With the launch of the Ork Posters and DODOcase San Francisco iPad 2 case happening today, we were given the opportunity to interview Jenny Beorkrem of Ork Posters. We have long been fans of the design aesthetic of Ork Posters and were so excited to hear more about the story behind the city neighborhood series, and her take on design, tech, and the ideal home office.
Unplggd- We love the look of Ork Posters, how did you decide which cities to showcase? Jenny- Thanks! Originally I chose cities that I perceived to have a larger design community than others, I thought I would find more interest there. I realized quite quickly from the response to the posters that the design was more universal than I had anticipated. Now, that is still a consideration, but I also weigh the number of requests I get for a particular city. Unplggd- Where do you find your design inspiration, how did you arrive at your initial neighborhood design? Jenny- I eat design for breakfast, lunch and dinner. No that's overkill, just breakfast and lunch. I find inspiration in every day. I've always been drawn to the smart and simple solution, generally simple design is typographic too... a direct message. So that's where the original design came from, I was looking for a neighborhood map that was that style. I couldn't find it so I made it. What turned it into a business was my drive...I was deeply in debt from attending an out-of-state university so I thought it'd be a way to make an extra buck or two. And it certainly was! I had no idea it would become what it is today, that's for sure.
Unplggd- How did you decide who to include in the San Francisco DODOCase? Jenny- For the design on the Ork DODOcase, each name, whether author, title or cultural era, either had significant influence on San Francisco literary history or, vice versa, the city of San Francisco had a significant influence on their subject matter or career path. DODOcase’s are handmade by bookbinders, and the city of San Francisco where they are based out of has a rich literary history. Those two facts combined worked as the inspiration for the literary landscape represented on the case.
Unplggd- How do you find the balance between working on creating the art and managing the day-to-day operations of your business? Jenny- Honestly, I haven't found the balance, it's something I struggle with every day. (First hand news to any unemployed reader's in Chicago) I am going to hire a full-time employee here in the very near future. Thus far it's worked out really well to have part-timers, each bringing their own set of skills to the table, but I think having a full-time person on board with me will help with this balance a lot more. But I really enjoy wearing a lot of hats throughout the day so it's hard to give anything up. It keeps me on my toes and all of my jobs involve decision-making and problem-solving, which are what I enjoy doing, whether it's in business or design. Unplggd- Any tips for creating a great small business home office? Jenny- Well, Ork has a non-home office but I do spend a lot of time working from home just because I can control my environment and avoid more interruptions here when I need to focus on something. I think that is the most important tip... try to find a space in your home where you can control your environment, noise, light, orderliness, temperature even, all effect your attentiveness to and the outcome of what you're doing.
Unplggd- What tech do you use/own in your life? Jenny- Anything and everything from Apple. They anticipate my technology needs time and again, they have my back! I think people sometimes underestimate their need to update their technology every once and awhile. If it's the machine you're working on every day, it can pay off quite quickly for something faster and more reliable. I need to be mobile, so I run around with my MacBook Pro most of the time and when I work from home, it's hooked up to the giant monitor. Not much work gets done on the iPhone or iPad, those are more for entertainment in my life. My iPad is now nestled in the Ork DODOcase. Unplggd- What makes Ork Posters, Ork? Jenny- Thoughtfulness, a friendly voice, attention to detail. I think all of these things attribute to making Ork ... our five tenets from the beginning have been - personal, original, modern, beautiful and simple. These have also been applied to this collaborative design for DODOcase.
The Ork DODOcase is the second artist collaboration that DODOcase has launched, the first was with Rex Ray in March. The Ork DODOCase is designed for the iPad 2 and is available for $89.95. The limited edition San Francisco Ork Poster is also available directly from DODOcase. Want more interviews? Check out these picks from our archives: