"My work for nonprofits was entirely based on the fact that I had this big studio at my fingertips. I had the board to do the mechanicals, type, wax, pencils—all of that. I would always give credit to the company I worked at—they didn't mind. It wasn't like I was taking work money away from them. They probably threw more stuff away than I used for the arts organization anyway. I robbed Peter to pay Paul."
June 19, 2011
Use the Robin Hood theory
Ed Fella worked throughout the '70s for arts organizations in and around Detroit. In addition to designing Detroit Focus Quarterly, a local art magazine, he did thousands of posters on which he would execute his typographic experiments. He contributed his design time as well as the facilities of the shop in which he was working. To get new typefaces, which at that time had to be purchased, he would piggyback the typeface from a paying job onto pro bono jobs. "I'd do a job for a car company for which we'd put on a few lines of type and send it out, so I'd get the type. I'd use the studio facilities. I couldn't have done that work if I didn't have a job. I couldn't be a starving artist and do this pro bono work. I never made a penny on it. Now it costs so little, I never have to pay much for printing. You know, I make 100 copies and it only costs 50 bucks. If it were a real project, it would cost thousands of dollars to print."
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