Firecracker Press, Typecast Publishing
A literary magazine that couples the best in poetry and fiction and showcases Firecracker’s capabilities.
Several Awards of Merit
AIGA St. Louis 2007 thru 2010
Best of Show
2009 Louisville Graphic
WHAT THE MARKETING GUYS SAY:
Firecracker Press is one of Saint Louis’ premier letterpress printers, and they have quickly (since 2002) established themselves as one of the best letterpress shops in the country. In 2007, they joined forces with a publisher (Typecast Publishing) to produce a poetry magazine called The Lumberyard. As anyone in the poetry publishing business will tell you, this wasn’t a get-rich-quick scheme, it was a labor of love.
They created The Lumberyard, because both companies had a vision for a new type of publication - melding the written word with original illustration, design, typography, and letterpress printing. The result was a beautiful magazine that has been successfully sold online and through subscription.
Since the first (sold out) edition in 2007, they’ve published four more, at a rate of two issues per year. The sixth edition will be released this summer.
Has it paid off?
While neither Firecracker or Typecast are going to retire on the proceeds from the publication, it has been a profitable, self-sufficient venture, and has created a lot of intangible value for both companies:
• The magazine has received multiple awards of merit from AIGA St. Louis
• It won ‘Best of Show’ at the 2009 Louisville Graphic Design Association competition
• The Lumberyard was called, “the most physically beautiful new journal I’ve seen...” by longtime book critic Dwight Garner of The New York Times.
• Firecracker has attracted new clients who want to enhance the aesthetic quality of their current publications.
Dan: This is a great example of a company doing what they love, with the resources they have to showcase their capabilities.
David: Businesses are often hamstrung by clients’ limitations (budget, vision, etc.), and aren’t able to produce the quality of work they want...some of the best ideas never make it out the door. By making themselves the client, Firecracker and Typecast were able to construct a finished product that was in line with their creative vision.
Brian: You don’t have to create an entirely new product to achieve this. A lot of companies are able to retain creative control of the final product by taking on pro bono clients. They work on projects for clients that align with their core values, and produce work without the typical, limiting restrictions that come with paying clients.
Dan: Following your passion(even as a side project) can create a lot of new marketing opportunities.
Brian: You can start by distributing press releases and pitching stories to reporters, entering industry awards, or simply showing existing clients the work through a newsletter.
Dan Klein, David Meyer and Brian Schwartz (www.wearespoke.com) are partners at Spoke Marketing.