Picture Yourself on a Dress and Deliver with Jaimee Newberry (Episode 113)

Jaimee Newberry is the co-founder of Picture This Clothing. Draw a picture or take a picture and get it put on a dress or a T-shirt. It’s that simple — well, it’s that simple for the maker, which is what Jaimee is all about. She and her partner fell into the business through a tweet. Three years in, there’s no sign of it slowing down.


This episode is brought to you in part by Disruptor-level patrons Wil Macaulay, Raymond Kloss, and Andrew Fisher. Thanks for your help in bringing this show back on the air. You can find back episodes and spread the word at newdisrupt.org.

Show Notes

What’s Your Latest with CW&T: Che-Wei Wang and Taylor Levy (Episode 111)

CW&T is Che-Wei Wang and Taylor Levy. They combine art, technology, design, and manufacture into everyday objects that have nothing everyday about them, as well as unique expressions of industrial design that can’t be compared with anything else. In this episode, we talk about one of their latest endeavors, Time Since Launch, a single-use launch clock that counts indefinitely into the future.

I first spoke to Che-Wei and Taylor in 2013 about the Pen Type-A, their first highly funded project and one that had a lot of complexity. They appeared with me on stage at the Nearly Impossible conference with other makers later that year to talk more broadly about creating. (You can now purchase both Pen Type-A and Pen Type-B.)

Six years later, the couple has completed dozens of projects of different scales and natures, moved from New York to Massachusetts and back again, and 3D printed two humans.

Make sure and follow them on Instagram to see their latest experiments, process photos, and new projects.

Thanks to you and help support the show: The New Disruptors is back on the air due to patrons and sponsors! You can become a patron of the show on a one-time or recurring basis, and get rewards like an exclusive enamel pin and being thanked in this fashion!

Living a Life in Letterpress: Live at Ada’s (Episode 108)

My love of letterpress printing is no secret, and in this episode, I speak to two designers who devote parts of their working lives to modern letterpress. This episode was taped live at Ada’s Technical Books and Café in Seattle on January 23.

Printing didn’t change much from about 1450 to 1950. It became faster, motorized, and blew up to industrial scale, but it was only when the “relief” (or letterpress) method of printing—putting ink on a surface and then pressing paper onto it—was replaced with offset lithography, which relies on flat printing plates and thin films of ink, that everything changed for good. Letterpress printing has remained as a craft, though, and it has thrived in the last 20 years as it’s been rediscovered and taught fresh to new generations.

Two Seattle practitioners have deep ties to this great resurgence of letterpress. We talk about how they got sucked into an old-school printing method and how the medium affects their design and vice-versa.

  • Sarah Kulfan is a visual designer, illustrator, and letterpress printer. She is the proprietrix of Gallo Pinto Press and Beans n’ Rice where she respectively prints limited edition prints and runs her freelance graphic design business.

  • Demian Johnston is the Designer and Pressman at Annie’s Art & Press, a letterpress shop in Ballard. At SVC, he teaches both introductory and advanced classes in the letterpress program. His design and illustration work has appeared in The StrangerSeattle WeeklyCity Arts, and Beer Advocate.

Event photo courtesy of Jeff Carlson.


Thanks to the patrons in the crowdfunding campaign who brought the New Disruptors back, and these Disruptor-level backers in particular: Elliott Payne, my friends at Lumi, Kirk McElhearn, Kuang-Yu Liu, and Marc Schwieterman. (Marc, and another Disruptor backer, Kim Ahlberg, attended the taping!) You can become a patron of the show and get a special pin and be thanked on the air, too.

Show notes:

We talk about a lot of concepts and old tech in this show, so the notes are a little more extensive to help you understand some of the things we mentioned just in passing:

  • SVC is the School of Visual Concepts in Seattle, where Jenny Wilkson runs the letterpress program. It’s a for-profit analog and digital design school, teaching letterpress, UI/UX, graphic design, copywriting and more. It’s where I had my 2017 design residency, too!

  • Demian has a 10x15 Chandler and Price (C&P), which is a workhorse press, manufactured from 1884 to 1964.

  • Stern & Faye: Jules Remedios Faye and Chris Stern ran this press together for decades. Jules continues to print and bind, and handbound my book, Not To Put Too Fine a Point on It (copies still available). The C.C. Stern Type Foundry, a working museum in Portland, Oregon, is named for Chris and features a lot of Jules and Chris’s casting equipment.

