The Post Family + 37 Signals - Design Bureau

The Post Family + 37 Signals

Monday, June 27th, 2011

Last year, OG-Design Bureau contributor The Post Family was commissioned by Chicago-based web-application company 37 Signals to create a mural for its new office space. From the get-go, wood was determined to be the material of choice, and after some deliberation, the Family decided to run with the theme of "Parts of a Whole," aiming to tie together the two sides of the office. After three months of cutting, sanding, painting, and finishing 560 pieces of wood sourced from The Rebuilding Exchange, a colorful, seismographic diptych was born. We talked to Alex Fuller about the project and whether The Post Family will be trading in Photoshop for the workshop anytime soon.

Are you accustomed to taking on projects like this, or was it more of a one-off?

We are starting to get more opportunities like this, although I'm not sure we are accustomed to it just yet. We have been commissioned by a number of companies to create letterpress art, apparel graphics, installation art, and even team-building workshops and discussions at institutions. This was the largest project to date.

Did 37 Signals have any say in the direction of the piece, or did you have free reign?

We were given free reign within reason. No goats blood or shitty topical humor. We did evolve the execution numerous times throughout the process, but Jason Fried was a really good sport through the whole thing. In the end, his open mind and our ever-changing vision really came together to be one of our strongest projects yet.

Are you ready to put down the laptop and take up a belt sander full-time?

We all have dreams of getting our hands dirty full-time. We really love collaborating on these installation projects. Truthfully, Rod is the only one the family with serious wood-shop skills.

How did making the mural compare to your normal work process?

Like our design process, we presented multiple concepts and allowed our client to choose a direction. But working with physical pieces instead of software was a welcome change of pace. The final composition of the piece could never have been conceived strictly digitally. Nor vise versa. It took laying out a composition digitally and then having all the pieces laid out in front of us and physically moving them around to see what we could come up with. A little trial and error can go much further in the physical space than digitally.

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