Network Television on Print Bandwagon!

As loyal readers know, Printeresting has been diligently noting the faddishness of printmaking for quite a while. From Martha Stewart and Jay Leno to Urban Outfitters and J. Crew, popular culture has embracing printing technologies. A related trend has been the boom in the hand-printed poster market. While no accurate data is available, the popularity of sites like gigposters, omgposters, and expressobeans, is a testament to the power of the contemporary poster.

Further proof, even network television shows are getting in on the print craze. According to Lostpedia (that’s the Lost Encyclopedia, of course), Damon, Carlton and a Polar Bear is a Lost alternate reality game from ABC studios. In addition to the game, the site has been selling hand-printed silkscreens commemorating the show. The posters are designed by some of the top designers in the field including Leia Bell, Jason Munn, and Jay Ryan…

Ken_TaylorKen Taylor, The Smoke Monster, 24″x18″, silkscreen, edition of 300.

Jay_RyanJay Ryan, The Polar Bear, 24″x18″, silkscreen, edition of 300.

ABC commissioned the game and the posters earlier in the year as part of a viral ad campaign in anticipation of Lost‘s last season. The project is an example of a large media corporation using the handmade object as way to create a sense of exclusivity and connect with their audience in a more “real” way. Admittedly, 300 isn’t exactly a small edition but judging by all the “sold out” signs, the strategy works. You can see the rest of the posters here.

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Categories: Artwork

3 Responses to “Network Television on Print Bandwagon!”

  1. A. Llamas says:

    I’m not sure I agree with the statement that this is “faddish.” I think people are becoming more educated about the “hand-made” product. You are sounding like those hipsters who get really pissy when people start discovering their favorite band.

  2. jasonurban says:

    I’m disappointed you took the post that way, A. Llamas, as it was not my intended tone. I would actually be very happy if EVERYONE “discovered my favorite band” because it would give us more to write about here on Printeresting. As long as we’re allowed to be critical, I say the more the merrier.

    Here’s a link to a great Dave Eggers interview where he discusses the the band popularity phenomenon to which you refer. It is far more succinct and clear than anything I could write about it. I read it years ago and have taken it to heart ever since…

  3. RL Tillman says:

    A., your analogy is funny. But we’re not huddling up in the VFW parking lot after the show to discuss printmaking.

    I think you may have misread the tenor of the commentary. We joke about the increasing popularity of print, but we’re pretty happy about it. After all, it’s in our own self-interest as artists. You’re right that a broader public is learning about the handmade print, and this is something we’ve addressed more seriously on the site before.

    So anyway, we’re not pissy. Maybe bemused, smug, annoying… But not pissy!