Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The Story Behind the Collection: The Great Outdoors

We get asked all the time – "how do you get ideas for collections?"

We use a simple formula. Let's take The Great Outdoors as an example. Here's the recipe:

According to the creator of this collection, Jeff Menges, one of Dover's graphic designers, the inspiration came to him like a lightening bolt in a bar at a remote lodge up north in Canada. He was on a fishing vacation with old high-school friends on the shores of the Rideau Lakes in Newboro, Ontario.

I'm not sure if it was after a hard day's fishin' or if this happened on the first night, after the drive up from NY, but the lads found themselves sitting at the bar in the Stirling Lodge – I'm imagining a place that looked somewhat like this:

Apparently the bar was full of amazing sportsman memorabilia: kitsch, paintings, posters, postcards, and trophies. Probably the walls were covered in stuff like this:

Now, not only is Jeff an excellent illustrator in his own right, but he's a something of a specialist when it comes to the 'great' illustrators. No doubt, saturation with so much cabin art nonpareil instantly evoked in his mind's-eye images by the titans of sportsmen's art—the likes of Oliver Kemp, Phillip Goodwin, the propitiously named Frank Stick, and of course, Jeff's personal hero, Louis Rhead–who died due to a fishing misadventure (for more on that please follow this link to Jeff's blog).

The Eureka! moment ensued, and thus was born: The Great Outdoors.

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