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Colorful Moments in an NYC Print Shop

April 20, 2020

When you’re a New York City print shop that’s been around since 1978, you get your fair share of colorful moments — and we’re not just talking about CMYK and Pantone. Here are a few highlights from Bestype’s vivid history.

That time we developed questionable Polaroids from an NYC graffiti artist

The downtown New York scene of the 1990s was a different animal than it is today. We made color copies of Polaroids by the graffiti artist Dash Snow —another one who died too young — for zines heavy on sex, nudity and drugs. The team all wore gloves while handling the photos — no one wanted their prints on those!

The time George Clooney filmed a scene here

This is not a drill: the silver fox did spend a day in Bestype. It was when he was filming the 2007 legal drama, Michael Clayton. If you look closely at the zoomed-in invoice during the print shop scene, you’ll even see the Bestype name and logo. And yes, we do have a signed photo from George on display.

When we helped Hollywood make authentic props

For an NYC print shop, Bestype has had its fair share of brushes with Tinseltown! We produced the prop newspapers shown in the newsstand scenes of Catch Me If You Can, and helped the production team of Moulin Rouge print out their storyboards as they dreamed up scenes for their award-winning movie.

Working with Zac Posen to do his first fashion show

Some say that before Zac Posen, American fashion design was always second fiddle to the haute couture coming out of Paris and Milan. When Posen was a young designer, his studio was across the street from Bestype’s location at the time. We collaborated on him for his first collection and many that followed. We still have the lookbooks from his very first show!

When we helped Barbara Kruger set her iconic type

Another memento we’re proud to hang on to are autographed pieces from Barbara Kruger’s instantly recognizable image-word series. John’s father worked side by side with Kruger to put these pieces together, printing them using a now-archival inkjet process and setting the type in her iconic Futura Bold Oblique italics. Today, this would be thought of as a collaboration. For John’s dad, it was just customer service.

It’s what we love about running an NYC print shop—you just never know what (or who) is going to walk into the door.

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