It’s new promo time!
At the end of 2013 I started working on a new series of personal projects all about the really cool creatives and business people I had met in my hometown of Buffalo, NY. Not only was I putting together a brand new series of exciting portraits, but I was also interviewing the subjects, writing about my experiences with them, and in some cases even creating short videos about their stories. It led to me massively re-examining the kind of work I was doing, and the types of stories that I found it fulfilling to shoot. You can read more about the inspiration behind this new direction here.
Shauna from We Are Branch and I have collaborated on a lot of promos in the five years we have worked together, but this time we found ourselves pondering how to package this new format my work was heading in. Postcards and e-mails just weren’t cutting it anymore (and aren’t they just a little pedestrian these days anyway?) and we both knew we needed to start fresh with a new approach to this project. Shauna suggested that given the DIY nature of these inspiring profiles, and that they all took place in the Rust Belt, that something super analog and tactile, like newsprint, would be the perfect medium for this promo – naturally I was completely on board with the idea (and on board with the possibility that I could pretend to be an old-timey newspaper man while we e-mailed back and forth about it – I was dying for an excuse to exclaim “Great Ceaser’s ghost!”)
Shauna is an amazing designer and I really trust her instincts. She set to work immediately looking for print providers (and ultimately we decided on Newspaper Club as our printer of choice – they were amazing and I would gladly recommend them to anyone looking to create something awesome on newsprint) and putting together the basic layouts for the stories. I may take the pictures and write the stories, but this piece just would not have turned out as cool as it did without her contributions and style, translating the spirit of each story from my blog and combining them with her impeccable sense of typography and style to create a really amazing tangible promo piece left me (naturally) blown away with the results. If you want to read more about the technical process of how we put the promo together for newsprint check out Shauna’s post on the topic over at We Are Branch.
Some of you might have already gotten one in the mail (and if you haven’t you might soon, I’m still mailing out the last few of the 500 copies we had printed for this first run) and some of you may have seen it in a couple of cool places in Buffalo, but if you haven’t gotten your hands on one yet you can take a look at the digital version here.
I pulled together five profiles from the stories I’ve worked in the past few months for the print version:
•A furniture maker who is giving the wood from demolished homes a new life
•A history buff who turned his passion for re-enacting into a career
•A pie maker who is building a new British empire in South Buffalo
•A buy one/give one shirt company that is using art to really help people
•And a pair of high school teachers who turned their friendly rivalry into an artisan ice cream brand that people (including me) are OBSESSED with.
It’s 32 pages, 11.5 x 14.5 inches, big beautiful pictures and the smell of fresh ink. It’s also so much more.
I’m hard at work putting a new batch of stories together – since I started this project a lot of my subjects (and even some of you) have let me know about people who are doing awesome things that they think I should cover. In the coming weeks you’ll be seeing features on a local brewery, a pair of haberdashers, a cheese shop, a raw food purveyor, a dynamo of a community organizer, and many more. (My list of potential subjects is growing faster than I can create the stories – this project has opened my eyes to how much interesting stuff is happening in my city). I’m working towards issue two and this new collection of stories will form the backbone of an even more ambitious version of this idea and I’ll be kicking off this second round of profiles next week with a look at an artist who’s creating temporary works on a massive scale.