dude and chick is our latest score here on meade street. and man are we happy to have found them! hailing from st. paul, minnesota they are a design savvy, super smart letterpress duo. they fit so swimmingly at wordshop we thought we’d find out a little bit more about them. so we chatted with katie (the “chick”) and now we’re sharing it with you. read on…
question #1. can you give us your top three things that inspire you as a designer?
Since I work from home by myself a lot, I’d say the biggest thing that inspires my design is what I listen too. My boyfriend’s a bit of an audiophile, and since I tend to get in music ruts pretty fast (my Better than Ezra music collection is still in embarrassingly regular rotation) he regularly sneaks onto my computer and creates mixes for me to listen too, as well as flagging new albums that the cool kids are loving each week. I’ve got playlists for every mood – motown, slow morning, 90’s pop rock… But I also spend quite a bit of time with my podcasts, books on CD, and NPR. If I’ve got a lot of pre-press cleanup to do (or cards to fold), it’s Morning Edition, Savage Love, This American Life, and currently A Million Little Pieces on tape. I’m always surprised at how the sounds going into my head make different sorts of things come out on paper.
I also have about a hundred ‘inspiration’ folders that clutter my desktop. Every time I see a color palette, idea, drawing style, or otherwise nifty thing, it’s screenshot and dumped in the folder. This ever-growing image bank is a visual to-do list that I go back to regularly to draw from. In addition, John and I collect old books at flea markets, posters, etc–really anything with a cool illustration style, and we have a little library that we can go back to when we need new ideas. We’ve found a ton of neat stuff from the fifties and sixties, and since we have such different eye for design, we’re constant poring over the same references and finding new stuff.
question #2. what was the first card you ever designed? tell us the story behind it.
Though I’ve always been a creative lady, I’ve also always been pretty practical. When I was little, I would take over the basement for the full duration of my holiday break from school and lock everyone out of “santa’s workshop”. I’d set up my little radio and tune it to KISN FM, (the oldies station! keep on KISN) then spent hours crafting christmas cards and placemats for our small family dinner we had every year. I really liked the assembly line feel that my work had to it – I made lists of the guests, and things that they liked, selected colored markers and pencils for each drawing, and then banged em out.
The piece I remember the most isn’t exactly a card – it was a placemat for my dad. Since he’s a cyclist, I drew Santa riding a modernized sleigh made from a bicycle…complete with a cookie-filled basket and a sort of hot chocolate dispensing keg. You can see where my priorities lie.
question #3. katie, i know you have been all over the country, what are some of your favorite local boutiques to shop in?
Minneapolis is really a great city for cool stuff – I Like You in NE is awesome (they have grass carpet!) as is Design Collective on 26th and Hennepin, ROBOTlove, and Hunt and Gather on 44th and Xerxes (which is more of an antique store than a boutique, but so so good that it can’t be overlooked).
But, of course, if I’m in Denver, wordshop is the best!
question #4. what is it that you value about cards in the internet age? what makes you feel good about getting a letter in the mail or a card on your b-day as opposed to an email or a facebook wall post?
I come from a family where, even though my mom lives all the way out in Portland OR, she STILL calls me a week before the birthday or special occasion of anyone we know. As in, “Hey honey, you remember Steven, my hairstylist? Well, just wanted to remind you his birthday is a week from Saturday, and I emailed his address to you, so be sure to send a card!”
I think that no matter how small the gesture (or how obscure the relation) it’s always so nice to get a little surprise in your mailbox addressed just to you. It takes time, and planning, and finding a stamp, and it just feels more thought out. I save cards I receive every year, and it just feels like a file full of lovin. Gmail has yet to warm my heart in this way.
question #5. what do you think makes dude and chick special? what type of person would love your cards the most?
Dude and Chick is special because it’s our own, it’s just us, and we make what we like. I think that since John and I are responsible for every aspect of our line, we pay attention to the details, right down to rounded corners and envelope colors (at one point we actually had more envelope options than cards in the line. Oops.) We firmly believe that cool people like our stuff, and we’ve found that to be true…I think most folks find something they like in our line.
come get dude and chick in store now! tons of cute designs, guaranteed.