Customer Stories

Labor Northland Posters

These are some Northland stories that were posted on our old site. To add your own stories, memories or comments, please join in on our blog.

Approved by Management

Dear Northies,

A few years ago I got a bunch of militant union posters from you. I posted [them] on the union bulletin boards around the plant. I told you at the time I’d report back how it went. Although the posters were pretty militant, the Local President approved them. Management was quite upset and made the following contract clause one of their top bargaining issues later that year:

All such matters may be posted only upon the authority of
officially designated representatives of the Union and must be
approved by Management.

So for several years I had to get a foreman’s initials on anything I posted. I am able to ignore that now, but only because I impose “self-censorship.” Such is life under the dictatorship of the owners. Now I distribute this stuff at union meetings and in person.

We did do a successful campaign using buttons during negotiations a couple of months ago. We had been getting “lump sum” payments in place of some raises for many years and we decided we’d had enough. I had a local shop make up 250 buttons saying “DUMP THE LUMP” and our Rapid Response team saw to it that on the designated day 85% of the members wore the button. When management still refused, we took a vote and a big majority voted to strike. On the last day of negotiations management agreed to give across the board raises each year. The VP of Personnel said, “Now you can tell the people to throw away all those damn buttons!”

It’s people like you that inspire us to use such tactics. Thank you for being there and doing what you do.

Doug Marshall
USW Local 8957

Happy Anniversary

Congratulations on your anniversary. May you celebrate many more. I have a little story about Northland Poster’s place in my life.

Five years ago, when I was 52, I happened to be an apprentice at [an engineering union]. Heavy equipment operators. In the normal course of events, one gets a job as an operator and then gets signed up by the union. Two years earlier, I’d been given a job by a major excavating company. The job was given to me as a favor to my partner who worked for the company as a site supervisor. But I was a competent operator and a hard worker, so the main supe decided he keep me on and called the union BA to come sign me up. I was very excited. The BA came to the job site, saw that I was a woman, and refused to sign me up.

I was hired back by the same company in the spring, and once again the union refused to sign me up, a different BA this time. I finally made it into the union through the back door, the one reserved for women and people of color, the apprenticeship program. It was not an easy apprenticeship, especially the classroom portion. Oh, the work was doable, but the racism and sexism of the union officials and instructors (except one, who really did try) was overt, constant, and appalling. Every day was a trial. Then one day I discovered your ABCs of Organizing poster in a seldom used room. At every break I would stand in front of that poster, feeling a sense of comradeship, taking in the energy of people who were making a difference for women and people of color. My kin were there in that awful place, my kin were you and I felt you through your poster.

That poster played a large role in my ability to continue returning to [the Local] day after day. Every morning, before I went to class, I’d stand in front of the poster and say, “Here I am, and I know you’re out there. You remind me that the world is bigger than this union, and that makes me stronger. Thank you.”

Thank you indeed. Happy anniversary.

Nancy Evechild

Bunnies on the move

Nothing had worked for the American Postal Workers in Danbury, Connecticut. Postal authorities continued to dismiss worker demands for contract compliance. The contract required that workers whose jobs were eliminated be offered new work within a fifty mile radius. Management claimed that this was not possible to do.

“Bosses Beware: When We’re Screwed We Multiply” read the backs of 300 bright red shirts with an image of militant bunnies marching arm in arm. The local’s logo was emblazoned on the front. Every worker at the General Mail Facility arrived to work wearing the t-shirt on the day of the Post Master General’s visit from Washington D.C. Mortified, management began to pay attention.

The attention wasn’t the welcomed kind. Fuming over their embarrassment, management sent a letter to all employees prohibiting the wearing of the shirts because they violated the Postal Service’s “zero tolerance for violence” policy. The workers, amused but not deterred, knew they had disoriented the employer. They contacted the Northland Poster Collective-the group that had design the T-shirt-and ordered 300 more shirts but this time without the offending text. They also requested other bunny paraphernalia and threatened to picket national postal officials scheduled to come to town.

Fearing more embarrassment, management reached a settlement with the local, discovering that they could find local jobs for their workers after all. They also backed down on their T-shirt ban. The replacement shirts remained in their boxes.

Management had walked right into an untenable position in which they would look ridiculous whether they accepted the right of workers to wear the shirts or not. The workers were able to come up with creative ways to follow up that could keep the heat on indefinitely.

Bunnies 2

Bosses at the Minneapolis Star Tribune also faced the power of workers with bunnies tees from Teamster drivers on the loading dock when shop steward Rick Sather began to distribute them to drivers. Workers began to wear them some days and other days wear plain red t-shirts under their jackets. Supervisors got sore necks trying to figure out if the shirts had bunnies or not. When they tried to discipline one worker for wearing the shirt, others decided that that was unfair and started sporting them as well. Sather was told that the wording was threatening, but the supervisor was not satisfied when he covered the letters with masking tape. In the end, management agreed to drop disciplinary charges against one worker (in a case­unrelated to the bunnies­that could have led to his dismissal) if only the workers would stop wearing those pesky wabbits!

Cartoon Story

Rainbow Foods in the summer of 1999 had gone too far this time and Minnesota workers weren’t going to take it lying down. Management installed a new “anti-shrinkage” policy and set up a toll free anonymous hotline where employees could rat each other out for shoplifting. If management busted a person called in by a worker, the worker was given a substantial cash reward. Lunch bag searches and other intrusive policies were instituted. Morale among the Rainbow Food workers was at an all time low. Management ignored the union’s requests to meet, and refused to even return phone calls.