  • “dissed type”: Type distribution is an incredibly tedious part of hand setting type. Each character you pull out of a type case has to be “distributed” back into its original compartment in the case when you’re done with a printing job.

  • Ruling pens: These pens were used for making lines, or “rules,” and hold ink in a reservoir between two jaws. The gap of the jaws can be adjusted to create lines of different thickness.

  • Plates: Printing plates are solid sheets of metal or plastic made from source material and intended to be printed as a full sheet, sometimes including dozens of pages. Starting in the 1800s, printers would cast metal plates (called “stereotypes”); in more recent decades, printers rely on a rubbery plastic called photopolymer that’s light sensitive. Digital files can be output to high-contrast film and exposed to the plastic plastic, and make a letterpress-printable plate.

  • Carl Montford: a local renowned wood block engraver, who has taught thousands of people how to carve linoleum blocks and hundreds how to carve in wood.

  • Linoleum blocks: These are really just pieces of linoleum glued to a wood base. A designer carves the linoleum to leave high areas to receive ink.

  • Type high: The exact height needed for type and other material on the “bed” of a press to be inked by rollers and press exactly at the right distance into paper. It’s 0.918 inches in America and England.

  • Touche plate: This may have been a regionalism, but a “touche” (French, pronounced toosh) is a touch-up plate used to fix an error in offset printing.

  • Reduction cut: On a block, you engrave a starting image that prints in the lightest color, carve away details, print the next-lightest color, and so forth. The block is creatively destroyed in the process.

  • “kiss” impression

  • Vandercook cylinder presses are the hot thing in letterpress today, originally designed largely as a “proof press”: to pull a copy of a section of text for proofreading, layout, and evenness, before it went on a real press.

  • Printing the Oxford English Dictionary (YouTube)

  • “Farewell, Etaoin Shrdlu”: The last day of hot-metal Linotype typesetting at the New York Times

  • The quote I was trying to recall was from A Short History of the Printed Word, written by Warren Chappell and, in a second edition, updated and extended by Robert Bringhurst. Bringhurst wrote the following devastating sentence about the entire era following relief printing:

In the 1970s and 1980s, the practitioners of photocomposition and offset printing were, like Gutenberg, engaged in a simultaneously innovative and imitative act. But they were not imitating writing; they were imitating printing—and were doing so in a world where reading had become, for most, a passive, cerebral act, unconnected with any physical sense of the making of letters, and unconnected with any sense of the intellectual urgency of publishing.

What’s Your Latest? Studio Neat’s Mark One Pen (Episode 102)

Welcome to a mini episode of The New Disruptors, “What’s Your Latest,” in which I ask creators just about the most recent thing they made. Dan Provost and Tom Gerhardt are Studio Neat, independent industrial designers and app developers for nearly a decade, and an early Kickstarter success.

Their latest product is the Mark One, an all-metal retractable pen with a simple exterior that masks the complexity of how pens click. They went to Kickstarter as they almost always do to launch the product, and raised over $230,000 towards a $30,000 goal. We talk about the challenges of design and manufacture, and how this pen was designed and how it’s being made even as we spoke.

Listen to more of Dan and Tom’s conversations about independent product development on Thoroughly Considered, a podcast on the Relay network, in which they talk at intervals with host and Relay co-founder Myke Hurley.

Two colors of the Mark One

Hugs and Kisses Goodbye: Live from XOXO 2014 (Episode 93)

Jen Bekman, Zoë Salditch, and Mike Merrill were our guests live on stage at the XOXO 2014 festival in Portland, Oregon, as part of the Story evening that also featured Hrishikesh Hirway's Song Exploder, featuring a song by The Thermals; John Roderick (The Long Winters) interviewing Chelsea Cain; and Harmontown with Dino Stamatopoulos.

Jen Bekman founded 20x200 in 2007 to provide art at accessible prices. She spoke about her in work in 2012 at XOXO. Then she had a terrible, no good, very bad year. For a lot of reasons, she can't discuss the particulars of what happened, but she had to reboot 20x200: its site, its technology, its art, and its trust with existing customers.

