I told Kitty that I would try to be more regular with my blog conversations than in the recent past. And so, to humor her, I am climbing back into the routine of posts that will hopefully amuse both of us. As it stands right now, I am in a windowless room with three Dell computers with a cup of coffee with whitener (powdered creamer) waiting for my car to have it's constitutional 30,000 mi. check up. I am flashing back in this windowless space, illuminated by green light and hunkered down over a keyboard--to the hours and days I have spent doing exactly the same things during press checks for my clients or for my employers. The marvelous, stress laden press checks where I would wait in the "client room" for the color to come up to speed and a succession of press sheets to review, approve and or "move the color". These press checks were during the process of days (and often nights), weeks with many nights spent restlessly dozing on a less than savory brown corduroy couch (they were always brown or beige and covered in some miracle fabric that "wiped clean). If the print salesman said it was a day pressrun, bags were packed for a few days. When he suggested it was a "quick one" which often evolves to a not so quick one as inevitably there were issues with fit, with ghosting, with registration, with a plate being "bad", with creep, with imposition, with the miserable compromises one must make in starving one image to benefit another. Time was not a measure or standard at all. Time was measured in dinner bells--in the windowless client room which was "furnished" as a cheap man cave (as so few of us who do this are girls) with chips, and ESPN on television.
My favorite issue was with paper. The sheet that was specified has the top of the sheet delaminate from the body of the paper pulling the sheet in half as it printed. Can you say DISASTER...and the fun we had with the paper rep claiming they would have to "look into it" before providing replacements and allowing me to meet my deadline with the client. The plate remakes. The tough designer that the press guys actually liked (and hugged) would make them make it right...which they were often not held to my standard...and it often took a day or so for them to realize that what they could get away with with others, they could not do so with me. I am not often on press checks these days. I am not sure people do that anymore. What with the high quality digital work, the price of the job often is less than the price of a designer on press for an hour, that perfection in printing is going the way of the typesetter. Ah. change.... More times for tattoos, illustrations and gifts to my farmers.
I am working on a new bag design for Farmer Ground Flour. Who and What is Farmer Ground? Well, Farmer Ground Flour is a local mill owned by Greg Mol, miller and Cornell graduate who buys his grain from Thor (local farmer) and sells it to Stefan (and the world) for Stefan's bakery, Wide Awake Bakery. Farmer Ground is going into Whole Foods--to all of our excitement, and we are developing a generic sack for the nine types of flour that they mill regularly. Very exciting. Very real and quite a kick in Farmer Ground's business.
This type of business is an example of solid, sustainable enterprises that are squarely landing left foot, right foot in the right direction. This type of business is the version 2 of the small farming community--and is the next (combined) big business that is developing in the Finger Lakes. Farmer Ground, The Piggery, Wide Awake, Forge, Redbyrd Orchard Cidery to name a few are all excellently run companies that have roots here in the Tburg area--founded by mid career people who want to be viable in this local foodshed. However, though there is help here for farms, there is no help for farmers. There is no grange. There is no cooperative health insurance. There are no buying groups. There is no infrastructure. if someone cuts their hand or god forbid, gets pregnant....they are SOL. No help. No shoulder. No guideposts. They must, each and everyone of them, find a path and direction without collaboration or help from an entity (read my mind, Cornell Cooperative Extention?) who have the back office to help them keep farming without losing their shirts, and having resources we all take for granted.