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A big, beautiful celebration of Chicago icons and architecture as limited-edition silkscreen art prints.
A big, beautiful celebration of Chicago icons and architecture as limited-edition silkscreen art prints.
184 backers pledged $17,845 to help bring this project to life.

About

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$17,845

184

Update #1 - Goal Reached! And The Windy City featured in Sunday's Chicago Sun-Times

We are a father-and-son creative duo raising funds to turn our intricate mural-like illustration of Chicago into colorful 36" x 24" fine-art screen prints.

You can order one now for $85, which includes shipping. After this Thursday at 5pm, we'll never sell them at retail for under $100 (we're going to start at $170).

Color is a work in-progress—here's our latest draft, as of 7/22:

Here's the latest color treatment, still a work in-progress.
Here's the latest color treatment, still a work in-progress.

Some detail shots of latest color work:

Some subtle shadows on the Marina tower ("corncob") give it much better dimension—there's a whole lot of this kind of thing to do on the buildings.
Some subtle shadows on the Marina tower ("corncob") give it much better dimension—there's a whole lot of this kind of thing to do on the buildings.
Meanwhile the principal characters are fleshed out pretty well, generally speaking.
Meanwhile the principal characters are fleshed out pretty well, generally speaking.
The floor of the scene needs the most work presently. The CSO, the fountain, and the ground are the least finished in the current revision.
The floor of the scene needs the most work presently. The CSO, the fountain, and the ground are the least finished in the current revision.

Why Kickstarter?

Glad you asked. We kind of breezed over this in the video. The reasons can be boiled down to reach, quality, and price. The bottomline is this: We bit off more than we could chew—the main drawing took 4 months of undivided focus—so we need to conduct a pre-sale with wide exposure to produce the art properly; in turn we're offering our backers pricing far cheaper than we could otherwise.

Reach—With your help we're confident this art will be seen by far more people than we can reach otherwise.

Quality—We still have a ways to go in order to make awesome prints without compromise. We will spare no effort in realizing that goal.

Price—Screen printing is a volume game: We believe we've found a price-point that is both uniquely affordable and will help us sell enough up front to keep the lights on while we obsess over it a while longer.

Rewards

Here's more info on some of our rewards. First, 'Coach + Pooh'...

Next let's look at the "main event," The Windy City color serigraph (fancypants word for fine-art screen print). Remember, color is a work-in-progress, and what you're seeing below is an early treatment.

Clicking on the image will link you to a large version of it—please be cool and don't appropriate any of the imagery.
Clicking on the image will link you to a large version of it—please be cool and don't appropriate any of the imagery.

Here are a few notes in addition to the info in the rewards sidebar at-right:

  • We will never charge less than $100 at retail (likely even higher). 
  • You get $50 off if you frame the print at my good pals April 7s Custom Framingclick here to see how much people love them.
  • The actual art is 34" x 22", the print will be cut to 36" x 24", which will leave a 1" margin/border on each edge.
  • We'll title, sign, number, and emboss the prints somewhere on the bottom margin.
  • Prints will ship in big sturdy tubes, although you're welcome to come get yours' flat if you can make it to our shop (60618).

Our $320 tier is for those of you–like me–just want to trust a professional with your framing needs (same link above).

You'll get archival quality, UV glass, acid-free backing, and spacers between print and glass, with an appropriately wide-ish and neutral frame and no matting—this both keeps the overall size and cost down considerably and the print already has a healthy border built-in.

You'll also get to come see the studio for pickup and we'll give you a little shop tour if you're into that sort of thing. Bring your ping pong paddle if you've got one!

The crazy, insert-yourselves-into-the-art custom option ($1,800 or more) deserves some attention here:

Patron of the arts are you? Snag the original art ($3,200 or higher).

The original art is the same size as the main/color Windy City art (36" x 24" including 1" border/margin)
The original art is the same size as the main/color Windy City art (36" x 24" including 1" border/margin)

Terry illustrated the final art in pencil on architectural vellum. He took pains to keep his greasy mitts off the paper but note that some minor smudging was inevitable. We didn't want to turn a non-issue into a snafu by trying to clean it up ourselves so if you're very particular about having it as clean as possible, we'll help you find the right person for such a thing.

