Still reeling from the amazing performance by Lubomyr Melnyk at YU on Friday night … great sounds in a great space! We’re lucky to have worked on the printing of two of Lubomyr’s releases through Hinterzimmer Records, including the recent “Windmills” which he performed live on Friday.
Hot off the sewing machines, we now have two colors of Stumptown Printers ball caps available.
We wanted to make an all American baseball cap with all made in America parts and materials. It was a little trickier than we thought to do that. As it turns out, most custom embroidered patches and ball caps you can buy in the States are made overseas. We were surprised to learn that even companies with names like “Patriot Patches” and “All American Patch Embroidery” outsource their labor to overseas markets.
Luckily for us, Blazing Stitches right here in Portland worked with us to make the beautiful yellow twill-backed patches. We used American Made Cap company out of Texas for the high quality twill ball caps with traditional snap-backs. And to put it all together we turned to the fine folks at Queen Bee, right up the hill from us here in North Portland, to have them apply the patches to the caps using heavy duty stitching.
The hats are now available, in both red and black, in our store for $25 each.
Congrats to Eli West & Cahalan Morrison on the great NPR and Folk Alley coverage this week! The physical album has great artwork — printed here at Stumptown Printers just a couple weeks ago using 2 colors on Chipboard, with our Phillip’s Favorite package design. Listen to "I’ll Swing My Hammer With Both My Hands" here, but be sure to pick up a copy for yourself.
Arigato Pak! Where did you guys come up with that name?
Good Question. I’m surprised that it took you so long to ask it. Over ten years ago we applied this somewhat oddball name to our (at the time) new and equally unconventional disc package design. We thought that the name may raise an eyebrow or two. We also imagined that one day we would grow tired of explaining the name’s origins. But nope. The name stuck, the album package design rapidly spread by word of mouth across independent music communities around the globe, and we’ve only shared the story of the name a handful of times. I suppose we underestimated the community of Arigato Pak users. Of course the name wouldn’t seem like an oddity. The Arigato Pak! has always appealed to a creative avant-garde crew of artists, musicians and the like who wouldn’t bat an eyelid to such things.
The Story: Around the time when we were revising some designs of paperboard based disc packaging which would evolve into the “arigato pak,” we purchased a new (to us) press. It belonged to a retired artist who used the machine to print four-color reproductions of his oil paintings. We were on the hunt for a machine that had a small foot print but behaved like a larger press; one that could handle thick 18pt paper board but still register on a dime. Judging by the quality of the process color printing that the previous owner was producing, we knew that this little work horse could handle the later. But could it handle the heavy weight board that we were using for packaging? “Yes, Jake can do it.” Answered the artist-printer. “Jake?” We inquired. “Yes, the press. Jake. Mr. Jake Arigato.” Ah Ha! Arigato! We fed paper cut to the press sheet size required for our new package design, and it ran beautifully. The machine was designed and manufactured in Japan by Hamada, and so after completing a successful print run, the previous owner would thank the press by using the Japanese word for “thank you” (short for domo arigato = thank you very much). The name came with the press, so we passed it onto the new design.
We decided to use the mis-spelling of the word “pack” (pak) as an homage to ubiquitous utilitarian packaging whose manufacturing names use this spelling. (If anyone knows where this hackneyed spelling came from or why, please let us know) I’ve seen many packaging companies who use it: such and such pak, etc. The one very notable example is “fold-pak”. They’re the company who manufacture those clever paperboard take away food containers, popularized by American Chinese carry out restaurants. Picture: white waxed paper with illustrations of pagodas and the words “Enjoy” and “thank you” printed in red ink. The “hook” fasteners on the Arigato Pak! are reminiscent of the hook closer of these carry-out food containers, so we thought that this spelling is appropriate. So there you have it– The story of how the Arigato Pak! got its name. We’re proud of this oddball name and oddball package design, and happy that it has made it to far corners of the world while it houses many generes of music from many cultures.
Look for the Arigato Pak! name which appears on the inner flap (hidden when assembled) of every package that we print and manufacture. Designed and made proudly in Portland, Oregon by yours truly: Stumptown Printers. Arigato! Arigato!
Read more about the Arigato Pak anniversary here.
Arigato Leaf Baby illustration by Bwana Spoons
Portland, we hope that your banjo hangovers are subsiding as the dust settles upon the 2014 15th annual Old Time Music Gathering. Good times were had, whiskey was spilled, 76 year-old upright basses were shattered and plenty of good music came busting out of dance halls, pubs and house parties for nearly a week. As proud supporters/sponsors of this non-profit volunteer run event, we were happy to host an open house here at the shop which dovetailed into many old-time music happenings. Thanks to everyone who stopped by, and thanks to the musicians who played tunes and sang songs over the sounds of the Linotype and printing presses.
The Portland Old Time Gathering is in full swing — year 15!!! Quite an accomplishment for an all-volunteer event! We’re proud to have been a sponsor of the Gathering almost from the start, printing a new poster each year. In celebration of this collaboration, we have put together an Open House on January 17th.
Since Stumptown Printers also turns 15 this year, we have invited some of our out-of-town customers to play as duos to celebrate the dual anniversaries. From 3-6pm this Friday there will be music in the front room, and an opportunity to see the presses and production area in the back. Stop by to talk shop and hear some tunes from Clancy Ward & Sarah York (Wisconsin), Charlie Beck & Charmaine Slaven (Washington), and Beth Bingman & Rich Kirby (Kentucky).
Afterwards, hop on the Max Yellow Line to get down to the Scottish Rite Center for the Old Time Gathering concert. There is a great line up of music, workshops and dancing scheduling all weekend long.
The Dickel Brothers are Back! (For about four days) and Stumptown Printers has re-typeset and reprinted their US tour poster from the year 2000 (pictured on top, original poster to the right). We cast some new and slightly different linotype borders for the poster and made some copy changes. Otherwise, the same wood and metal type was used, as well as the halftone photo cut of the band which was well preserved in a forgotten dusty galley so it survived the 14 years just fine.
When we printed the original poster back in 2000, the shop was located at its first location - in a small 500 sq foot shop within an all ages show space called “The Glass Factory.” We printed late at night, with some of the band members helping out (for full disclosure, I’m the guy on the poster holding the bass). I believe we pulled impressions until we saw the sun the next morning. This current edition was printed in a limited run: there will be 50 available for purchase at up coming Dickel Brothers shows this weekend.
From our Instagram: January 15th marks 15 years of the Portland Old Time Music Gathering, and 15 posters that we’ve printed for it each year. We’re looking forward to next week!
Here are a couple pics which show the detail of Laurie Lewis’s cover art (see post below). The original illustration was created by Tom Rozum. The red is a halftone image printed with our house red ink, using offset lithography. This was overprinted using letterpress, with black ink. The fine detail of the illustration is held nicely with the above pictured 11pt metal letterpress plate.
Laurie Lewis’s latest on press. More info about the release can be found on Laurie’s site, and also the label website. It was a fun project to work on, not only are these guys monster musicians - among the finest in the old-time / bluegrass / traditional country music scene - they came up with original artwork that was perfect for a combo offset-litho/letterpress print run.