New Book: "In the Good Name of the Company," Colby Printing Company in focus

February 06, 2014

One of our favorite purchases from the weekend at the LA Art Book Fair was a copy of Picture Box Inc's (in conjunction with ForYourArt) wonderful book, "In the Good Name of the Company: Artworks and ephemera produced by or in tandem with the Colby Printing Company." Long an iconic visual look of Southern California that has traveled the globe, we have long admired the history of the Colby brand, and have wanted to see a nice comprehensive history of its aesthetic. And now there is one... 

From PictureBox: The Los Angeles–based Colby Poster Printing Company has been a friend to local artists ever since Ed Ruscha’s seminal Colby-printed announcement for the 1962 Pasadena Art Museum exhibition New Paintings of Common Objects. Their fluorescent posters have been disseminated on every high-traffic surface in the city, and their collection of over 150 wood and metal typefaces—usually bold and sans serif—are an integral part of Los Angeles’ visual aesthetic. Throughout the years, posters promoting everything from 1980s punk and heavy metal concerts to swap meets, street fairs, gun and bridal shows, local political campaigns and countless artist projects have been printed on Colby’s Heidelberg letterset press. A family-owned and operated union print shop since 1948, the Colby Poster Printing Company closed its doors forever on December 31, 2012. This book documents the print shop’s history and one of its final projects: a series of editioned posters by artists including Ruscha, Kathryn Andrews, Peter Coffin, Eve Fowler, Jacob Kassay, Allen Ruppersberg, and Craig Stecyk. Printed in four neon-spot colors, this book is a unique tribute to Colby.

Images of the installation are via DesignBoom, held at ForYourArt in March 2013