Ork Out

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This may be the first time we’ve written about anyone outside the metropolitan area — but Jenny Beorkrem is worth it. The Chicago designer created a frenzy on local blogs from Curbed to Design*Sponge when she launched the site for her typographic neighborhood maps, Ork Posters, in November of last year.

bk_navy.gifBy late December, just from the online mentions alone, her entire inventory of Chicago, Brooklyn, Manhattan, SF, and Boston maps was wiped out — and now, what Beorkrem thought was “going to be a little side project” has allowed the 24-year-old to leave her full-time gig and focus on her own career. “Now I get to be creative all day and not have a client,” she said. Hear, Hear!

The idea for Ork Posters came when Beorkrem saw a neighborhood map she knew she could improve upon — so she designed her hometown first, using a font (for all you design heads who care about these things) called DIN 1451 that dates back to the 1930s. “It’s geometric and I think that’s why it fit so well in the posters,” said Beorkrem.

Chi-Town weighed in with 91 hoods, the most of any city she’s mapped so far. Brooklyn came second, both in the order of maps and number of nabes (49)* — but it sold out first. Everyone who was quick to click got one of the 300 screen prints in white on black or navy on cream — for the Navy Yard of course — including Marty Markowitz. (They’re going to carry some in the Borough Hall Visitors Center soon.)

But many — like us! — missed out. So, we approached Jenny and asked that she design a limited edition screen print in Brooklyn Based’s colors: a bold (like Brooklyn) orange-gold and cream — and in two weeks or so, she’ll roll out these signed, numbered 18×24 inch prints priced at $35 each. (Email us if you’d like a reminder once they go on sale.) and these signed, numbered 18×24 inch prints are now on sale now at orkposters.com/bkbased.

bbm.jpgThey’re pricier than her new $22 posters and her original, $27 screen prints (her site explains the difference). But unlike those other Brooklyn maps, there are only 100 of these babies, and the frame shops on our Fix-It List agreed to offer a 10 to 15 percent discount if you bring it in for framing.

Two percent of all Ork Posters proceeds go to the non-profits HEAL Africa, and, in memory of Beorkrem’s environmentalist uncle, River Action. And did we mention Beorkrem uses soy-based inks on her posters and recycled paper exclusively?

“I live that way and I make those choices in my life,” she explained, “so why shouldn’t my business do the same?”

*The map doesn’t note microhoods like PLG, East Williamsburg, and Wallabout.

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