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What we're digging this week...

  • Portland-based caffeine all star, Stumptown, gets a rebrand and we like it! 
  • You don't need to be a bird to sleep in a nest
  • Typefaces or faces in type. 
  • What happens when 150 Americans draw famous logos from memory. 
  • The best thing we've seen on the web in a long time. Use your arrow keys to interact. Turn up the volume and enjoy!
  • Some of the world’s most architecturally beautiful public libraries.
  • Spoon's music video for "Do I Have to Talk You Into It" was created entirely in Photoshop!
  • Unendurable line|ガマンぎりぎりライン
  • Seattle photographer, Cody Cobb, takes some seriously beautiful photographs



Papyrus On Purpose

Actor Ryan Gosling hosted Saturday Night Live on September 30, 2017. One particular sketch was right up our alley: Gosling plays a character obsessed with frustration that a professional designer would use Papyrus font for a blockbuster movie like Avatar.


Papyrus has been widely used for years — from newsletters to business signs and brochures. A designer named Chris Costello created it largely by accident in 1983 at his first job. Had he known it would be installed in over a billion computers, he might have sold it for more than the equivalent of $2,500.

Fonts and typefaces evoke reactions from us. We can’t help but make associations with them — trustworthy, whimsical, unintelligent, dignified, and even electable:




Which one makes fictional candidate Pat most compelling?

Put succinctly: design creates emotional experiences. That is why we are such big fans of those who do it well, and why we feature so many different brands and artists on our blog and social media. We love good design!



Here's my card...

With information about a business or person easily accessible online, a business card needs to be more than just your digits and email address.


With some thoughtfulness and creativity, your business card can be a conversation starter, and even a resonant, memorable experience with your brand. Here are a few we think hit the mark: 

Credit: Jullien Brothers / Inkster Projects / The Counter Press / Erica Boucher (design) / Matiere Noire / Huan Nguyen / The 1984 (design) / Erica Boucher (design) / Gabriel Jasmin (design) / Y&R (design)



50 Books / 50 Covers

Every year since 1923, the American Institute of Graphic Arts, a.k.a. AIGA, has held the 50 Books/50 Covers competition in the United States. 

Thoughtfulness is not only put in to the design, but also how the books are produced. Michael Carabetta, who was a judge in this year’s competition, mentioned the books chosen excelled “not only in design—[but] in production; in paper, mixing coated and uncoated… People are getting into the real, physical qualities of the book.”

Here are a few of our favorites: 



Photos © Design Observer



Long Beach Zine Fest: The Future is Folded

The power of print is endless.
It’s a medium that’s not passive. It confronts you, it’s tactile. 
It's not something you can scroll through and just forget about.

- Sarah Bennett, co-founder of LBZF

Last weekend, the Museum of Latin American Art (MOLAA) hosted the third annual Long Beach Zine Fest (LBZF), where creators from LA, Long Beach, the Bay Area, and Salt Lake City gathered to showcase and sell their zines.

So, what exactly is a "zine?"

It's a DIY,  stapled, glued, hand-drawn, creative, custom-printed, independent, self-made magazine. And they're super rad. In a world of endless scrolling — constant bombardment with loud, generic, and thoughtless media — zines offer readers an engaging, tactile, and lasting experience. 

Each zine is different.

When flipping through a zine, readers get a unique glimpse into the mind of the author and creator. Subject matter can range from political discourse, sci-fi comics, scientific cataloging of plants, cat obsessions, punny jokes, and literally everything you can imagine.

Some are totally goofy, expressing play, humor, and whimsy. Others are serious, exploring individual identity within mass culture, socioeconomic issues, and the meaning of life. Each zine is a little moment in time, and a small glimpse of culture.

We love how zine creators use print to express their ideas, viewpoints, and artistic vision. Check out some highlights from LBZF below! 

