Jeff Ruprecht is a curious guy who’s not afraid to jump into new things. He tells us how he sorts through a constant stream of ideas and projects.
J.R.: I work in many mediums and categories. I’m a graphic designer first, but I consider myself a “maker” at heart. I love to build things, make things, sketch things. I love technology, but love true craftsmanship and ways of doing things.
Most days, I am helping clients with their design and marketing goal at Creative Arcade. Creative Arcade is a full-service design and marketing agency based in Canal Park. My business partner, Phil Davidson, and I started Creative Arcade in summer of 2015. After 20 years of working at other agencies and organizations with graphic design and web design, it was time to branch out. Phil and I both have the same vision for Creative Arcade where we believe in the power of play. Play in the sense that exploring new ways of creating, mediums and how it can be applied with traditional design and marketing.
Some of the things that have come out of these explorations is the Duluth Crate Co., Pinpoint Love and SUDS Beer Soap. These are distinct side hobby businesses that allows us an outlet to be creative and learn new things. The Duluth Crate Co. has been an ongoing idea for some time. It is a series of illustrations designed to feel like the design of old fruit crate labels. The subject matter is of specific landmarks here in Duluth and now outside of Duluth. Notecards to framed prints; they are all created from scratch but digitally and printed as giclee.
The Duluth Crate Co. has been around since 2008. It started one night out of boredom and has been a fun ride so far.
It’s rewarding when one of the designs is received with so much passion. Many times people get so excited to see a favorite place of theirs captured in my design. When you can create something that brings yourself joy to create and to have it reciprocated in joy when seen or purchased and treasured on their walls, its pretty special.
The challenge of being a creative person, is that it’s a part of you. It’s who you are and at times it can be hard to “turn it off”. When you allow yourself to sketch, daydream and not be bound by limitations, some pretty amazing things can come out. Some times too many things. This is where I struggle at times. Too many ideas to chase and find time to do. I have many sketch books filled with doodles and ideas for new things that I doubt will ever come to fruition. But sometimes to simply get them down on paper and out of your head can be enough.
The Duluth Crate Co. has been in galleries and shops all over Duluth over the years. Currently, Duluth Pack and Blue Heron Trading carry notecards. Mainly my work can be found at duluthcrateco.com. It can also be enjoyed at GB Schneider and Co. in West Duluth. The large versions of the art can be seen while enjoying a meal.
We are working on a few other ideas including one called Pinpoint Love. It is a series of prints that is about a specific place in the world. Places are very important to people and their personal stories. These posters show exact coordinates of latitude and longitude, but presented as attractive typography and illustration. We have a very limited start of this idea showing sports venues and some landmarks. It can be seen at pinpointlove.com
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