If you have beautiful digital art, you need a place to display it. That's the idea behind Electronic Objects, a massively funded Kickstarter project from a month ago. But Zoë Salditch's interest is less in the technology than the uses to which people will put it. In the midst of producing their EO1 model, they have artists in residence working on concpetual ideas and are considering one future for their hardware as a platform for art — maybe 20x200 and EO have a lot in common?

With most people, saying "I can buy and sell you" is a boast about one's own ostensible net worth. With Mike Merrill, it's the literal truth. Mike is a publicly traded company, and shareholders can vote on the course his life takes, including how he pursues romantic interests. Shares in KMIKEYM have traded as high as $25 and typically change hands in a band of $5 to $10. Volume is low.

This is our last regularly scheduled episode as we go on hiatus and consider a path forward. Keep watching this site and @newdisruptors for news about future projects.

Sponsors and patrons

This podcast has been made possible through the support of sponsors and patrons.

gifpop, the makers of physical renditions of your animated GIFs through the scientific magic of lenticular printing! Take a GIF with up to 10 frames and receive a version that you can tilt for animation, or buy a design from featured artists who receive 80% of the purchase price — or even submit your own work for consideration for sale. Listeners get 10% off a gifpop order by using coupon code DISRUPT during checkout.

99designs: Have dozens of designers from the over 310,000 that are part of 99designs's network submit ideas for your logo, Web site, T-shirt, car wrap, or other design project, then pick the best and have a finished, professional result in a week or less for a flat price. Our listeners can visit this special destination page to get a $99 Power Pack of services for free!

Thanks to our Patreon backers for all their support! Bryan J. Clark, Pasha Alpeyev, Andy Baio, Matthew Blai, Alex Bond, Henry Brown, Anirvan Chatterjee, Ready Chi, Jordan Cooper, Craig, Tarun Gangwani, GravityFish , Accounting Guy, Gregory Hayes, Brian J. Geiger, Jonathan Mann, Mike Mansor, Kris Markel, Roman Mars, Andrei Matetic, Gordon McDowell, Andy McMillan, Rönne Ogland, George OToole, Elliott Payne, Garry Pugh, "r," Neil Richler, James Robilliard, Kay Schumann, Jonathan Stark, Kyle Studstill, Ted Timmons, CJ Tully, and Ben Werdmuller.

(Photo by Brad Dowdy.)

Nice and Neat with Dan Provost and Tom Gerhardt (Episode 89)

Dan Provost and Tom Gerhardt are Studio Neat, a small design and software group that produces nifty products. They began with the Glif, and when I talked to them last over a year ago, they had launched their second software product and were deep in planning on a new, more complicated item: the Neat Ice Kit. They funded the kit on Kickstarter in September 2013, raising $156,000 against a $50,000 goal. We talk through the challenges of fulfilling that campaign, more lessons learned, and their recently launched follow-up, the Simple Syrup Kit.

Sponsors and patrons

This podcast is made possible through the support of sponsors and patrons.

99designs: Have dozens of designers from the over 310,000 that are part of 99designs's network submit ideas for your logo, Web site, T-shirt, car wrap, or other design project, then pick the best and have a finished, professional result in a week or less for a flat price. Our listeners can visit this special destination page to get $99 Power Pack of services for free!

Thanks also to our Patreon backers Ben Werdmuller, Ready Chi, and GravityFish for supporting us directly through Patreon! You can help keep this podcast going for as little as $1 per month. At higher levels, we'll thank you on the air and send you mugs and T-shirts!

Show notes

Wedding March to One's Own Offbeat Drummer with Ariel Meadow Stallings (Episode 77)

Ariel Meadow Stallings is the proprietor of several "offbeat" sites about weddings, home and life, and families under the rubric Offbeat Empire. She started the wedding site in 2007 to promote a book on creative alternatives for brides, which built an audience hungry for much more of the same. She obliged and has been building her empire full-time since 2009.

Sponsors & patrons

This podcast is made possible through the support of sponsors and patrons.

We've started offering a new kind of ad: "indie ads" for independent projects and people. If you're a solo creator or small firm, we now offer discounted short ads with the kind underwriting of Cards Against Humanity. Find out more about indie ads.

Thanks to CAH! They just launched direct sales via their site, where you can purchase their Bigger Blacker Box. You can also buy their 2012 and 2013 holiday card packs, the profits from which are donated to charity.

