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Rent Checks for Beyond Repair

February 13, 2016

Sam Gould, one of the organizers of a new community art space and print shop in Minneapolis called Beyond Repair, recently asked me if I would help launch their new fundraising initiative. The idea is that they will pay their rent each month (~$800) by having an artist design a new take on a rent check, print an edition of 30 on their risograph machine, and sell the edition for $30 each. It’s a cool idea, and I love when people experiment with alternatives to traditional grant-writing or wage-working models for raising money.
So I dove in and started designing a rent check. Since I’ve been working with the patterns on the insides of business envelopes for awhile already (see my Cabral print here), why not go with that, and play with the simultaneously random, yet “official”, nature of these patterns as they regularly appear on checks. So I designed a relatively traditional looking check, except that it has 3 overlapping patterns making up the background, and features an unmissable watermark—an inversion of the famous Proudhon quote “Property is Theft.”


You can help Beyond Repair pay the rent, and get one of these cool 5-color risograph rent check prints, for only $30 on the Beyond Repair web store.
Collaborating with people across the country is always hard, but especially so when you are designing for a machine like a risograph, which has wobbly registration and wildly divergent colors from machine to machine. I decided to design my check with 5-color separations, but let Sam decide what colors and what order to lay them down, since I couldn’t be there to proof or see what was working or what wasn’t. It took a couple tries, below is one of the color schemes that was rejected because it was too hard to read…


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