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May 10, 2017

We Will Never Get Tired of Watching These Hand-Lettering Videos

Penmanship

Oh my, the art of writing. Handwritten notes are always the classiest way to correspond, but here are a few people that take it up a notch with some of the most amazing hand drawn type you'll ever see.   

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Mar 30, 2017

How to: Make a Gigantic Solvent Transfer

created at: 10/24/2011

I've been on a "big art" kick lately. And when I say "big", I mean gigantic (check out The World's Largest Wood Type for further clarification). There's something about a traditional art or craft done at a mind-blowingly large scale that just tickles my magic beans. So I'm going to file this 15' x 10' solvent transfer sign + tutorial in my enormous folder for all things awesome.

The creative folks at The Mandate Press applied this Beatrice Warde quote to a big ol' sheet of canvas that is, hands down, the largest solvent transfer I have ever seen. If you're not familiar with solvent transfers, the process is actually quite simple:

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Mar 14, 2017

Free Download: Dozens of Old Wood Type Alphabets

created at: 10/21/2013

Type foundry Hoefler & Co. recently tweeted a link to this

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Feb 24, 2017

The Process: My First DIY Screen Print (and What You Should Do So You Don't Make the Same Mistakes)

 

A few weeks ago, I decided to try my hand at screen printing. It seemed like a simple, straightforward process: Get the supplies and make it happen. Well, I made it "happen" and ended up learning a bit along the way. Here's my process and the things to watch out for when starting out.

There are a number of simple kits out there with all the supplies you need to get started. While they all seem to be complete, you can get better materials by gathering it all yourself. Here's my list of everything you'll need for $50 - $100. 

Make the Screens:

The first step is making your screens. While I used scrap wood in my shop, I wish I

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Feb 23, 2017

Everything You Need to Get Started in Screen Printing for about $50 (or Only $100 to Go All Out)

We all have designs, and we all have ideas. And sometimes, they just have to get out of our heads and into the real world. Screen printing is a great way to ink art on just about anything from shirts to posters to wood. If you figure out how to do it right, it's the easiest way to create dozens of copies fast. So here's our look at the right gear and techniques you'll need to get started today.   

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Feb 07, 2017

Today, We're Totally Obsessed with: Gravity Glue

Anyone who loves hiking or outdoor exploration is familiar with the cairn, that characteristic stacks of rocks used as a trailmarker, warning a steep overhang, or just a general, leave-just-a-little trace that someone was here. At first, each cairn is a little discovery, a naturalist's work of art that puts design and intentional experience into the landscape. And then you see them multiple times on every. single. trek. you take, and your eyes just gloss over them after awhile. (Unless you're lost. They're always welcome when you're lost.)   

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Feb 02, 2017

How To: Make Custom Art from Your Own Fingerprints

created at: 02/02/2011

It's nearing Valentine's Day, and though my sweetheart and I don't usually do gifts, I wanted to make her something special. We're not big on the whole Hobby Lobby, scrapbook-y, shrine to ourselves approach to artwork, but I did want to incorporate a personal element. I recalled the custom DNA portraits I'd seen, and when searching, found the fingerprint prints offered by the same company. While I wouldn't even begin to understand how to go about visualizing DNA, I figured the custom fingerprint approach was probably pretty achievable.

And...it was.

I even figured out a way to make it seem a bit more handmade than the cold, tech-ier versions offered by the online companies. And, it only ended up costing me $6.00 USD. (I'm so thankful I've got someone who would be proud of me for creating an inexpensive DIY route, rather than impressed by how much I spent.)   

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Nov 21, 2016

50 Gifts Under $50 For Men

Perhaps you've drawn a name for the office Secret Santa and it's time to pony up for a solid gift that won't break the bank. Maybe it's for your brother-in-law, a buddy who helped you move. Perhaps, even though you're thirty-two, your mom keeps on insisting you give her a complete wishlist from which she'll select her favorites. Whatever the reason, it's gift giving season. Here are 50 options to find something they (or you) will love.   

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Nov 03, 2016

Smart Tips and Tricks for Taking Seriously Awesome Outdoor and Travel Photos

My Instagram feed is about 50/50 with friends and outdoorsy travel photographers. I try to get out in wilderness as much as I can, and when I can't, I try to at least keep some photographic inspiration readily at hand. And let's be honest, probably all of us have tried our hand at capturing that gorgeous vista to which we couldn't quite do justice...   

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Oct 18, 2016

29 Ways to Stay Creative

created at: 06/20/2011

You know how when you're an artist or creative type, you're just so bursting with ideas that you can't possibly even write them all down, let alone execute them all?

