Design Week Portland swept through town last week in a whirlwind of ink smudges and letterpress prints. The weeklong celebration explored design’s process and craft through dozens of independently organized events throughout the city, including lectures, workshops, open houses, and social gatherings.
Of course, when crafting a schedule from a long list of fascinating events, you’re going to pick the parties, right? That’s how I found myself at CONTENT: A Publication Party, a new event celebrating Portland’s dynamic independent publishing community. Created to promote the tangibility of the printed object, the event invited guests to browse and buy books, magazines, comics, journals, and more.
Squeezed into the Independent Publishing Resource Center, CONTENT featured twenty tables overflowing with colorful, clever creations from Portland publishers and designers. Bitch Magazine and Kinfolk displayed their nationally acclaimed magazines, Know Your City peddled Oregon History Comics, Little Otsu offered exquisitely illustrated weekly planners, and Scout Books sold pocket-sized copies of The Tell-Tale Heart and cocktail recipes featuring cat-centric illustrations.
Perched at the intersection of design and self-publishing, CONTENT could have stuck to stacks of pretty books and still found success. Its organizers at Pinball Publishing, however, had something better in mind. This publication party was a true party in every sense of the word, featuring complimentary cupcakes and popcorn, Stumptown cold brew, and a keg of Ninkasi IPA. Musical guests Nick Jaina and Laura Gibson wowed the crowd, and attendees were invited to print their own CONTENT bookmarks on a vintage letterpress.
Design Week Portland has come and gone, but you can still peruse CONTENT’s wares at the participants’ online stores. (Check out the full list of participants here.) You’re also invited to join the party—albeit fashionably late—by viewing our slide show below.