Pittsburgh might not be the first place that comes to mind when you think of good design (especially not to some snobby design students who tend to be pathologically obsessed with all things NYC). But those are stale thoughts. Smart people are becoming enlightened and realizing that committing to a $1,800/month lease in the Big Apple won’t help them produce better work. As more and more artists are attracted to the Burgh (and convinced to stay), a strong community of designers is emerging and making the web (and our city) a better looking place. Boring Pittsburgh hand-picked 5 such local designers and we hope you will find them, like them, and buy from them.
[shoes] The sneakerheads are gonna dig this one. Brush Footwear is a luxury shoe company in Pittsburgh that offers limited edition, wearable works of art. Designer Benjamin Smith takes mostly flat sole shoes like Vans or Converse and transforms them into hand-painted masterpieces. He’s already done custom kicks for Max Talbot and Mikey from the Kiss FM Morning Freak Show, but we think he should create a special Taylor Gang edition of black and yellow Chucks for Wiz Khalifa.
[prints] Reconstructing Ideas is the brainchild of local artist Mundania Horvath. In her Etsy shop, you can order awesome Pittsburgh related (and not related) collage and type prints. Boring Pittsburgh one of her collages in a frame and it is one of our most prized Burgh possessions. Also, fans of architecture should check out her newly reconstructed site Steeltown Anthem where she showcases the most impressive art and architecture the Steel City has to offer.
[bags] Moop Shop has all the bases covered. They have a clean and simple website that lets shoppers focus on the product. The @moopshop twitter feed is always active and interesting, not full of spam. They have a blog that covers everything from shop updates to mouthwatering recipes. Most importantly, they know how to design bags. Amazing bags. Handmade in the PG + H. Hey Moop, please consider adding iPad/Macbook Air cases to your collection! (pretty please)
[fonts] Wood Type Revival spawned from a Kickstarter project that successfully raised almost 20 grand from backers! WTR converts antique letterpress wood type into vectorized fonts that can be used in the digital world of computers. This project is sweet and it’s not surprising that they were able to convince 443 people to fork over enough dough to get started. The founders are from a sleek Penn Avenue studio called Bearded. Yes, the principal designer does have a beard (at least in his bio pic).
[shirts] United Pixelworkers is a t-shirt shop run by the design savvy crew at Full Stop Interactive. Hurry up! The clock is ticking (literally, you can see it on their site) and you only have 30 days to order their featured tee before it gets locked in the vault forever. Roughly every lunar cycle, they release a new featured shirt. All of their threads are printed on American Apparel in Pittsburgh by The Cotton Factory.