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The Beat #3

Updated: Sep 21, 2020

Topics: Rice, Letterpress Art, Blue Note Records, Succulents


Illustrations by Greg Chinn at The Local Brand Co.



Rice


You’re thinking two things right now: 1) Rice? Huh? 2) Now I want rice. 3.5 billion people depend on some variation of this humble grain for more than 20% of their daily calories, and it has the potential to solve world hunger. For Americans who grew up on Minute Rice or Rice-a-roni it can be hard to understand that rice comes in a beautiful plethora of types, and that it’s prepared in as many beautiful ways. Whether its jasmine rice from Thailand, African rice from Nigeria or wild rice from North America, its story is ancient and its reach global.



Letterpress Art


Over the past decade, the art of letterpress printing has seen an enormous resurgence, and we couldn’t be happier. The rise of the computer and the rapid digitization of graphic design democratized the field and created incredible innovations, but it also removed designers from the production process while digital printing also rose to usurp the humble letterpress. But it’s back and it’s beautiful. From Hatch Show Print’s traditional concert posters to Hammerpress in Kansas City, from Iceland’s Reykjavik Letterpress to Kikisoso in Germany, letterpress artists combine the practical with the sublime.



Blue Note Records


With a history of releasing some of the best jazz of the last century, as well as the best record covers, Blue Note is an institution unto itself. Every important name in jazz put out a Blue Note release, including Cannonball Adderley, Art Blakey, Norah Jones, John Coltrane, Thelonious Monk, Anita Baker and so many more. In 1956, the label hired artist Reid Miles and his graphic design, combined with Francis Wolff’s iconic photos, made Blue Note releases the most visually arresting records on the market, and created an aesthetic for an era and a genre.

Learn more and see some incredible art on Blue Note’s history timeline.



Succulents


Long favored in dry climates as a drought-resistant and water-thrifty gardening choice (Greg is in succulent heaven in Southern California), succulents are plants that inspire confidence — mainly because they’re so hard to kill. Beautiful, unusual and far more variegated than your local big box hardware retailer lets on, they grow pretty much anywhere, they have medicinal properties and they add an exotic flair to the blandest beige apartment.