Keeping Hope Alive with Tad Carpenter and Carpenter Collective

Keeping Hope Alive with Tad Carpenter and Carpenter Collective

Carpenter Collective’s most recent hand-lettered print comes with a ray of sunshine.

Ah, March.

For many, winter still lingers, the energy and polish of fresh new years resolutions has worn away, and gray skies prevail. March tends to bring a strange shadow over the spirit which leaves us reaching for external salvation (coffee anyone?) to keep us going, and we find the last of what self-motivation can do for us. In one way or another, we could all use a little hope for something brighter these days. 

Carpenter Collective—a Kansas City, Missouri based design practice run by husband and wife team Tad and Jessica—has built a reputation in making smile-inducing antidotes to these winter blues and spiritual dips with printed anthems for bright summer days and an inspired take on hand lettering.

“I created the design the week following the election in November,” says Tad. “Like a lot of Americans, I was feeling pretty hopeless.”

The Hope Print, one of Carpenter Collective’s most recent offerings, was created in reaction to the feeling of overwhelming exhaustion after the tumultuous political season of 2016. “I created the design the week following the election in November,” says Tad. “Like a lot of Americans, I was feeling pretty hopeless. Regardless of your politics, we can all agree that this past election and events following it have been extremely demoralizing. For me, when I make something, that activity often puts me in a better place. I want this print and design to do the same for others who may feel the same way.”

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The Hope Print is also a strong example of Tad’s illustrative lettering style, which he has honed through years of play. “This piece was based in play, typographic exploration, and generally therapeutic too,” says Carpenter.

“I am a firm believer that our best work is often found in the act of play. When you play you are generally having fun, when you are having fun or enjoying the activity you participating in you will often make your best work.”

“Each lettering piece I do, like many people, has a different set of challenges. For this piece it was about exploration, positivity and creating a piece that made people feel part of a positive community that many may have felt they had lost with recent decisions in our country.”

Tad has been able to apply his sense of play to successful means. Carpenter Collective has created highly sought after illustrations, prints, and children’s books; all with Tad’s signature brand of joyful lettering. For more on Carpenter Collective and their lettered goods, (or if you're just in need of a smile), take a stroll over to their online shop to pick up the Hope Print and more. It's also worth noting Tad's side project SUNday Suns—a bright and happy repository for his illustrated suns, ritually created every Sunday. 

Hope is a funny thing. It tends to show up right when you need it the most.  As Carpenter puts it, “It may take time, but that if you continue to hold on to what you believe and stand up for what you believe that good things will occur.”

Carpenter Collective from Kansas City, comprised of Jessica and Tad Carpenter. 

Carpenter Collective from Kansas City, comprised of Jessica and Tad Carpenter. 

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