Block Printing (or, How to Market the “Rural Look”)


One of the benefits to starting a local food distribution business is the many haphazard, DIY projects that spontaneously need doing. Sometimes this can be a total pain (e.g., when I’m planting a field of asparagus and my boss suddenly needs meat sorted and fridges cleaned), but it can also be a pleasant surprise (when, say, I suddenly need to design, carve, and print a stamp for his delivery bags).


So I spent some quality time with the Speedball stamp carving tools, and came up with two designs: a rooster and strawberries. My friend O., who was helping with this project, compared the process of carving stamps to “trimming cuticles.” Very accurate, I’d say.

To be honest, I feel a little yucky after this project. I don’t like the marketing side of food– I think it’s sad enough that we need advertising to convince us to eat healthy foods. I also don’t like when my boss instructs me to make something look “farm-y,” basically reducing a complex and fraught way of life to a children’s book cliche. I might as well have put a man in overalls and an ear of corn on the stamp.





2 Responses to “Block Printing (or, How to Market the “Rural Look”)”

  1. 1 Ann June 17, 2009 at 3:09 am

    You inspire me. Would you like to hang out a bit this summer? I know we’re both working, but are you ever in Charlottesville on the weekends?

  2. 2 Cole June 27, 2009 at 3:14 pm

    Ann! How can I get in contact with you? I’m so sorry for the delay– I’ve been going through a crazy phone and living transition

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