Design is an artform: a perfect marriage of beauty, readability, and for Emily Martin, proprietor of Orange Beautiful, happiness. Walk into her store, and you’ll see a sign: “good design makes people happy.” And it does: a well-crafted logo, typographic print, or booklet improves the lives of those using it in a very tangible, meaningful way. It does so by gracefully receding into the background, while amplifying the intended message of whatever product that’s in your hands.
Her story is riddled with hurdles, one immediately after the previous, from the beginning until present day. But with each step forward, her work remains sure, honest, and wonderful.
Orange Beautiful goods decorate my home and studio. It’s one of the first things I see when beginning my workday, and the last when I leave the studio in the evening. They belong in your space, too.
In this hour-long program, we explore her career, from the beginning until now, leading up to her latest endeavor, Show of Hands, a design fair for the independent pro. As she says, it’s more than a craft fair: it’s a commitment to the creative community at large, demonstrating that craft can be couture. The goods showcased may be handmade, but they’re of equal (or better) quality than anything you’ll find elsewhere.
If you’re in Chicago, come hang out with us at the event. Joshua, Susan, and myself will all be on the ground, chatting with vendors, and broadcasting anything we find interesting.