The Lake and Stars: A Poster at Studio MPLS

The inspiration for The Lake & Stars was to abstract a map of Lake Superior and its surrounding landmarks with an overlay of a segment of the universe, blending the Great Lake with a starry sky.

The lines connecting the constellations and the parallels are blind debossed; the locations around the lake and the constellations are foil-stamped copper; the stars are pale matte silver foil; the lake is screen-printed from an original hand-painted piece. Printed on French Midnight Blue 100# in collaboration with Vahalla Studios and McIntosh Embossing. Dimensions are 18 x 12”. Photos by Brent Schoepf.



I researched old sailing maps and tried to combine print processes in an unexpected way. The piece is meant to be more textural than visually over-the-top. The piece is an abstraction of a map, in some sense. I wanted to do something hand-painted within a graphic design piece, which is difficult to pull off. Mimicking the water in a lake with organic texture made sense here.


The lake was hand-painted, then scanned and turned into halftone, with lots of manipulation of the values and the border of the lake to get it just right. The typography, map lines, compass, and stars were vector art made in layers according to print process. We at Studio MPLS worked closely with Dave McIntosh at McIntosh Embossing to ensure that we got the foil and debossing to work in layers over the screen printed lake. Vahalla Studios used an ink that would allow for foil to adhere over it.






Lots of visceral reactions to it; despite it being location-specific (North Shore region), people around the world have contacted Studio MPLS about it. We learned at the studio about print processes and how to layer them. We were able to balance levels of contrast in color vs. texture and detail.

To purchase, go here: http://studiompls.com/product/the-lake-and-stars/

Leslie Olson

Graphic Designer at Studio MPLS.