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Colorful Moments in an NYC Print Shop
By Bestype Printing & Imaging on April 20, 2020
Bestype Printing is legendary among printing houses in NYC for being a resource supporting all kinds of creativity in print. Since we opened our doors in 1978, we’ve witnessed SoHo’s artistic community grow with us and around us. Our friends and customers have spread out beyond our block to plant themselves confidently throughout the city, flourishing in other neighborhoods in many cases. These initial clients began logging print NYC-work with us in our early days. Even as they’ve moved on from SoHo, they still come back to us. They trust Bestype and have included us in making art, film, and fashion in and around New York and beyond our City’s limits.
Bestype’s Print Shop NYC-only colorful moments are unusually interesting — and we’re not just talking about our customers choosing between CMYK and Pantone. This blog post shares a few anecdotes from Bestype’s history in living color — real-life stories that can only happen in a printing house in NYC!
When a Local Print Shop in NYC Scanned Questionable Polaroids From a Notorious Artist
A lot of us blame many past questionable lifestyle choices on the Nineties. If Dash Snow (1989 – 2009) had survived his twenties, we wonder what would have happened to him and his career.
Dash ran with the street artist crowd squatting in and around Tompkins Square Park, Alphabet City, and the Lower Eastside. He snapped Polaroid pictures to document New York’s Bohemian Underground — the photos depict frank scenes involving sex, drugs, and violence. Everything got used in his work, including photographs, collages, sculptures, and body fluids, especially semen. Some critics hailed his art as brilliant, and others derided it as obscene filth. He fueled his muse by engaging in drugs and booze.
When Dash asked Bestype to scan the Polaroids for his collages and self-published zines, we wore gloves to handle the photos. We didn’t want to touch the Polaroids — we didn’t know where they’d been. We also didn’t want our fingerprints on the photos if they were somehow admitted as criminal evidence. But we did the job because, hey, it’s all art.
We Help Our Artists Make Art Books
Dash’s zines may have yellowed and disintegrated in the two decades since we helped put his art together. But several Dash Snow hardbound and softbound art books are still in print. Our technicians would love to help you turn your art into professionally designed and published art books. We hope you become as prolific as Dash but live a healthy, happy, and long life.
When George Clooney Filmed a Scene Here
Ah, George. This generation’s favorite silver fox spent a day in Bestype when the production scout found our local printing house in NYC central to their other filming locations. Amazingly, our work played an important part in 2007’s legal thriller Michael Clayton. Our bright yellow receipt had a standout cameo appearance (and should have been nominated for several awards).
The cast and crew filmed an important scene leading to a memorable climax right at our service counter, involving interaction between fictional Bestype Employee, “Copy Kid” (played by Sam Gilroy, film director Tony Gilroy’s son), and the titular character. We at Bestype Printing NYC would like to take this opportunity to address what the film got right about customer service and support, and talk about a fairly infamous continuity error that is really noticeable. There is a huge difference between how NYC print projects actually work and how Hollywood thinks they do.
Warning! Spoiler Alert. Our off-screen analysis of a major plot point goes like this. When the film’s fictional problem character, Walter, needed a quick-turnaround printing order, he had very specific requirements. Walter was having a very bad day (or week, or life). He needed this last-minute printing project to reflect his genius as well as the seriousness of the contents. Walter wanted an embossed cover using red card stock. He ordered black comb binding. He needed a thousand or more identical copies. Once Walter distributed these reports and achieved his spoilerific objective, his days would be brighter.
We Supply Outstanding Customer Service and Support
Fictional Bestype apparently couldn’t fill his order exactly. This predicament was partially reflected on-screen.
We will always contact you if we encounter technical problems with your order. We’re glad Copy Kid made numerous calls to Walter to let him know that Fictional Bestype ran out of red cover stock and had to replace it with blue. In reality, our printing technicians would not stop until we reached our client and knew how they wanted us to proceed. However, there were plot circumstances that prevented Fictional Bestype from reaching our customer. We’re pleased that Fictional Bestype did its best to fulfill this fast turnaround, high-volume order on time and professionally.
We print everything in-house and maintain high inventory levels. Nowhere in Copy Kid’s lines did he mention that Fictional Bestype’s black comb binding inventory was running low, along with the red cover stock. The first copy of the critical report that the title character receives is bound using a black plastic comb. However, the rest of the copies we see on screen are bound with metallic coil. We feel embarrassed that movie-us couldn’t fill the order to the exact specification requested by our original, fictional customer.
