Knowing is half the battle

Designed by a nerduo, printed by us

We’re going to get a good workout at the studio when this BATTLE shirt goes to press.

Its been the fastest selling design on our site.

In commemoration of G.I. Joe, I present my favorite fake PSA.

Look at all your different colored hats!

Fate to Fatal

Kim and Kelley take a break after printing up 1000 limited edition “Fate to Fatal” EPs.

I’m going down to Shake It Records tonight (8pm) to see these fine ladies play some music in commemoration of their release and Record Store Day.

Things have been so pedal-to-the-metal that I haven’t really taken the time to talk about this record. The cover is the first one I’ve ever designed proper, and it’s a helluva an honor to work with The Breeders. Vaughn Oliver’s work with them is one of the biggest reasons I do what I do these days. The fact I love their music? Gravy. The best gravy ever.

Total honor.

If you’re curious how to get the EP on vinyl, it is out there at independent shops on 4/18, then it will likely show up in more places on and offline soon.

super pretty

This is all one scarf, it’s called Blood Bank

I mentioned someone was making scarves back in November (still working on a little movie about ’em), but I had yet to provide any more detail.

And that’s been hard because these are easily some of my most favorite things to photograph at the studio, ever. Whenever I got ready to don the hat of promoter and street barker, they would sell out.

So without delay, I’m sharing this link to Kelley Deal Goods

I have too many favorites.

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back in the studio

Tom made this

I didn’t see my workmates for six days while the weather was inclement. So while I pushed around pixels at home, Tom and Wendy worked on projects from their end (while balancing everything with a house full of sick kids that were off school).

When I walked in the joint on Monday, I saw evidence of Tom’s playful creative side. The image above is a slice of a poster design concept he worked up.

I quite dig it.

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I refuse to participate in the recession

3 creams. 7:47 a.m.

We’ve been dedicating time at the studio to mind our business so to speak.

For the first two years, our studio has primarily been viewed as a t-shirt company. We do other design work in the background, but it doesn’t fit neatly into our website as it stands. On top of this disparity we started looking a few years out and realized we didn’t have much of a concrete vision in place.

What do we want to do? Where do we see our company? How could we get there?

To chart new territory, we enlisted the help of Laurie, an advisor and business coach. She’s been helping us define, prioritize and tackle a game plan. Along the way we’ve had exercises and assignments to clarify goals and actions. (You might remember the Post-It notes to the future from a while back.)

It’s been very rewarding, but every bit as much hard work.

On Friday we met with other groups and individuals in the area doing the same thing for their business.

I sat there in my car before the workshop, listening to NPR and dumping half-and-half into coffee. The news reports were grim. Job loss reports came out that day. More caution from the financial sector. I’m sure they tickled “Stormy Weather” on the ivories of Marketplace. It was brow furrowing, and even the weird excitement of being up before dawn didn’t ease it up much.

I stepped into the conference room filled with unfamiliar faces, listened perhaps a little harder, and ended the day with a better understanding of this whole planning concept.

When we wrapped up, everyone shared some thoughts of the day and one lady remarked that she “refused to participate in the recession.” I let out a sharp hearty laugh, tinged with a bit of discomfort and optimism.

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From screen to magazine

Making the cover

Cincinnati Magazine just released their annual “Best of the City” issue for 2008 (on newsstands now).

In it they list 110 of their favorite things around town, from restaurants and shops to services and activities (including kilt rental and clogging lessons.) They not only gave a shout out to Wire & Twine for our shirts, but they had us print up a batch for the cover along with a tee for every winner on the list.

This is the type of thing we file under ‘awesome’ around the studio. A great reward as we approach our anniversary and look forward to 2009 and lots of new projects.

(Related link: The “Open for business” post.)

This appreciation would not be complete without tipping our collective hats to everyone who filled up a cart and checked out of our virtual store, ‘blogged about a product, emailed a friend with a link, or even sent us good vibes.

Thank you thank you thank you.

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The “new” guy

cuttin it up

This is Joel.

You may have noticed him modeling some of the new shirts over at the shop. Well maybe not, since I’m always cropping off everyone’s heads.

Anyway, Joel has been with us for like a year now, so he’s technically not the new guy, but he is the newest. He comes in a few days of the week and can jump into darn near any project we’ve got going. That alone makes him valuable, but the real bonus is that he’s a bright and fun guy, with a passionate (and yes, maybe quirky) taste for music; whether he’s picking out an album to play, or talking about his own creations.

The only thing we disagree on is how to say Appalachia.

All in all, we lucked out finding him.

Current music: Thao & The Get Down, Stay Down “Yes, So On And So On”

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organizing

screens stacked in the darkroom

Joel (the “new” guy at the studio) has been getting things in order.

We’re gearing up for the holidays.

No time to type!

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Notes to the future

I make the same icons over and over it seems…

As we approach our 2nd anniversary at the studio, it’s time to figure out where we’ve been and were we want to go. Part of this process is to think through our personal vision.

We started this today.

Tom was printing out fun tidbits last I saw, Wendy was plotting out things on a grid, and I grabbed a marker and some post-it notes.

So I threw out everything—personal and professional—then gave a subjective rating as to how well I’m attending to any particular topic. (I’ll admit I borrowed the latter idea from Wendy’s grid)

Tomorrow? We reconvene and look for overlap and ways to help each other.

Photos ZOOM IN to read the notes

Current music: Deerhunter “Activation”

While the kids were sleeping

breaking out the index cards

Tom keeps having quality control issues with his thrice repaired and replaced laptop, so he went to the computer store and I was left to entertain myself at the quiet studio yesteday.

Crossed a few things off the to-read list while I ate lunch at sloth-like speed and then spent the afternoon carving out business plans with Wendy while her kids were sleeping.

We stared at the calendar, then came up with what is potentially a fine design idea. Now I’m fleshing out the doodle above.

Current music: The Killers “Human”

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