School Street Posters is a map design and print studio in Batavia, Illinois (formerly Chicago).
We create beautifully detailed street maps of college towns and cities using crisp, bright inks and gorgeous card stock paper milled from 100% renewable energy.
Most of our work is screen printed in small batches of 50-100 prints, either by hand or on our semi-automatic press.
Screen printing is a very old and labor intense printing technique. First, we coat a silkscreen in light-sensitive photo emulsion and “burn” the image into the screen in a dark room. Next, we wash the image out with water, creating a very fine stencil.
We then use a rubber squeegee to push a layer of ink through the stencil and onto the paper.
Unlike a poster made on a digital printer, the ink sits on top of the paper, so that the print is slightly 3-dimensional, creating a beautiful contrast between the textured fibers of the paper and the ink.
You can feel the image when you run your hand over the print.
Screen printing allows us to achieve deep, fully saturated colors. And because it is made by hand with real ink, each print is genuinely a unique piece of art.
Look closely and you can see evidence of the process.
While screen printing allows us to create a truly unique art product, it does not scale well for custom sizes and colors. Our digital print lab lets us offer posters and canvas, in any color and in a variety of sizes, printed on Epson photo inkjet printers on premium, acid-free fine art papers and archival canvas.
Inkjet printers allow us to print our map designs in any color combination! If you don’t see what you’re looking for, contact us about a custom order.
We know you care about the products you bring into your home.
So do we.
That is why we print all of our posters locally in our workshop and use only non-hazardous, eco-friendly inks, cleaners, and emulsions.
The majority of our paper is sourced from the French Paper Company in Niles, Michigan, where they have been using hydro generators since 1922 to responsibly make some of the most beautiful paper on the planet.
And all of our frames and packing materials are sourced in the USA.
Our artwork is inspired by the idea of Community.
Groups of individuals connected by shared experience, no matter their age. People who have sat in the same eateries and pubs, and strolled the same avenues and boulevards. It is language, customs, superstitions and rivalries. While people may come and go from the physical location, they never leave the Community. It is always with them.
Our mission is to provide an expression of that Community. We hope you enjoy our work.
I created the Normal, Illinois poster for my home office after graduating from Illinois State University in 2005. Seeing the names of the streets and avenues on my wall reminded me of the people and experiences from that period of my life.
Over time, friends saw the print and asked me to design street maps of their college towns.
The name—School Street—is not only a description of the products, but also the street where I met my wife in 2004. Her apartment building was demolished years ago, but the street remains.