Until its doors closed on December 31, 2012, the family-run Colby Poster Printing Company made the letter-pressed signs, posters, billboards and showcards that were a ubiquitous feature of the visual landscape of Los Angeles.
For three generations, promoters of boxing bouts, rodeos, reggae concerts and literary-minded visual artists were drawn to the swift graphic science of the dayglo poster. Its essential purpose was to quickly and efficiently convey information to viewers zooming along the autoscape. The durability was a byproduct: posters still hang on telephone poles and chainlink fences from Venice to Las Vegas, months and years after their commissions.
In this short documentary, C.R. Stecyk III visits the company to make one last print, and to expound on its enduring appeal to anyone who ever wanted to leave a mark of their own in the city of signs.
Narrated by C.R. Stecyk III.
Directed by Felipe Lima & C.R. Stecyk III.
MOCAtv Executive Producers Emma Reeves & John Toba.
Ways & Means Producers Lana Kim & Jett Steiger.
Second Unit Director: Susanne Melanie Berry.
Photography & Cinematography: Susanne Melanie Berry, Felipe Lima, C.R. Stecyk III.
Sound: Owen Granich-Young.
Additional sound recording: Andrew Ben Miller.
Voice-over editing: Ed Yonaitis.
Color by MPC LA. Executive Producer: Ed Koenig. Producer: Ted Ilsley. Colorist: Derek Hansen.
Special thanks to Glenn Hinman & The Hinman Family for their support.
Special thanks also to Christopher Michlig, Brian Roettinger, Jan Tumlir for their support in conjunction with the exhibition and book In the Good Name of The Company.
Featured artists (in order of appearance):
Ed Ruscha, Miracle (Poster), 1975
Allen Ruppersberg, The Singing Posters: Allen Ginsberg’s Howl by Allen Ruppersberg, 2003
Peter Coffin, Untitled (Designs for Colby Poster Co.), 2008
Alexis Smith, Mine Was the Better Punch, But it Didn’t Win the Wrist Watch, 1983
Thom Andersen, Get Out of The Car, 2010
Eve Fowler, The Difference is Spreading, 2010, A Spectacle and Nothing Strange, 2010, Gertrude Stein, 2010
Cali Thornhill Dewitt, Modern American Opinion, 2010-2012
Kathryn Andrews, 2009, 2013
Andy Beach, Too Blessed 2 Be Stressed, 2010
Scott Benzel, Black Suns/Black Holes From Inner Experience by George Bataille, 1988, 2010
Anthony Burrill, Ask More Questions, 2012
Sam Durant, Untitled, 2000-2004
Eric Junker, Free Your Monkey, 1997
Daniel Joseph Martinez, Avant-Garde Mixed With Blood, 2004
Euan Macdonald, Untitled, (From the Mental Traveller by William Blake), 2013
Jacob Kassay, Dub Music, 2012
Christopher Michlig, Free Free 2011,
Brian Roettinger, Printed at Colby, 12.07.12, 2012
C.R. Stecyk III, Belted, 2010
C.R. Stecyk III, ADIOS, 2012