By Katie Tandy
Fledgling print design studio, Knowlita, has expanded its stark and stylish posters from New York to the streets of San Francisco.
Helmed by New Yorker Quincy Moore, Knowlita takes its tongue-in-cheek name from Nolita -- a downtown neighborhood in Manhattan. Moore is running everything, "from design and production to sales and fulfillment," beginning with street-name posters, but poised to whip up t-shirts and eventually a menswear clothing line.
If you check out Knowlita's website, there is something decidedly anonymous about it; it's refreshing really. There's no "about us," no coy head-shots or models pouting around the cobblestone streets of the West Village.
"I was purposefully vague on the "about us" page because I want people to come to their own conclusions about what I'm doing," says Moore. "That's a lot more fun and interesting than if I were to write a bloated explanation, thus forcing whatever I perceive it to be onto others.
"I love that I can create something and just put it out there -- what I think at that point doesn't really matter. It's up to others to decide and opine."
Moore says he first thought of the New York prints on a train ride from Paris to Amsterdam. He explains he didn't make the posters for New Yorkers specifically, though they are his biggest customers. Buyers have clamored from all over the globe including Japan, Australia, Brazil, France, and Sweden.
But why streets?
"There's so much history there, especially in New York," he says. "For instance, 60 years ago my grandfather sold stockings from a pushcart on the same block, -- Orchard and Delancey -- that I work on today. People come and go and the neighborhoods evolve but the streets (and the spirit of hustle) remain the same."
San Francisco is red-hot on Knowlita's radar these days; not only was it "far and away" the most-requested city after the New York posters were released, but Moore believes that San Franciscan bon vivants possess the same impassioned pride about their city as New Yorkers.
"It made sense to cater to a demographic that I knew would be inherently interested in what I put before them because it's about them," he says. "I think they're the two best cities in the United States. Beyond that, the tech and culinary communities have brought us closer in many ways and, of course, lots of people have lived in both places because they're hubs for the creative, intelligent, and ambitious."
Currently, Moore's got five S.F. hoods on his roster -- the Mission, Nob Hill, Castro, Haight-Ashbury, and the Marina. Don't live in the notorious nabes, but have chest-thumpin' pride?
Don't fret your Sunset-bound self. Just drop Moore a line on Knowlita for a custom neighborhood request.