Design Production

Design Production

The former logos, long before anyone would have considered them a good match.

Fedx Office
This one is not unique to Los Angeles, FedEx is a global business, but their FedEx office is firmly rooted in Southern California. FedEx Ofiice evolved out of Kinko’s, which started in Santa Barbara or more specifically Isla Vista, where the University was located. Kinko’s had an interesting business structure, into which I won’t go at this point, and it was and still is often maligned, but it was also always the go-to place for 24-hour-service.

FedEx bought Kinko’s in 2004 (for $2.4 billion). This is what I find interesting, Firstly, it is still referred to as Kinko’s, but mostly what is interesting is that FedEx is – of course – known as a shipper and logistics company, with the advent of electronic communications, their overnight document delivery business, which they once dominated started to decline, which is around the time they decided to compete with UPS’sbrick and mortar stores.

While FedEx may feel like a place to make the odd copy – a consumer-level business, but due to its reach, as a business with national and international clients and events, you can visit your local FedEx, but print ‘in-market’, so they are used by design houses.

Fashion District and screen printing cluster.

Homeboy Silkscreen & Embroidery
The Los Angeles Fashion District, formerly the garment district is still the largest hub on the west coast for apparel manufacturing. The name is somewhat misleading as it lacks the haute-couture feel one might expect from it. It is a bustling busy, grimy wholesale and retail district, but apart from American Apparel (which no longer exists) and Guess? close by, one would be hard-pressed to find any well-known fashion brands. However, due to the concentration of manufacturing of discount, sportswear garments, a cluster of silkscreeners and silkscreen supply stores has developed just to the south of the Fashion District. I have used a number of these in the past. Some for inks, some for screen repair and burning, however, the more interesting one is Homeboy Silkscreening and Embroidery, which is part of Homeboy Industries.

Homeboy Industries is a gang-intervention non-profit started by Jesuit priest Greg Boyle in 1992 as a bakery. The formula is simple, job-training and jobs give them a chance to escape gangs and their culture. Gradually other enterprises were added such as a tortilleria, and now they have a silkscreening business too.

It is recognised as one of the largest and most successful gang-intervention programs in the world.

It does what it says on the can building.

A1 Bookbinding
A1 bookbinding has been around since 1960, which for Los Angeles is basically part of the Cretaceous Period. I used them once about 10 years ago for a personal project, so I do not know much. They do great work, they are not cheap, and I think Marianna is the sole owner and operator.

The name A1 smacks of a time when the Yellow Pages was a source of business and still considered when thinking of a name.

I do remember her mentioning how much business had changed, or that she had lost. that she/they used to do annual reports and more business related/commercial work, replaced by more specialised – or even special – pieces, along with book repairs.

I am both a bit surprised and rather glad they/she is still there in the nondescript fortress of a corner building with the strange parking spot just to the south of the Theater District and Downtown.

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