About a month ago, the folks at Displate reached out to us to see if we’d like to take a look at some of their handcrafted metal posters. I hadn’t heard of Displate and knew nothing of their mission, which isn’t exactly unusual with a cold email, but this is one of the rare cases where I can say Displate is genuinely damn cool.
Paper posters are a cool idea with terrible execution. As teenagers, we decorated our rooms with them, sought them out at carnivals, sorted through displays at our shopping centers, all because of their freedom. They were paper: low cost, high sell through, and free to bring forth designs and graphics you would never see on traditional artwork. The sheer array of options virtually guaranteed you would find something that resonated with you.
The idea behind Displate is simple: rather than waste paper making posters that will eventually get beaten up and need to be thrown out, why not take that concept and apply it to something that will actually last? It’s targeted at the geeks grown up and marries the idea of “artwork,” like the canvas prints your parents hung on their wall, with the freedom and variety in the poster scene. But that’s not all.
As a specialty company, Displate is free to enlist masses of talented artists to explode the variety of art for purchase. Right now, more than 5,200 artists have signed up from all around the world in the short five years since the company was founded. In their collection, you’ll find everything from anime to 80s throwbacks, beautiful tapestries of color and movement to monochome animal prints, and, of course, lots of geeky, video game related art too.
Having just put together a new office, I wanted something colorful and geeky that would share a piece of who I am and what I love. I had one request: give me the Hyrule shield.
This is the kind of thing you just don’t find anywhere else. It’s colorful and beautiful; geeky and genuine artistry. Displate sent along a sampling of other options too, including the Mage from Blizzard’s Hearthstone, their most recent partner and product line:
Mounting them is extremely easy as each plate ships with a magnet. One side is adhesive to stick to your wall, so once it’s in place, you just set the plate. Adjusting is as easy as ever, as is swapping to a different plate if you want to change things up. While I wait to finish the window and acoustic treatments in my office, I propped them up on my desk and, frankly, they look good even there (but will be better up and balanced between each side):
Now, these plates are more expensive than a normal poster, with ones the size you see here coming in at about $49 a piece. That might seem like a lot, but consider: these posters are meant to last. With the transition to metal plating, they’re much closer to traditional artwork; they’ll hang on your wall for years and look just as good as they day you bought them. The colors are rich and vibrant and will stay that way. Likewise, each Displate is handmade; the art isn’t printed on the metal but is instead printed and bonded to the metal, wrapped with care, and signed off on. It’s mass production with an individual touch.
Displate is also committed to donating a portion of its proceeds to restore the environment. They’ve partnered with Trees for the Future, a non-profit that operates programs around the world to help people through the environment. They claim that each purchase plants 10 trees, so you can know that your purchase puts something good back into the world.
Displates get at the heart of what made posters appealing to us growing up. With so many options, you can find something uniquely “you” to really make your space your own. They’re expensive, but in the shift to metal mounting and handmade finishing, they’ve married true artwork with the choice and flexibility to directly target our interests, while also delivering a product designed to last years, not months. And, to be frank, you just won’t find this many awesomely geeky options in one place anywhere else.