Own a café? Tavern? Book shop? Haberdashery? Apothecary? Outhouse? For ten thousand clams, we'll paint it up with a big ol' visual pun of the city we love. 

Now it's only fair to tell you that we've never really done anything like this before professionally. But for that much wampum, we're confident we'll be able to figure it out. We have used projectors to trace the underlay for wall-art and even screen printed vertically a few times (it can be a mess but works). We're nothing if not resourceful—please don't hesitate to start a conversation about blowin' The Windy City way up!

Risks and challenges

Because Baker Prints both a (tiny) design studio and (tiny) silkscreen print shop, we are well-equipped to produce this art. That being said, we have never produced a piece that was both this size—almost the max our press can handle—and this detailed, and on top of that I anticipate using many screens (at least 6 I'm sure) which just means there are more chances to screw something up.

There are always 10,000 things that can go pear-shaped during a print run, and, because of the intricacy/detail, this will be the single most demanding run we've done to-date. In anticipation of this, Baker Prints has been steadily upgrading key equipment over the last 6 months, namely: A top-of-the-line Epson 7900 wide-format inkjet printer for producing excellent film-positives on-demand (in addition to gorgeous color prints); several brand-new ginormo high-tension aluminum screens in a versatile range of mesh counts; switching to Murikami Photocure Pro emulsion for producing super-finely detailed graphic stencils.

Most importantly, we're going to go through the process of producing complete proofs—this is a luxury we rarely have because it's costly and generally prohibitive. But doing so will allow us to make a number of tweaks to get everything dialed in just right, from mixing color/ink to getting the best keyline stencil.

Despite being prepared, it will take a long, super-hard-to-estimate amount of time and a lot of trial and error to get the best possible results. When it comes to production issues, our best resources are our fellow printmakers; Baker Prints is very proud to be among an exceptionally tight-knit community of fellow poster goons and print geeks and has never failed to find help when encountering a unique challenge. We usually don't need to go farther than across the hallway. And the communal spirit extends well beyond Chicago—GigPosters.com is a treasure trove of both archival flatstock-screenprinting knowlege and active, helpful, wildly-talented users eager to help and/or insult as necessary. That's how I met Steve!

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    A Windy City thank you postcard mailed to you. You can put it on your bulletin board at work and pretend you have a spectacular downtown view through a tiny window.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    "Coach + Pooh" screen print. Original Baker comic art. 16" x 20", navy blue ink on French Paper's orange Pop-Tone 100# cover stock. (See picture on project page at left.)

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Smaller, black and white version of The Windy City print in an open edition. 28" x 18" cut size on cover stock.

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    10 backers
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    Pledge $85 or more About $85

    Our main event: The Windy City limited-edition screen print. In color on premium cover stock, 36" x 24" cut size. Signed, numbered, and embossed. See project page at left for more info.

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    Pledge $320 or more About $320

    The above (color, limited-edition Windy City print) in archival frame by April 7s Custom Framing here in Chicago. With UV glass, acid-free backing, and spacers. Includes Baker Prints studio visit / shop tour for pick-up.

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    Pledge $1,800 or more About $1,800

    Customized print—insert your whole family into The Windy City art! You provide us with reference photos for up to five people and Terry will draw them into the art as medium-sized characters (see the rabbi, chef, nun for approximate size). Then you get five high-quality Giclée art prints of the customized art. Additional prints and people can be added for modest fees.

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    Pledge $3,200 or more About $3,200

    The original Windy City drawing—in pencil on vellum. Same size as the prints. Matted and framed at April 7s Custom Framing (if desired) and picked up at Baker Prints. Mrs. Baker will make lunch! Or we'll ship it out to you if need be.

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    Pledge $10,000 About $10,000

    Mural up to 18' x 12' of Windy City art painted onto a wall(s) in your business or residence. Interior only. We will work with you on ideal color and placement.

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Funding period

- (27 days)