Store. I don’t know that I could love the people at the Bluebottle any more. This month marks my first solo gallery show at Bluebottle, after a successful part in a holiday show in December of last year.

And now adding to their awesomeness, Amy, who is also a writer, asked the best questions I’ve ever been asked for this interview for the Bluebottle blog. Have a peek the Bluebottle blog called Art, Craft, & Design and also Amy’s website called Fairy Tale Factory, specializing in fairy tales and writing workshops and spread the magic. If you like process talk about design geekery, be sure to read interview is here.