what is it exactly about Cleveland that makes you want to sing about it?


Every once in while I come across something from my homeland (aka, the Midwest, that place in the middle, with cows, corn, cheese and casserole dishes with cereal or fried onions on top) that makes me smile and get a little fond of home. Just the other week I received this poster in the mail and didn't hesitate to find it an honored space on the walls of my bedroom.

This is a hand pulled six screen silkscreen on 25 x 38 (French paper lightweight stock), meaning... it's friggin huge poster. And, being printed on French paper... (with whom I printed my very first set of business cards back in college with) it's a pretty sweet setup. I received print 183 out of 300 or so in the edition. The poster was drawn and pulled by one of my favorite gig poster illustrators ever, Jay Ryan (who I had the pleasure of meeting at Bumbershoot the other year. Chances are pretty high that he'll be setting up his booth with some of the other All Stars of gig posters at Bumbershoot again this summer, so look him up and say hi at the at the Flatstock expo.) Check out more of his work at his Chicago studio, The Bird Machine.

Anyways, this print appeals to me because A) I like the colors, B) I'm from the midwest (ohio baby), and C) I heart woodland creatures. In fact, deer are rather a special animal to me. So many times over the years growing up my mom would request me to come sit in the front seat of the car with her and watch for deer. We always had a lot of people who had car accidents with deer and I have a habit of being able to spot them on the side of the road really quickly, day or night. I think it made my mom happy because not only would it be good conversation time, but also because it would remind her of her dad, who died shortly before I was born. Her dad was a really great hunter; skilled in the art of bow and arrow as well as shotgun. I don't hunt at all, but I share his keen ability of being able to spot them quickly in a corn field or in the woods. As well, I've also had many what I refer to now as "Helen Miren Moments" (aka: the "stag scene" from the movie The Queen) where for brief little seconds that seemingly last forever, I've found myself in close proximity with deer, elk, some other wildlife creature in their natural habitat. Here, in these small moments, I've been given a gift of being able to sit in on their habitats. I've heard them talking to each other, they've seen me, and no one bolted... it's been pretty special. Anyways, this print kinda reminds me of those moments and makes me smile.

Art you hang on your walls should do that.


Also, if you're from the Midwest, you might have a chuckle or two out of these "retro t-shirts" from this Ohio company called Homage. Actually, I don't know if they are really from Ohio, but all the Ohio State themed stuff is making me think as much.

Also - speaking of the Midwest and t-shirts, I came across this bike shop company out of Milwaukee Wisconsin aptly named "Milwaukee Bicycle Company". I liked their script logo so much, I had to buy a t-shirt. Another beautiful impulse buy. Here is their logo on a messenger bag. sweeeet.

Also hailing from Milwaukee is what personally got me started in graphic design, what I consider to be one of the greatest sports logos of all time, the Milwaukee Brewers logo from the mid 80's. I remember clearly the day I was drawing the logo on the back of an elementary school notebook and it suddenly dawned on me... the glove of the logo was designed so that not only did it look like a glove, but it also contained the letters "M & B". Genius... Billiant. To me, that's what graphic design is! Being able to convey the most meaning in the simplest of forms. It's like a little puzzle that only half of the population really ever notices... but when you do, it's like learning to speak a foreign language. You see things with new eyes.

mid 80's Brewers Logo:

The Brewers also are currently sporting a nice script as well. In fact, I like their current script so well, it not only is the basis of our athletic logos for the Savannah College of Art and Design, but it also forms as the basis for the logo of my softball team, the Brewhers.

current Brewers logo:

SCAD athletic logo:

Brewhers softball logo:

Oh, the Midwest. Not exactly the design capital of the US, but it does have some perks.

Speaking of which... what is it exactly about the Midwest, especially Cleveland - that makes you want to sing about it?

30 Rocks thinks so...

Drew Carey thinks so...

Even these random people think so too.

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