‘Do you know Photoshop?’
For most artists in this day and age, the aforementioned question might seem redundant. ‘Of course I know Photoshop’, they think. After all, the ability to use Photoshop along with other Adobe Creative Suit applications is a must-know for any photographer, graphic designer, or even print master (such as we, here at Team). But, on the other hand, there are still many artists who do not actively use Adobe and are still able to successfully create and distribute art on a regular basis. Ken Davis is one of those artists. Ken Davis is a sign painter based out of Oakland, California. For year, Davis has been applying his knowledge of typography when creating beautiful hand-painted signs. Davis is certainly a master craftsman. His craft comprises of sign painting, and to be able to successfully do so he has had to undergo training and an apprenticeship. Along the way, many Bay Area businesses have commissioned Davis to paint signs and create graphics. All in all, it is refreshing to witness an artist who is able to make a living without being completely dependent on computer applications (especially in the Bay Area). We here at Team can easily relate to Davis’ work because we also practice a hands-on approach to our craft. Screen-printing and sign painting are both old time trades that have, over time, been eclipsed by more efficient technologies but have nevertheless survived in a manner still demanded by many. In addition, screen-printing and sign painting have intermingled in the past and still do to this day. Before digital technology was so abundant, sign painters would often use screen-printing when mass-producing a sign. Even though Davis’ work lacks the convenience that a computer might offer, he still accomplishes an incredible amount of work. It seems that every week, Ken is painting another local business’ sign. If you are interested in peeping some of Ken’s work, check out his Instagram @CoolHandKen.
Recently, Davis helped us design the Oaks Bro. It would seem appropriate that Ken designed the Oaks Bro because both the graphic and Ken are sort of underground. Let me explain. The Oaks Bro is based on the now deceased Oakland Oaks. The Oakland Oaks first manifested in the form of a minor league baseball team that played in Oakland from 1903 to 1958. The Oaks played in the Pacific Coast League; a league that comprised of six other teams, ranging from Seattle to Los Angeles. During their time, the Oaks won the league title five times and were led by a host of managers who went on to manage MLB teams. The Oaks used the Oakland Ball Park as their stomping ground, located at San Pablo & Parks Ave, which was destroyed in 1957 and is now inhabited by Pixar’s animation studio. In total, the only hallmark left of the Oaks is the Oaks Club (located across the street) which is somewhat reminiscent of the Oaks because of it old-timer feel and legacy. Later on, in 1962, the Oaks again reappeared, this time in the form of an American Basketball League team. These Oaks only played for one season but were later succeeded by the legendary American Basketball Association Oaks. The ABA Oaks played for two year (1967-69) at the Oakland Arena and won the championship in their last season. Unfortunately, those Oaks were not able to maintain because of such low box office revenue. But we wish to commemorate all three Oaks teams in a Team fashion! The Oaks Bro totes the same acorn that all three teams used as team emblems. Our Oaks Bro is now available on the web store. The shirt is on sale in two option; one as a unisex American Apparel and the other as a razor back American Apparel tank top. Check it out and above all, don’t let us know what you think. Have a great weekend!