We have loved the literature-inspired prints and posters by Obvious State, a creative studio based in New York City, for years now. Aptly titled the Bibliophilia collection, this literary art series features ink illustrations inspired by “snippets of text from authors, philosophers and thinkers,” coupling well-known words with beautiful visuals.
Each piece presents an imaginative interpretation of an excerpt from a well-known novel. Many of the illustrations are clever composites, combining pairs of pertinent yet inherently dissimilar subjects into cohesive and clever scenes. While the idea behind the work is thought-provoking, the aesthetic is minimalist. Each illustration is printed in stark blank ink and exhibits a composition that is clean and balanced. This simple style accentuates the conceptual focus and graphic nature of the Bibliophilia collection.
Though Obvious State has been creating these prints and posters since 2011, they've only recently opted to shift to letterpress, a refined, relief-based method of printing that has interested the company for years. So, why the wait? Due to the heavy use of ink and large size of the prints, printers were hesitant to try, fearing inconsistency and imperfections. “For the past few years, we’ve been trying to find a way to produce them on letterpress, which turned out to be a real challenge,” Evan Robertson, the co-founder of Obvious State, told us in an email. “But last month we finally found a partner (Boxcar Press) in upstate NY that helped us crack the code and come up with a specialized approach that creates stunning results.”
Now, slowly but surely, Obvious State plans to produce each print via letterpress. Through Kickstarter, the company has started a campaign offering prints of 12 of their most popular pieces. If they reach and exceed their goal, Obvious State will add more to the mix, and may even offer custom creations.