Yeah, I don't either. The truth is, that old thing about inspiration and perspiration is kinda true. Sometimes, brilliant ideas do just hit you, but it's pretty rare, and likely, the outcome of lots of prep work. So, what to do in the meantime?

Stay creative. Create even when it's not your best work, if you're uninspired, or don't have the time or energy to do your best work. It doesn't matter. You just gotta keep at it.  

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Oct 14, 2016

How to: Make Your Own Typographic Illustrations and Artwork

Everyone likes a nice motivational quote with a fine adventurous backdrop and some nice typography that reminds us to get outside.   

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Sep 22, 2016

How to: Make a No-Sew Leather Tool Case

created at: 09/22/2016

Leather is strong, durable, and extremely workable. But stitching leather involves some specific two-handed, two needle techniques, some specialized gear, and some definite knowhow. So, what to do when you want to make a custom piece, but aren't ready to invest the time and materials to learn to hand sew it?

You make no-sew project: just as strong, just as customizable.    

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Aug 29, 2016

What's Good for August 2016: What We're Reading, Watching and Listening to This Month

What's Good - August 2016

We're back with some of our favorite media for you to devour as the summer draws to a close. Here's what's good:

Reading

Chris:

I'm about two-thirds of the way through A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James. It's a fictional exploration of the shooting of Bob Marley in December 1976, and the following decades of political, social, and criminal aftermath. I won't lie - it's intense. It has 50+ characters (and one of those little dramatis personae keys at the beginning, which I reference about every three pages). It feels like reading Joyce's Ulysses ... Biblical in scale, and I'm looking up some fact or reference (or rocksteady

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Aug 16, 2016

The Million Dot Inspiration: The Making Of "Hero"

PensTaking up a pen for many of us means a few sentences in a notebook. But for Miguel Endara, it means a few million dots to create an incredibly detailed self-portrait. Take a look.   

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Aug 02, 2016

The ManMade Guide To Better Product and Tabletop Photography

created at: 04/16/2013

There are sorts of reasons a guy would wanna take great photos at home: an artist or crafter, online shop owner, Instagram power user, or just an everyday documenter extraordinaire.

Manmade Guide to Better Product Photography

 No matter your focus, these easy and affordable tips will help you dramatically improve your photography skills.

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Jul 05, 2016

7 Flowing Scribbles by Frank Gehry and the Buildings They Inspired

There's nothing like taking a tour inside the mind of an artistic genius (especially if your tour guide is himself an acclaimed artist) and that's exactly what Sidney Lumet did with his 2006 documentary Sketches of Frank Gehry about one of the most well respected architects of our time. You should absolutely see it if you haven't, but in the meantime, check out the craziness that is Gehry's initial sketches of some of his most famous buildings...   

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Jun 14, 2016

21 National Parks You Should Be Following on Instagram Right Now

Fun fact of the day: a whole heap of National Parks (and National Monuments, Recreation Areas, and the like) each have their own regularly updated Instagram accounts. If you think about it, it makes sense; what these spaces have to offer - nonstop visual inspiration, scenic landscapes, education, and a cure for your wanderlust - work excellently for the format. It's exactly the kind of stuff you want to see for a little midday motivation. 

created at: 06/14/2016

This year, the US National Park Service is celebrating its 100th anniversary, so we're sharing our favorite National Parks and related accounts to help you find the perfect spot for your next adventure.    

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Jun 09, 2016

How to: Make a DIY Rustic State Map Wall Art from a Broken Pallet

Busted Up Pallet One of the great things about living in Northern California is the wide open spaces. There are so many great places to hike, climb, swim, and just enjoy in the expansive outdoors up here. Only a true Northern California resident can really understand how frustrating it is when people tell me how Northern California is San Francisco and then right above that is Oregon. Nope, there are hundreds of miles between SF and the border, and that expanse is my home.

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May 31, 2016

The 100 Greatest American Films

created at: 05/31/2016

I think lists like these are always worth a look. Not because they offer a whole bunch of new ideas, of course. You already know what number one is, you can easily name the filmmakers whose work occurs the most, and you'll certainly get a passing score on what makes the top twenty-five.

But it's fascinating to see how the rest of the list shakes out. What order are
Vertigo, Psycho, North by Northwest, and Marnie? Does Taxi Driver rank higher than Raging Bull and how far ahead are they from Mean Streets? And how many Billy Wilder movies did make the cut?

This list comes from the BBC, and the opinions come from critics around the world, so it's interesting to see how international criticism weighs in on the ranking.    

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May 19, 2016

Art Is More Than You See: Please Touch The Art

We're used to evaluating art on what we can see. While there are plenty of pieces where touching is not encouraged, here's an example of what happens when an artist moves beyond sight to texture. Take a look.  

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