Print Dead, Flocking Lives

Mette Hornung Rankin is a designer in Portland, Oregon, whose studio Bureau of Betterment produced the most unique poster of this holiday season. It was flocked. Flocked?

Rankin notes in her blog, “A few years ago I hosted a Julefrokost and made some fun invites – a knitted nordic advent-calendar-inspired card…” Knitted?

This year she decided to make a more ambitious Julefrokost announcement: “So I started working on the most complicated illustrator file I’ve ever made and nearly succumbed to carpal tunnel syndrome. My hours of toil wouldn’t be for naught as I planned to share the story of smitten moose, fuzzy creatures and a house in the woods.” So, what is flocked?

“Flocking, is the process of depositing many small fiber particles (called flock) onto a surface. Flocking of an article can be performed for the purpose of increasing its value in terms of the tactile sensation, aesthetics, color and appearance.”

Her poster, titled “Like a Glove” was conceived to look exactly like a ski mitten. Hence the flocking conceit. But how?   “Flocking seems to be a very niche market, and my goal of producing it in the U.S. was a long shot.
Rankin writes. “After Googling for weeks, following endless phone leads from local screen printers, and being told that China was the place to go for this kind of thing, I found the American Flocking Association. . . All of the companies who flock these items were mighty confused when I called and asked if they could just flock a piece of paper.”

But it was done in a limited edition of 500. And it is fantastic. Can you envision the possibilities?

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