Some great designers say they’d come visit us for the one-year mark of The Reflex Blue Show, and to record Episode #29. We took them up on it. Then we locked them in a room for an entire Saturday and made them work. February 28th in Omaha isn’t usually great out, so we really didn’t feel too bad about it.

It was Steve Hartman of Creativille, Justin Ahrens of Rule29, and Christine Taylor of Hallmark. Somehow Nate and I were there too, and we felt our guests’ creative powers dwarfing ours in a 12′ x 9′ room. The goal was to design a poster that Life in Abundance (LIA) could sell to raise funds for their work. This entire project was made possible by the great people at Spark Stationery and Neenah Paper. (Use them when you can – they’re both great.)


None of us (other than Nate and I doing some projects together) had worked together on any projects in the past, and we had purposely not given anybody any details before they arrived. The project was designed to start with a fresh perspective from everybody.

How do we start? We didn’t know, but thought we’d first share an email we got from Spark Stationery with some tips for designing for letterpress. Then we handed it over to Justin, who gave a brief talk about LIA (he’s been doing quite a bit of work for them), and he finished by showing us a video of the effect they have on the people they help.

Pens and large sheets of paper were on the table when we started. Naturally, with five creatives and caffeine at the same table, doodling began, followed by ideas. We agreed on an idea to go with just as lunch was to occur.


After grabbing a bite at Runza, the computers came were freed from their bags, and we naturally gravitated to different aspects of the project to work on. The goal to finish the poster before we left was met. Sort of. Justin wanted to do some type cleanup, and go over the files to make check for the little things that get glossed over in a time crunch. I wanted to check with our sponsors on the wording of the credit lines.

We ended up with a concept that requires five letterpress color plates, and an additional one as a blind emboss. As we are now, the files and paper (Eames™ Furniture, Solar White, 120lb Cover) from Neenah Paper have been sent to be printed by Spark Stationery, who’s printing is always incredible. The poster should be available for sale on May 1, 2009. We’ll be posting photos when we get them in.

To be updated when we get photos of the poster, and when they are available for purchase in the LIA store, join our Facebook group, follow us on Twitter, or subscribe to our RSS Feed.

The entire purchase price of the posters will be going to a good cause too: Life in Abundance works in urban and rural slums of Northeast Africa on helping to empower the most marginalized in areas of education, Aids, healthcare, sanitation, poverty and more by equipping communities to rise above their circumstances.