Visit the LBZF website and Instagram to learn more about the event, the creators, and zine culture. 

all images courtesy of @twophoton, @heckketchupco, @dear_daughter_, @currycheeks, @splendid.disasters, @sea.lake, @bijoukarman, and @lbzinefest



kate's 5 favorites: free art in long beach!

Downtown, Long Beach California, hometown of the bigger dot - a print production and project management studio

Kate is a project manager for bigger dot. Whether you've printed books, posters, direct mail, corporate collateral, brochures, or anything else with us, she likely helped make it happen. She studied art history at Cal State Long Beach, and is extra passionate about all things art and culture. She didn't write this bio but her own words are below. Here are her five favorite FREE art & culture-related activities in Long Beach!


01| Museum of Latin American Art (MOLAA)

If you haven’t been to the Museum of Latin American Art, you’re missing out! It’s one of Long Beach’s *best* treasures, and I adore it wholeheartedly.

Founded in 1996, MOLAA is the only museum in the US devoted to modern & contemporary Latin American Art. Wow!! The museum hosts rotating exhibitions highlighting a diverse array of artists, mediums, and artwork - including the kind of printed work we love so much here.

I love stopping by on Sundays to visit their sculpture garden and meander through their current exhibitions. Also, you can catch me there on the occasional Friday night for their awesome guest lecture and art event series. Check out their calendar for event info.

WHEN: Free on Sundays, 11AM - 5PM

WHERE: 628 Alamitos Ave, Long Beach, CA 90802


02| Long Beach Museum of Art (LBMA)

The Long Beach Museum of Art is super dreamy. It’s housed in the historic 1911 Elizabeth Milbank Anderson House, which overlooks the Pacific Ocean. The view of the water from the second floor galleries is stunning. And the art inside is great too!


LBMA features rotating exhibits year-round, focusing on cutting-edge topics like new media, street art, commerce as subject matter, and 3D interactive art experiences.

WHEN: Free Thursdays after 3PM, all day Friday

WHERE: 2300 E Ocean Blvd, Long Beach, CA 90803


03| MADE by Millworks

MADE by Millworks is a retail space and art gallery that hosts artists and makers studios on site. Inside, you’ll find unique embroidery, divine soy candles, upcycled leather goods, delicious beef jerky, handcrafted ceramics, salsas, and more.


It’s delightfully easy to lose yourself in browsing all the joyful little items for sale, and to contemplate the intersection of art, commerce, craft, and everything in between.

Although MADE is free to visit, I do feel a little guilty including it on my list of free things, because it’s ~extremely~ difficult to leave here without buying something. But still totally worth the visit — and hey, buying something here means supporting local makers!

WHEN: Free admission all day, but good luck not spending money!

WHERE: 240 Pine Ave, Long Beach, CA 90802


04| Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden

The Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden is hidden away in a quiet corner of Cal State Long Beach, and will bring some peace into your life.

The curated space is maintained by students and staff, who meticulously care for and groom the natural elements of the garden. The garden’s careful combination and fusion of art and nature creates a space for meditation, contemplation, and reflection.

I love coming here when I need some extra serenity in my life — to sit and be surrounded by the beautiful pines, maples, orchids, and ginkgo trees.

05| Explore Murals of Long Beach

Long Beach has a ton of AMAZING street art and large-scale murals, largely thanks to the work of Pow! Wow! Long Beach.

Pow! Wow! Describes itself as a “global network of artists and organizes gallery shows, lecture series, schools for art and music, creative community spaces, concerts, and live art installations across the globe.” Beginning in 2015, Pow! Wow! started sponsoring week-long large scale mural creation within the city of Long Beach.

Walking around downtown and admiring the murals is one of my favorite weekend activities. It’s so neat to see how public, large-scale art can bring a city to life! Also, behind the scenes tip: a lot of our Instagram photos use Long Beach murals as backgrounds!

