And now for something completely different.
We’re not having the year we thought we’d have.
This makes us just like roughly everyone else on the planet, and I’m not saying it to evoke sympathy. It’s just a simple truth that’s provided the impetus behind a lot of the decisions we’ve made or had to make this year, including the ones that reality has made for us — and the artists we represent.
This includes postponing then rescheduling our annual show in Minneapolis which, with a little luck, we’ll be able to put on next May in partnership with Fulton Beer.
Change: Sometimes it’s a good thing.
Like almost every business, we’ve made changes to the way we operate to accommodate the series of new realities we’ve found ourselves in since March. We’ve also had a chance to bear down and focus on some ideas that we’ve had in the works for a long time and just hadn’t had the time to pull off.
This new site is by far the biggest of those.
And like the last time we launched a new site in 2015 to sell posters online for the first time, this isn’t just about a new interface or design aesthetic. It’s about a new way of doing business.
Here are the three biggest changes we’re making:
From now on, almost all of our posters will give you the option of framing when you buy them. We’ve done our best to offer a great variety of options without making the number of choices or the process overwhelming. As people who know what it's like to have a few (or more than a few) posters languishing in tubes at the back of a closet because we haven’t gotten around to framing them, we’re happy to make it a little easier for you to get art that’s ready to go up on your wall.
Color Cycle by Alan Peters
We’ve always emphasized handmade work, especially screen-printing. In combination with moving toward standard print sizes, one challenge this has created for us is that not everyone has room to hang an 18” x 24” poster on the wall. In fact, adding smaller print sizes has been our number one request from customers since we launched our online store. So for the first time, we’re offering digital prints of poster images in smaller sizes: 12” x 16”, 9” x 12” and 6” x 8”.
First on the Trail by Dan Lehman
These prints will be made from high-resolution scans or original digital artwork files provided by the artist, depending on the design. In both cases, the prints will be high-quality, accurate and detailed reproductions of the original poster design.
Posters appearing on our site for the first time will be available only as Original Art — those created using craft printing techniques like screen-printing and letterpress. We’ll offer as many of those designs as possible in digital prints after that. Some aspects of those craft printing techniques and certain types of ink (like metallics) just don’t translate as well to the digital format, at least not yet. Rest assured that we’ll only offer Digital Prints that accurately and faithfully represent the colors and details of the Original Art they’re drawn from.
(Full disclosure, we’ve been skeptical of digital printing for a long time, but were blown away by the quality of the designs we had printed for ourselves when we were researching partners.)
Designs from Our Archives
If you’ve been following us for a while — say, since before 2015 — you know that a lot of posters that appeared in our pop-up shows from 2007 through then have never been offered on our website. All told, we have more than 3,000 poster designs in our archives. We’ve spent several years engaged in the loving but painstaking work of creating and retouching high-res scans of all of those posters to create a more complete digital record of that work that’s been created by ARTCRANK artists over the years.
We’re now in the process of reconnecting with said artists, who retain ownership of those designs, to secure their permission to offer their work for sale as digital prints on our site. We’ll try to add a few every week, so check back to see what’s new.
In short, we are proud and excited to offer you more ways to experience and enjoy bike-inspired artwork by independent artists. We appreciate your support of what we do and what they do for us. And if you’ve got any thoughts about these changes or anything else, I hope you’ll share them with me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks, and happy shopping.
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