They Might Be Giants + Paul Sahre

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With 22 years in the industry, no one has inspired my generation to bridge the gap between design and illustration more than Paul Sahre. His second floor studio above a Dunkin’ Donuts on 6th Avenue (see his brilliant business card in a previous post of mine), has been a safe house for interns, students, old books, foosball, and all his tireless efforts for over 10 years. I’m lucky enough to have worked with Paul, and for those familiar with him, you know that his work is some of the smartest and most mindful you will ever come across. You have a great idea? He probably already did it. And did it better.

But now, he not only did it, and did it better—but he did it BIGGER.

Which brings me to his recent collaboration with the American alternative rock group, They Might be Giants. What began as a commission to design the cover art for their new release “Join Us” immediately lead to all the band’s collateral—a comprehensive identity including: the CD and LP design, digital art for iTunes, digital booklets, macro posters (72″ x 50″), t-shirts, ads, over a dozen illustrations, and a downloadable PDF with instructions for building your own tabletop version of the monster truck hearse that’s featured on the cover. Pretty rad, right?

And if that wasn’t enough, finally, the project culminated with the construction and documentation of a life-sized (yes, life-sized!) version of the monster truck hearse—made entirely of paper and cardboard—for a music video for the song, “When Will You Die.”

Rolling totally rogue, with no allocated budget or initial sign-off from the band, Paul printed the PDF at 3400% and began making the life-sized hearse. What he initially thought would take just a few days to make, took nearly 4 months, including 9 “life-size hearse-builders”, and over 70 hours of printing time, courtesy of Adam Wahler at A to A studio Solutions. The hearse was built mainly in Adam’s driveway in Stamford, CT, and it was ultimately recycled at TNT scrap in Brooklyn.

Make sure to download the PDF and build your own here!

Fun facts:– 6,000 square feet of cardboard was used– 20 pounds of flour (for the wheat paste) was used to adhere the printouts to cardboard– The hearse was 13′ x 22′– After it was built, and before it was recycled, it filled a 30′ x 10′ x 10′ storage space– The hearse weighed 500 lbs.– 8 people had to lift and turn the monster in order to steer it– They were able to roll it for 100 feet (just like the Wright brothers) before the tires collapsed– “Hot glue gun burns are a bitch!” — Paul


Producers:John FlansburghPaul Sahre

Directors:Paul SahreJoe Hollier

Cameras:Joe HollierCharlotte HornsbyDave Cooke

Editors:Tony ZajkowskiwJoe Hollier

Printing and Construction:A to A Studio SolutionsStamford, CT

Destruction and Recycling:TNT Scrap MetalBrooklyn, NY

Hearse and PDF Instructions

Art Director:Paul Sahre

Designers:Santiago ‘Crespo’ CarrasquillaElias DerbovenAlex StikeleatherErik Carter

Life-Size Hearse DesignArt Director:Paul Sahre

Designers:Elias DerbovenErik CarterSantiago ‘Crespo’ CarrasquillaAlex Stikeleather

Life-Size Hearse-Builders:Erik CarterElias DerbovenSantiago ‘Crespo’ CarrasquillaAlex StikeleatherJoe HollierMichael Devine-RosserCharlotte HornsbySarah O’BrienOliver LanzenbergDalequan HicksonKaitlyn Jeffers

Resources Recommended by Imprint

  1. Available now: Print Magazine’s Guest Art Director Digital Collection

  2. Milton Glaser and Mirko Ilic give a live DesignCast on The Design of Dissent. Register now!

  3. Get an inside look at logo design from Chermayeff & Geismar

  4. Design TV: Improve your design skills with help from experts in the design industry.