Thanks for reading Kate's five favorite free art and culture things to do in Long Beach! For more great content, be sure to subscribe to our mailing list. And if you ever need anything printed, get in touch!



creative packaging by elephant magazine

“Elephant Magazine asked us [Kind Studio] to redesign their magazine mail packaging. Packaging is great opportunity to include flourishes or elements which add an extra dimension to design. With Elephant we wanted to take full advantage of this, creating something which not only reflects the playful, creative nature of the magazine, but is also a practical packaging solution. People receive their magazine well protected and can then build an elephant from the otherwise wasted material.”

With the new packaging they created, you don't just rip the box open and start reading. This box adds a creative element while giving Elephant Magazine's brand another dimension... not to mention it makes getting a magazine in the mail that much more fun.   


Original article written by: Theresa Christine Johnson

Source: The Dieline



how the invention of paper changed the world

drawing of three men working on ancient printing press

"The Gutenberg printing press - invented in the 1440s by Johannes Gutenberg, a goldsmith from Mainz in Germany - is widely considered to be one of humanity's defining inventions."

Gutenberg discovered a flexible and efficient way to print any number of copies of books, by using letters fixed on a type block in order to be able to copy one page as many times as necessary, and then be able to switch the letters around for the next, completely different page. 

The precise and beautiful printing that was possible with his new method, helped him create famous bibles that rivaled the calligraphy of the monks. The crisp black Latin script is perfectly composed into two dense blocks of text, occasionally highlighted with a flourish of red ink.

ancient book opened to show text

"Actually, you can quibble with Gutenberg's place in history. The movable type press was originally developed in China. Even as Gutenberg was inventing in Germany, Koreans were ditching their entire method of writing to make printing easier, cutting tens of thousands of characters down to only 28. It is also not true that Gutenberg single-handedly created mass literacy. It was common 600 or 700 years earlier in the Abbasid Caliphate, spanning the Middle East and North Africa.

Still, the Gutenberg press did change the world. It led to Europe's reformation, science, the newspaper, the novel, the school textbook, and much else. But it could not have done so without another invention, just as essential but much more often overlooked: paper."

Original article written by: Tim Harford

Source: BBC



steve mccurry: on reading



Photographer Steve McCurry has managed to beautifully capture the serene moments of people simply reading, all over the world. His photos cross both cultural and socioeconomic boundaries. His personal favorite of his collection is a photo of a young Thai man reading a book while nestled up to the back of an elephant, shot in 2013. Among the images posted online are photos of an Indian taxi driver on the trunk of his car, another of an Afghan shopkeeper reading in his modest stall, and one of monks in contemplation with their Bibles.

McCurry is always on the hunt for the “unguarded moment,” that slice of time that reveals something personal and honest. “Reading offers a time for contemplation. Even in Afghanistan, where life is not easy, you notice people in unlikely circumstances reading,” he says. “I have a picture of a man in a manhole -– he was using it as a bomb shelter between air raids — who was reading the book. Reading is something any literate person is drawn to do and it becomes a part of your life. It’s just one of the things that connects us all together, that reminds us that we’re all the same.”





To see more of McCurry's amazing work, check out his gallery or visit the original source for this blog post. 



Original article written by: Gabriela Badica

Source: Gorgeous photographs of people reading around the world



a museum of the world's rarest colors

rounded glass vials holding various colors of pigment

Brown resin extracted from Egyptian mummies, yellow and red from poisonous metals, orange dye from the lipstick tree, and the bright red of squashed beetle.  These are just a handful of over 2,500 of the rarest colours in the world that make up the Forbes Pigment Collection, which is held in the Harvard Art Museum. It’s named after historian Edward Forbes who was the director of Fogg Art Museum at Harvard University between 1909 and 1944 and is considered one of the most important art conversationists in the States. He travelled the world to amass pigments that would help him authenticate classical Italian paintings by providing comparisons to standard dyes.

glass bottles filled with various colors of pigment

Every jar is labelled with fascinating details about origin, production and use of the pigments contained within. From the mineral deposit Lapis Lazuli that was prized for its brilliant blue tone and extracted when it was more expensive than gold from a remote area of Afghanistan, to Cadmium Yellow from the heavy metal Cadmium, which was favoured by Impressionist painters and, despite being found to be very toxic, appeared in Lego bricks as late as the 1970s. As Khandekar has noted, “every pigment has its own story.”

