August 13, 2013

interview with jay carroll of levis

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Paper Chase Press recently collaborated with concept manager of Levis Makers, Jay Carroll to create custom notebooks, folios and pencils for Levis Made & Crafted stores.  Working with such a historic brand was an honor and we were excited to speak to Carroll about his thoughts on print.

Why do you think print is important? 

Because its physical, its connects to the senses, it creates an experience you can’t replicate in digital form.  Do you remember the first kindle book your father handed you and told you to read?

The Levis Makers project is all about finding people that make beautiful products by hand, why do you think it important to tell the story of their craft?

I think its important to tell those stories because aspects of craft and handmade are going away on a broader scale. Entire trades and skill sets are becoming more or less extinct. It’s important to celebrate the ones that are still making and to tell those stories in hopes to inspire others.

With all your travel, do you find print is celebrated internationally?

In my experience I’d say yes.  In Oaxaca, Mexico there is the Graphic Arts Institute.  In Cuba, a country still very much untouched by the digital age, it felt like print was still such an important commodity for means of communication.  In Tokyo, it feels like the magazine is king. The postcard flyer seems like such a important method of communication in their retail heavy culture. Also art books get lots of promotion there upon release. One good example there would be the recently opened massive Tsutaya bookstore in Daikanyama.

You deal a lot with vintage objects and apparel, items that tell a story, have you come across any special printed treasures that have revealed a time in history?

Theres not many things you can buy in Cuba but I found a few shops that sold selections old books, political and movie posters. I loved the movie posters. All of them have a common thread to the aesthetic – simple, bold and colorful. It felt as even though everything was and is so controlled by the state, that films were still so appreciated and celebrated and this is an area where and artist could express themselves.

Do you have any favorite print items like books, posters, or collectables?

I grew up making, writing for and collecting zines. These are mostly all subjected around life in the 90s punk scene.  Is till love looking back at those and now that I live in San Francisco I’ve gotten back into reading Cometbus.  Ive collected prints from the mistake bin at Hatch Show Print in Nashville TN,  the print jogged or the color is wrong.  I also love the book Once by Wim Wenders.  And two years ago Magnum Photos sent Jim Goldberg and a few other photographers on the road for a series called Postcards from America. You could sponsor the trip by signing up to get postcards sent to you by the different photographers, as they explored the country and  printed the cards from their RV.

Check out Jay’s blog One Trip Pass

Shop Levis Made & Crafted Here

 

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