- Artist Posters
For this exhibit, it was very important for us to show functional design work. Because these posters served as advertisements for concerts and events, the typography was not only judged compositionally, but also by legibility and hierarchy. We’ve made many posters over the years, but they are generally not evaluated through the lens of typography. typeforce 2 gave us an opportunity to showcase an often overlooked aspect of our rock and exhibit posters, one that we spend a great deal of time honing. Historically, typography has gone hand in hand with publishing, as the first typographers were printers. We see our screen printed posters as an extension of that history and take great pride in carrying on the legacy. The aim of our work at Sonnenzimmer has always been to bridge the gap between art and design through graphic mediums; balancing our artwork with effective typography is a constant challenge. When we happen to get it right, it heightens the effects of both aspects of our work.
The posters featured in Typeforce 2 were all screen printed in-house at our Chicago-based studio on our American Tempo printing press.
Nick Butcher and Nadine Nakanishi first met while interning at Punk Planet Magazine and The Bird Machine, two of Chicago’s most beloved cultural institutions. There, they both discovered that self- publishing can exist in many forms. Butcher’s idiosyncratic and intuitive approach to image making and Nakanishi’s conceptual schooling in typography, merged when they decided to open a studio in 2006. After an intense schooling in typography in her native Switzerland, Nakanishi soon realized that she really just wanted to make posters with no type on them. Butcher who studied graphic design, came to find out that he just wanted to make paintings. Somewhere between these two approaches, they found that both ideas were magnified when placed in a cultural and community context.
Sonnenzimmer is a Chicago-based art, screen print and design studio owned and operated by Nadine Nakanishi and Nick Butcher. The couple merges backgrounds in typography, printmaking, graphic design and fine art to create hand-crafted posters, books, and music packaging for a wide array of projects and clients since 2006. Working closely with Chicago’s bustling free jazz and improvised music community, Sonnenzimmer has found a place where experimentation and abstraction are not only respected, they are demanded. This freedom has allowed them both to work through countless ideas and styles of execution, helping to shape their visual language, one that is simultaneously quiet and bold and embraces chance and improvisation for visual outcomes.