We always print according to your exact specifications. Real-life Bestype offers multiple kinds of document binding and finishing options. We keep an eye on all of our supply inventory levels, so we never run low on the materials we need to produce any print NYC-based job. If Walter were real, we would not run out of the supplies we needed before completing this important print run. We would review his project with him and generate a quote.
Then we would schedule production and set aside exactly the inventory we would need to produce what he wanted. We would have discussed every detail of his project, making sure the final product would be produced as specified. Fictional Walter’s choices for his cover’s color, binding, and finishing style were important. Real-life Bestype would have bent over backward to make sure every copy matched Walter’s unique requirements.
And yes, we have hung an autographed photo of George Clooney on our walls in a display of print shop NYC-pride.
When We Help Hollywood Make Authentic Props
Film, stage, and television prop masters know Bestype. The arts community knows where to print in NYC. Countless productions need prop newspapers and magazines. Our work shows up in movies like Catch Me If You Can, where we produced the prop newspapers shown in the film’s newsstand scenes.
We Can Print Your Production’s Prop Newspapers and Magazines
Producing prop newspapers used to be easy because the camera only focused on what the viewers needed to see to move the story along. The rest of the page appeared blurred to the average movie-goer.
Digital HD filming technology changed how our printing technicians create prop newspapers and magazines. Eager film buffs stop the video, zoom in, and want to scan the rest of the prop page for easter eggs. Achieving realism may mean that our technicians help locate real news articles to fill column layouts with content that makes sense for the plot. Thriller clues and puzzles, inside jokes, and even historically accurate or current events stories now fill the prop periodicals we print. Anyone with a high-definition DVD player can read our prop news — Bestype steps in to create a front page that moves the plot along, and provides juicy tidbits for our film buffs. We can use our offset presses to stack thousands of copies of prop newspapers for any production.
When Our NYC Print Shop Made Storyboards for a Big Deal Movie Filming in Sydney
David Russel is an extraordinary storyboard artist — his production sketches are covetable and collectible works of art. When the production team working on Moulin Rouge (2001) needed us to capture every charcoal-shaded nuance in each panel, we stepped up to the challenge. While preparing to film most of the action on a soundstage in Australia, many pre-production tasks were happening in New York City. The film community knew where to print in NYC.
We Turn Art into Prints, Zines, and Books
The NYC print shop that could capture every fine detail in Russel’s storyboards was Bestype. We can do the same work for your storyboards, graphic novels, and any art print that you want to publish and distribute.
When We Knew Zac Posen Before Project Runway
Some say that before Zac Posen, American fashion design was always playing second fiddle to haute couture streaming out the doors of Paris and Milan showrooms. When Posen was a young designer, he set up his studio across from Bestype’s shop. We collaborated with him for his first collection, printing everything he needed for his first show and beyond. We helped him produce the print NYC fashion show materials supporting many more collections in the following years.
We Turn Design into Fashion Show Publications and Lookbooks
We still have the lookbooks from his very first show! And we can produce your fashion, hair, or makeup lookbook. New and notable designers turn to our print shop’s NYC-take on how we promote fashion. We enjoy collaborating with all of our design friends. When they ask us for help to capture the essence of their style, we work hard to make each fashion lookbook as unique as their collection is exquisite.
When We Helped Barbara Kruger Set Her Iconic Type
Bestype’s founder worked side by side with conceptual artist and muralist Barbara Kruger to build the type and pieces involved in her iconic Image-Word series. Mr. Lam printed the pieces using a now-archived inkjet process. He also set her type using her signature font, Futura Bold Oblique Italic. Today, this work would be considered a collaboration. Still, for Mr. Lam and Bestype, this was routine printing house NYC customer service.
We Scale and Produce Your Large Format Printing Projects
Your work may not rival the scale of Barbara Kruger’s. Still, our team expertly turns any graphics you produce into large format printing projects. We can help you put together large murals, signs, banners, and much more.
When You Bring Your Next NYC Print Project to Us
New York City’s creative community knows where to print in NYC, and they’ve made Bestype their resource for accomplishing any project, large or small. Contact us with your project concept; we’ll work with you to:
- create a production timeline
- Produce samples for your review and approval
- Complete your printing on schedule.
The same trusted resource that New York’s film, fashion, and arts communities have turned to since 1978 can help propel your art to new heights. Contact us today to learn how Bestype can make any of your projects shine their brightest.