Finding a word or phrase
Every piece on Phraseology starts with a word or phrase that has been submitted by our users. We have created a login that allows us to view all the words or phrases that people have submitted. Normally we end up selecting a few phrases that we love and then picking one to focus on. We try to tackle as many submissions as possible, but we have received far more submissions than we can handle so unfortunately we cannot get to each and every one.
Once a word or phrase has been selected we end up sketching like crazy! Luckily we love to draw and play with letters. Lots and lots of graph/tracing paper is used up. Lots of love is given to each piece. A lot of the pieces are based on an old piece of signage or a style that we have been itching to experiment with.
Eventually, after many many hours of sketching we land on a sick idea and finish it out. This might mean hours of using the Pen tool in Illustrator or making something by hand. Once the piece is complete we send it free into the world! You guys talk about it, give us feedback. Share it on the interwebs, ask for prints, etc.
After a while we decide to do a few prints of the piece. These prints are not just some inkjet nonsense. No, these prints are hand pulled silk-screen beauties. Each color in the design is broken down into individual layers and burned onto separate screens. Many times we have to simplify the designs so that we aren't printing more than 2 or 3 colors on a piece.
Now comes the fun! We have to find the right paper, we prefer French Paper, It's a family owned business right here in Michigan and they are one of the first and oldest green paper companies. We also have to mix custom ink colors since Jacquard only offers a basic line of colors. This means all that color wheel stuff learned in art school becomes so important. At first Drew was a bit rusty but after a few really really late nights He was rocking some nice ink colors.
Once the ink is mixed, the paper is delivered and cut, the project out to our friends at Citizenshirt -- These guys are absolutely fantastic to work with. They even set up a special place in their studio for us to print! They burn the screens and set up the registrations for the prints so everything comes out perfect. Since we are very particular about how we want the prints to look we'll usually spend some time with them while they are first setting up just to make sure everything looks perfect.
All thats left is printing.
We aren't done yet! Before we put the new products on the store we put together some product shots. So we call up the best, and Ryan Pavlovich comes out to shoot the new products. We will normally spend a day inside a cool house or something just shooting the pieces to reflect the personality of each print.
That's it! Each piece is then hand numbered and posted on the store.
Phraseology began as a project to fill the time for Drew Melton. When the clients stopped calling for a month or two he decided to focus on doing some experimental work instead of trying to find more client work. The more he focused on doing his own work. The more he enjoyed not working for clients. This project began turning into his most important "client" (in his head at least) and he loves making each piece.
However, the clients do come back and there are only so many hours in a day. As the project has progressed the pieces have begun taking longer and longer. Some of them might take 10-15 hours. So instead of advertising (which we hate on every level) we decided to try to create a product that would help support the site and add beauty as well. Because the project is based on your submissions we thought it would be a great way to own a piece of the project.
We are hoping that the prints will help to offset some of the costs of maintaining and running the site since we are constantly tweaking and upgrading the it, which requires some development magic. We hope that someday it can offset the cost of our time as we become focused on generating great work for this site!
Either way, we do all of this because we love it, plain and simple. Thanks for checking us out and submitting. We couldn't do it without you!