I have the pleasure of introducing you today to a very cool concept - books as posters and t-shirts. From beginning to end, a book's text is made into a custom design printed out to show off to the envy of your friends. They can be found at Litographs.com, an online store full of our most beloved novels. For a book nerd like me, this is very good news. Even more exciting was the day I found a Red Lory poster on my doorstep:
Danny Fein, the founder of Litographs.com, was gracious enough to answer a few questions I threw at him so I could introduce you to him and his project:
DN: Why did you settle on reading as the object of your designs?
DF: I've always been drawn to literary merchandise, but I thought we could do better than what was already out there. The vision for our designs is that they should be more than novelty items. We display band posters and movie posters in our homes because they look awesome - why not book posters, too?
DN: What was your favorite book while you were little?
DF: The Golden Compass. I re-read the trilogy every few years. It's one of those books that's perfect for teens, but has so much depth. I enjoy it differently each time I read it.
DN: What book introduced you into the grown-up world?
DF: The Selfish Gene. I read it before I went to college, and it informed my studies and the way I view the world. Or maybe A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again. Cruises truly are a perfect example of the silly things grown-ups do because they're supposed to be fun.DN: How long does it take an artist to design one of these posters?
DF: In the early
days, we grew our collection by scouring the web for existing designs in
artists' portfolios. It was like a scavenger hunt, and was especially
fun once the royalties we were paying became significant. Today we
commission most of our designs, and they typically take anywhere between
a day and a week to finish.
DN: You came up with this idea late at night, right? It seems to me like
one of those brilliant ideas that springs on a person when they least
DF: Somewhat. The form itself has been around for a while (see Spineless
Classics, Postertext, and Novel Poster), but the scope was extremely
limited. I felt like there was so much more I could do with the form,
and I happened to be teaching myself to code at the time. I wrote the
first python script for Litographs in one evening, and from there it was
off to the races. Lately, many of our new ideas do come to me during
off-hours, but for me the shower tends to be where they appear. I have a
waterproof notepad I keep on the wall -- highly recommended.
DN: Fast-forward some years. What do you want Litographs to be?
DF: The destination for all literary goods. There are so many types of products people have requested, and I think there are a number of new directions we can take the designs. I'd also like to get our community more involved in the design process. Many exciting things to come!
DN: Bonus Question: You’re walking along and stub your toe on
something gold. It’s a lamp so naturally you pick it up, open it and a
genie pops out. She says you’ve only got one wish and you have to wish
to be the character of a book for a week. Who do you pick? Personally,
I’d go with Captain Nemo although I’m always nervous around large bodies
of water. And you can’t pick a character from a book who gets a wish
and then wishes for a thousand wishes. The genie would frown on that.
DF: I'd choose Matilda. It would be fun to have Harry Potter's magical powers, but I like that Matilda's come from her mind. And it seems like a less dangerous world to get thrown into.
There you have it, folks. That's Danny Fein of Litographs.com, a stand-up guy with a great thing going for him. Stop by the site and find your favorite novel! If you'd like more information on how to order a Red Lory poster, which comes in several sizes and colors, send me an email at davenewellwrites (at) gmail.com or fill out the contact form linked here. We'll talk shipping and price with no obligation.