Design + Products + Trends + People

Are We Where We Live?

Portland poster via

Portland poster via

The Anna Sui boutique is in Manhattan, right? Technically, yes – but more accurately, it is located in SoHo.

Looking to revel in the Harvey Milk-founded LGBT street festival while in San Francisco? You have to go to the Castro.

Missing the opening act at the Metro in Chicago? That’s because you are in Bucktown, you need to zip over to Wrigleyville.

Point being, the best way to know a city is to know the neighborhoods. Local residents identify with and fiercely defend their piece of turf within the megalopolis. The way in which these neighborhoods weave together energizes a city – creating it’s own special flavor and a decisive street vibe.

Chicago resident Jenny Beorkrem, founder of Ork Design, celebrates this unique urban phenomenon with a series of cool typographic neighborhood posters – better known as Ork Posters. She has taken the utilitarian messages of a map and smartly spun them into deceivingly functional and striking diagrams. Inspired by Bauhaus convictions and supervised by her dog, Ms. Beorkrem develops vibrant informational visuals solely with forms from the DIN1451 typeface . She also hearkens back to a golden age of poster design with bold, textural ink resulting from the screen print process. Sensible modernity balances the vintage feel, evidenced by the use of soy ink and recycled/recyclable materials from New Leaf Paper and French Paper.

We are inclined to agree with the positive acclaim that has been heaped upon these posters, celebrated particularly in the Chicago International Poster Biennial. This series of thirteen graphics is being snatched for reasons as far-reaching as to include the simple adornment of a basement apartment to the strategic styling of some swanky island resort.

For now, we simply revel in the practical and compositional genius of this work – spare yet dense spacial studies. We also feel challenged by Ms. Boerkrem to explore and identify the cool subtleties within our own cities as we anxiously wait for them to pop onto her roster.

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