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Prints, Roscoe Village No Comments »
poster for Mandate

poster for Mandate

By Jason Foumberg

“Why do all the work?” asks Nadine Nakanishi of traditional printmaking techniques. The rhetorical question is often posed to her and Nick Butcher, who together run Sonnenzimmer, a silk-screening poster-design studio in Roscoe Village. A shopper at the Renegade Craft Fair in San Francisco stopped at their booth to ask why he shouldn’t simply get posters made at Kinko’s where 11×17 full-color sheets are available for about one dollar each. The question doesn’t frustrate Nadine but emboldens her to promote print culture, and she’s clearly spent a lot of energy doing so. Nadine is thoughtful, articulate and passionate about the continuing need for local, hand-crafted prints—not fine-art prints but posters, announcements, catalogues, books, flyers—and Sonnenzimmer’s output is testament to this ethic.

Nadine and Nick started as painters and gravitated toward prints as they realized how a print could fulfill a need where a painting couldn’t. At first, they traded rent for poster designs. After mentoring with local print legend Jay Ryan, they founded Sonnenzimmer in 2006 as a fully functioning business enterprise. Their love for painting hasn’t died, though, as painting and drawing often makes its way into their printed compositions. Read the rest of this entry »