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Isaac Menge and Eric Bifaro: Print Shop Operators

Get to know a Buffalonian...

Pedal Printing is a one-and-a-half year old custom screen printing shop and design studio in Riverside co-owned and operated by Isaac Menge, left, and Eric Bifaro. The two friends got sucked in the design biz thanks to their connections in the indie music community.

What do you think differentiates your shop from other print shops in town?

We put a lot of thought into where our product comes from. We offer sweat shop free American made apparel, we print high quality thick specialty papers from a family run hydro electric recycled paper mill in Michigan, and use non toxic soy and water based inks and chemicals. As a shop we do our best to recreate the clients vision with great attention to detail and print quality.

Do you feel like there is a definitive “scene” in the Buffalo graphic arts community?

There seems to be a high concentration of print makers, artists, and designers in Buffalo which has always been known as an artistic city. This could be accredited it to Buffalo’s low rent and high amounts of vacant space. A print-makers paradise.

What are your feelings about graphic artists’ fair use policies? For instance the ongoing dispute between the Associated Press and Shepard Fairey, creator of the iconic Obama “Hope” poster.

The line dividing fair use from plagiarism seems to waiver quite a bit. It is a fairly common practice in the punk and arts community to reuse/recycle and sometimes spoof popular images in order to voice an original opinion or idea. The entire pop art movement is based off of that concept. We do our best to create original images and work with artists who have unique styles of their own, but sometimes an image calls for some good old time satire and spoof.

Do you feel that graphic artists’ are too reliant on digital tools to create their works? What do you is gained by retaining the ability to print the old fashioned way?

Although we feel the digital age has added great editing tools which help save time, too much reliance is placed upon them these days. Images created outside of the computer tend to look better. Screen printing offers vibrant colors, textures, and depth that digital prints can’t quite touch.

If you could redesign anything... a favorite movie poster, an album cover, a product, etc... what would it be and why?

There can be charm to an absolutely horrible design. Let’s leave past designs as they are, learn from others mistakes, and work on a great new project.

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