This is going to read much like a paid advertisement, but I promise you it is not. It’s just the story of a girl falling in love with a tiny print shop near the corner of Oregon and Cherokee Street in St. Louis. There stands the Firecracker Press, a studio that’s damn good at making new, hip art that kinda looks old. They design and print everything from posters, to invitations, to stationary, to business cards.
The Firecracker Press has been around since 2002 and has a large custom design presence – it accounts for about 75% of their work. However, when I was there with a friend last Monday morning, we capitalized on the other 25% of their business – that which they make to sell in their retail store (and online).
The space is retro, vintage and full of energy. There are pins, coasters, cards, bows and posters displayed everywhere…on the wall, in shelves and hanging from the ceiling, Chinese-laundry style. Walk up a few stairs to the back of the store and that’s where the magic happens. Huge old (or at least they looked old to my untrained eye) printing presses are scattered about, papers are resting on drying racks and out-takes 3 deep are tacked to the walls.
A lot of their stuff definitely has a St. Louis vibe, but plenty does not. My friend picked out a series of old posters designed for the St. Louis University Billiken Club. The staff had to comb through the archives to find the prints she wanted, but they couldn’t have been happier to help and tell us about the history behind the art. I bought 3 sports prints for my sons room that were originally made for the Land of Nod. But since I bought them right from the source, and not from the Land of Nod, they are way cooler.