Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Globe Poster and Press at MICA

MICA’s purchase of the Globe collection happened during my sophomore year and I followed it very closely as a printmaking major. I have always been interested in letterpress printmaking and waited patiently until my junior year to be able to take the letterpress class taught by Mary Mashburn. A few of my close friends in the department were interns that year, and what really peaked my interest in the Globe internship was seeing the work that they were making using the collection, and how they were helping to keep the Globe legacy alive. I applied to the internship knowing that I had acquired a nice set of letterpress skills and also a genuine fondness for the collection.








The Globe Press was started by Harry Shapiro in 1929 and ran for over 80 years. As a press it made eyecatching posters for bands and performing artists, political figures, and community events. The collection itself is massive, so a big part of the move to MICA involves archiving its many, many drawers of wood type, as well as image blocks with the faces of everyone from Marvin Gaye to Snoop Dogg. The Globe Collection and Press at MICA exists to preserve this legacy and to keep the collection alive and available to anyone wishing to use it. The press works with visiting artists, businesses, museums and anyone else wishing to add that “globe feel” to a poster or publication.


There were two main projects that the 5 Globe interns worked on in the fall semester 2012. The first
was a commission by the Sanrio Corporation to create Hello Kitty’s official campaign poster in the Globe
style. We printed a 5 layer screenprint and letterpress combination following Globe’s tradition of dayglow
colors with a black letterpressed top layer. The second was creating an Art Market presence for
Globe. We created t-shirts, holiday and greeting cards, and type based posters using the collection to
showcase itself. We each also had weekly studio monitoring hours, making sure the type and equipment
was functioning properly and helping members of the letterpress classes with projects.

Overall, I am most proud the quantity and quality of all of the prints and merchandise I helped make. As the only printmaking major on the team for this semester, I was able to be more aware of what was happening in the studio, and therefore be a point person on the team. I think the most important thing I learned was that despite the sometimes rigorous physical nature and meticulousness of the various processes I used, I still want to do them, and ideally as my career. I know for sure now that I am happiest in production mode.