DIY WPA Art Prints

September 21, 2007

I recently came across an image of a WPA poster promoting good dental hygiene:


I thought it was a very fun poster, and perfect for our bathroom, which is in desperate need of some art after we remodeled it a few years ago.

I did some Googling to see if I could find a print of it. I did find many sites selling glicee copies, but no originals. I figured I might as well ink-jet it myself if I’m just going to get a glicee print.

It then occurred to me that being a WPA print, there must be a government archive of these somewhere. Sure enough, The Library of Congress has these all online. As a bonus, they have a lot of them as hi-res scans. Though their definition of ‘hi-res’ isn’t going to provide you with many poster-size reproductions, they’re certainly high enough quality for some DIY 8×10 framed prints.

Some more examples include this great print:


And I think this one is my favorite. Perfect for the kids room. I have no idea what it’s promoting, but it’s fun:


And while I might not hang these in my home, there’s also an impressive number of syphilis themed prints as well:


A secondary bonus is that these all being WPA-sponsored prints, they are copyright free as our tax monies paid for them. So get the ink jet warmed up and start printing some great, free art for the home.

And do get tested for syphilis.

UPDATE: I decided I wanted a version of the Teeth poster in a bit higher resolution than they offered, so took the time to retrace it as a vector illustration (download PDF)



What are Field Notes? They’re notepads. With really nice grid paper. That look like Moleskines. But they’re not. (via/more photos @ NotCot)

Which, in and of itself, is a decent selling point. I’m kind of Moleskined out. Field Notes are a product of Coudal Partners and Draplin Design.

I like them, though I’m not sure they’re compellingly different than Moleskines, though the 3 for $9.99 is a nice price (though the $6 shipping puts them back on par with Moleskine).

Which is a bummer. You wouldn’t think it’d be THAT hard to find decent grid paper for a few bucks. I’ve been having the type-design itch lately and wanted to pick up some sketch books. I started asking around and found a few options:

  • Behance notebooks are designed with grids of dots (rather than lines) – $14
  • Art of the Grid aren’t traditional grid patterns, but are instead based on the layout grids of famous publications – can’t find prices

And that was about it. I finally ended up at Dick Blick in Roseville. Eyeng the Moleskines but eventually grabbing a $.69 house brand pad. Great price, but, alas, just isn’t quite the same. Back to the hunt for the perfect, affordable grid paper…

Flor @ Target

August 21, 2007

Stopped by the new Super Target in Midway yesterday. Nothing too impressive about it. Yet another super target. Meh.

However, I did notice that they’re now selling Flor carpeting. Flor is a modular carpet system made from corn fibers. The catch? Well, they’re not exactly cheap. Target is selling boxes of tiles that cover 3′ x 5′ on sale for $49.99


So, at those prices, it’s not really going to compare to wall-to-wall carpet up front. However, if used as more of an accent on affordable laminate flooring, and if you consider the fact that any damaged areas can be replaced individually without replacing it all, it might be a viable, affordable design solution.

Estilo: Typeface on sale

August 17, 2007

One of the inspirations for this new blog was stumbling upon DSType‘s summer sale.

Alas, I procrastinate, so the sale ended prior to getting this blog up and running.

Or so I thought. Turns out that  the Type Trust has extended the sale one more day. Get them while you can!

DSType has some very nice typefaces at a very nice price usually. The sale makes it a steal. Here’s my favorite, Estilo Script:


Target has always been the ‘Wal-Mart that gets design’. It’s been a mixed bag of late, however, as they begin to stock more paper towels than interesting products. This summer, though, we noticed their line of in-house ‘Play Wonder’ products. The line included a variety of outdoor toys, including this great plywood scoot-bike for toddlers.

$ 50 was a steal of a price compared to the usual $150+ these types of bikes go for. But, it’s target, and being broke, we’ve gotten in the habit of gambling a bit and just waiting for that end-of-season price slashing they always have.


Sure enough, 2 weeks go they all went on sale for 50% and we snagged one for $25. It’s a decent enough bike that takes just a bit of fumbling to put together. I was equally impressed with the packaging with the varnished pattern of playing children.


As of this week, the whole line is 75% so if you’re lucky you might be able to snag on at an unbelievable $12.50.

An introduction.

August 15, 2007

I’m Darrel. A graphic designer from MN with a wife, two kids and a middle class urban existence. I like good design. I can’t afford most good design. This blog is an attempt to find the good design that does exist out there that the normal person can afford. We’ll see how it goes.