Our indie advertisers this week are:

Heat, a new card game by Dave Chalker that's quick to learn and takes about 15 to 30 minutes to play. Players plan heists and try to keep the "heat" off themselves. It features snazzy art and is being funded on Kickstarter. Visit the campaign for more details.

The surreal and sublime Andrew Ferguson. He has no product to sell you and he has no URL for you to visit.

Thanks also to patrons Bryan Clark, Rönne Ogland, and Mike Mansor for supporting us directly through Patreon! You can back this podcast for as little as $1 per month. At higher levels, we'll thank you on the air and send you mugs and T-shirts!

A new podcast!

I've launched a podcast on the future of publishing: The Periodicalist. I am co-hosts and guests will discuss and dissect all aspects of publishing: digital and analog, offset and print on demand, periodicals and blogs, and much more. Listen to our first episode, "The Netflix of Ebooks," and subscribe via our RSS feed or through iTunes.

Show notes

Teresa Valdez Klein and Noah Iliinsky met through Ignite Seattle and got married during an event in May. My wife, Lynn, and I were married in a chapel at Fort Worden and had our reception in a former dirigible hangar (now a theater).

Ariel's book is Offbeat Bride: Creative Alternatives for Independent Brides. My Economist article explains why people leave the 3,000th review on a popular book or item. Facebook's director of product ranted about the trivialization of news.

Marisa McClellan runs the Food in Jars blog, and found her following of nearly 150,000 "likers" on Facebook resulted in 80 people seeing a recent post. Huh. She and I spoke last summer for the podcast. The Oatmeal is a popular webcomic; its creator is based in Seattle.

Offbeat Bride covered a wedding at reBar in Brooklyn, which shut down shortly afterwards. The article went up after its owner had been charged with tax evasion, and the site dealt with criticism rather superbly in the comments.

We ran an article in The Magazine about BuzzFeed's use of images that they often don't license, and discovered that their methods likely fall within fair use.

Co-working has become hot again. In Seattle, Office Nomads is the veteran shop and is expanding. Ariel and I met at We Work, a new high-end space for startups that's quite affordable given the amenities. I'm looking into co-working at Ada's Technical Books and Café, the owner of which I interviewed in a podcast not long ago.

(Photo of Ariel by Jenny Jimenez for Tugboat Yards.)

Puzzling Evidence with Chris Yates (Episode 70)

Chris Yates is a polymath. A sculptor, artist, woodworker, cartoonist, entrepreneur, dog-kennel assembler, musician, and more. He's best known now for his handmade jigsaw puzzles. He's on the show to talk about his zigzag path to making a niche for himself.

Sponsors & Patrons

This podcast is made possible through the support of sponsors and patrons.

New Relic helps everyone's software work better, and if you’re in any business today, you’re in the software business. New Relic monitors every move your application makes, across the entire stack, and shows you what's happening right now. Visit newrelic.com/disruptors to find out more.

What do Lil Wayne, Black Girls CODE, and Humans of New York have in common? They've all raised funds on Indiegogo! Indiegogo has hosted over 100,000 campaigns since 2008 and distributes millions of dollars every week around the globe. Listeners visit tnd.indiegogo.com to receive a 25% discount on fees.


Abraham Finberg, CPA: From dealing with those pesky 1099Ks to complex accounting needs, go to finbergcpa.com for all your financial support. Services can be as simple as a 15-minute phone consultation session all the way up to outsourcing your whole internal accounting office. Use promotion code DISRUPT to get a free phone consultation today!


Thanks to patrons GravityFish, Garry Pugh, and Abraham Finberg for supporting us directly through Patreon! You can back this podcast for as little as $1 per month. At higher levels, we'll thank you on the air and send you mugs and T-shirts.

Show notes

Chris displayed with Topatoco at Emerald City Comicon recently; he works a lot of conventions. He created 50 Comic-Con Questions as a tongue-in-response to what people ask. Chris is almost sui generis.

The "Quilt of No Return" has a difficult rating of 9.3 out of 10. Chris's cartoon, Reprographics, ran from about 2004 to 2013.

Ryan North of Dinosaur Comics is possibly the nicest guy in the world, based on his reputation. David Lynch did Angriest Dog in the World for quite a while. xkcd by Randall Munroe turned not being able to draw into an asset. Chris worked early on with David Malki, interviewed on New Disruptors in September 2013. Ceaco sells mass-produced versions of Chris's invention.