Design Ignites Change

This month in Chicago is Artist’s Month. While there are only a couple weeks left, I thought it was a great theme to bring to Ponoko. So, for the next two weeks I’ll be posting about artists, designers and their works that explore the process of laser-cutting.


About six months ago, I came across the portfolio website of Marian Bantjes. It was love at first sight; equally matched with envy and admiration. Then in March, I had the pleasure of attending her lecture for the Insights Design series at the Walker Art Center. I came away from that lecture knowing that no matter what level or lack of success I achieve as a designer, in my eyes I will never perfect my art the way she as. So, enough with the idolizing introduction – I just think she’s super cool.


Above is the poster she designed for a DC based international non-profit, the Academy of Educational Development. Sale of these posters benefitted AED’s Speak for the Child project which provides assistance to children orphaned by HIV/AIDS in Kenya. The first issue, of which there were only 100, were laser cut from white paper. From her website, Marian has this to say about the work:

Aside from the fact that it is just plain bitchin’, there is a logical reason for this. One: usually you laser cut from the back, because on white paper the laser will leave a slight burn mark. Well, ignites! So I had them cut it from the front: I wanted the burn.


above: a detail of the design


above: shadow of the poster


A second run of posters with the same design were printed with silver foil on copper paper. (I’ve already asked… have not heard back if any are left.)


While I could go on about Bantjes, I won’t. There’s no shortage of publications talking about her this year: Frame in September, Creatie (Netherlands) in August, Computer Arts in June, HOW in February, and in January¬†¬†I.D., Page (Germany), and Design Edge Canada. Please visit the projects for more work by Marian Bantjes.

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