Original article written by: Jill Macnair





then to the elements be free

bigger dot proudly presents


written by Jeff Gray | illustrated by Jeff Parker | published by bigger dot

hand holding two copies of "then to the elements be free," printed by bigger dot

"Life is in the shapes you discover among what seem like scribbled lines."

- then to the elements be free

Then to the Elements Be Free explores habitats, wild environments, and animals through the thoughtful use of language, design, and the human imagination. Jeff Gray's playful poem and Jeff Parker's whimsical illustrations fuse in perfect harmony, creating a delightful reading experience for people of all ages. We're so excited to share it with you, and hope you enjoy it as much as we do!




artists we love: gemma o'brien

Gemma O'Brien, courtesy of The Jacky Winter Group

Gemma O'Brien, courtesy of The Jacky Winter Group

Gemma O'Brien's lettering is truly inspirational. The 29 year old Australian artist quit law school after a year to pursue a creative career by developing "a practice that sits between art, illustration, design and typography." 

Want to see more? Check out Gemma's portfolio , and read PrintMag's awesome interview with her!



portada: a serif font designed for digital media


Name: Portada
Designers: Veronika Burian and José Scaglione
Foundry: Type-Together
Release Date: September 2016

Portada, the new title typeface for Clarínis a serif font designed for editorial design and digital media. While sans-serif fonts are the preferred typeface for web and digital media design, Portada designers Veronika Burian and José Scaglione created their serif typeface to be just as legible as sans-serif fonts in digital formats.


Originally posted on AIGA. Read more about Portada here


The Final Day of Hot Metal Typesetting at the NYT


The Final Day of Hot Metal Typesetting at the NYT

source: Christopher Jobson for Colossal, reddit 

In 1886, the Linotype machine revolutionized printing by allowing larger volumes of pages to be rapidly assembled for print. Less than 100 years after the Linotype's advent, digital printing technology rendered it obsolete. In 1978, typesetter Carl Schlesinger and filmmaker David Loeb Weiss captured the last day of linotype printing at the New York Times in their documentary film Farewell – ETAOIN SHRDLU. The film offers viewers a fascinating glimpse into the world of hot metal typesetting and the historical transition into the digital age. 



printing books on demand - revitalizing brick & mortar bookstores with new printing technology

Source: NY Times

Les puf bookstore doesn't have any books. Instead, the Parisian bookstore prints books on demand using the Espresso Book Machine. Customers use tablets to choose books they want to purchase, selecting from over 3 million titles.

Image source: Dmitry Kostyukov for the New York Times

Image source: Dmitry Kostyukov for the New York Times

It takes about five minutes for each book to print, about as long as it takes to have a quick espresso. Called the “Gutenberg press of the 21st century,”  the on-demand printing machine sits in the back of the shop, turning PDFs into paperbacks. 

Image source: Dmitry Kostyukov for the New York Times

Image source: Dmitry Kostyukov for the New York Times

Read the full story here



Dream the Impossible Dream: Craig Welsh Restores a Masterpiece

Source: Neenah Paper Blog

When Alvin Lustig died more then 60 years ago, he left an amazing legacy of design, so much so that his widow decided to carry on his legacy and has ensured his works would never be forgotten. Check out the video below and make sure you go to their Kickstarter page here

Old woman examining an alphabet printed in black letters on white paper
As we reviewed things, Elaine would then help to sketch her ideas of how she felt the letterforms would best be refined. There would often be a lot of discussion followed by more refinement at my studio after the visits.- Craig Welsh
Old woman and young man examining a typeface
Typeface samples reading ABC, XYZ, ELC