Although Minneapolis’ local took a traditional route and filed charges against the company, St. Paul United Food and Commercial Workers Local 789 picked a more creative first strike. They enlisted Ricardo Levins Morales to design a series of cartoons expressing their frustration with the company.

A brainstorming session between the artist, Rainbow workers, and union staff resulted in cartoons that irreverently lampooned company policy, renaming the company: “Blameyou Foods,” and illustrating the workers’ complaints. With representatives from every store at their general membership meeting on Tuesday, Local 789 decided to distribute the cartoons among workers at 8 am in all eleven stores the next morning.

After the first cartoon was unleashed on the shop floors (and under supervisors, doors), management left a message on Local 789’s answering machine by 8:30 am asking to meet with union President Bill Pearson on Thursday. Workers had started to make badges out of the cartoon for their uniforms and were passing on the cartoon to truck drivers who carried it to other parts of the country.

The unusual tactic brought about an unprecedented and speedy response from the company. Rainbow Foods agreed to hold five informal meetings with workers representing different stores, and to listen to their complaints. These meetings gave workers a real voice and brought about noticeable changes rapidly, including improved lighting in the parking lot. New cartoons featured thermometers that rose and fell according to the workers happiness or dissatisfaction with Rainbow Foods’ behavior.

Local 789 caught Rainbow Foods off guard with a creative response that still played by the rules. A well coordinated action and the accompanying surge in worker morale convinced management that a more humble approach to worker relations might be the wiser course.

Immigrant Rights

Immigrant Rights Northland

Immigrant Rights

Immigration is not criminal!

Immigrants are workers, families and members of communities, not criminals. The movement of people across borders results from the delinquency of huge financial interests, not that of the workers themselves. For thirty years we have created popular art which reflects the dreams, interests and dignity of those who work.

!Inmigración no es criminal!

Los inmigrantes son trabajadores, familias, miembros de comunidades !no criminales! El movimiento de la gente a traves de fronteras es resultado de la delinquencia de intereses economicas gigantescas, no la de los propios trabajadores. Durante treinta anos hemos producido arte popular que corresponde a los sueños, los intereses y la dignidad de los que trabajan.

Iraq Art Project

Northland Organizing

We are now offering a series of note cards and posters from The Iraq Art Project. The project, initiated by the Muslim Peacemaker Team, seeks to materially support artists in Iraq by reproducing and marketing their artwork in the United States. The mission of the Muslim Peacemaker Teams/Iraq is to bring all Iraqi sectors together to work for peace, unity, and self-sufficiency in the face of current violence.

“You succeeded to make out of the art exhibits moral and material values which we dearly cherish. We also appreciate the fact that you opened a window for our dreams and hopes to travel across the ocean to be introduced to your appreciative society. We wish this window of hope will continue to be opened. You helped our hearts to be happy, our gloomy days to be rosy and flourishing.”

Employee Free Choice Act

Labor Northland

The Employee Free Choice Act is labor’s top legislative goal. Defeating it is a major objective for business interests. In order to build widespread support, the Act will need to appeal to a number of distinct constituencies: union members who must be convinced that higher union density in the labor force will enhance worker power; non-union workers who can see the benefits of union membership and must see the Act as a means to achieve it for themselves; and members of the public at large who support workers struggles or see unionization as a path to rebuild our communities, economy and public well-being through an increased standard of living and greater democratic voice in the work world.

This selection of buttons offer a range of slogans to build support for the act from a number of angles. Order them in any combination (or in combination with any of our other button designs) for quantity discounts. See which messages resonate with your members or neighbors.

Click “Home” on the left hand navigation menu to sign up for our monthly e-newsletter which alerts you to news and developments and announces our free monthly calendar page. Also check out our Custom Printing department.

The History of the Exodus According to the Jewish Religion


The History of the Exodus “They say that other country over there, dim blue in the twilight, farther than the orange stars exploding over our roofs, is called peace, but who can find the way? This time we cannot cross until we carry each other. All of us refugees, all of us prophets. No more taking turns on history’s wheel, trying to collect old debts no one can pay. The sea will not open that way. This time that country is what we promise each other, our rage pressed cheek to cheek until tears flood the space between, until there are no enemies left, because this time no one will be left to drown and all of us must be chosen. This time it’s all of us or none.”

Text by Aurora Levins Morales. A contemporary take on the Exodus that encompasses people of all tribes.

Northland History


Picture This: A History of Northland Poster Collective

Images are the best way to tell the story of Northland Poster Collective.

woody_guthrie_bwPicture this: The Northland Cultural Workers’ Conference in Minneapolis, 1979. Eleven young graphic artists meet in a workshop, and excitedly feed off one another’s ideas about using art to chronicle and create social change.They meet again, and again, eventually forming a collective to critique one another’s art. Lisa Blackshear, Dean Conners, Marilyn Hall, Lee Hoover, Richard Kees, Ricardo Levins Morales, Janice Perry, Frank Sander, Carla Stetson, Mary Sutton, and Lee Wolfson belong to this early incarnation of the collective. George Beyer, an artist who cut his teeth during the CIO organizing drive of the 1930s, delightedly attends their meetings. He encourages them to use silk screening to put their art into circulation.

Picture this: The first Northland catalog, a single 11 X 17 piece of paper run off on a black and white photocopier, containing sixteen posters.The subject matters reflect the political interests of the artists: Chile: “!La Resistencia Continua!,” “Zimbabwe African National Union 1979:The Year of People’s Storm,” “Introducing the Neutron Bomb (Paid for With Your Own Tax Dollars),” “May Day: The First and Only International Labor Day,” “Sanrizuka, Japan: Farmers United Against the Airport and For the Land,” and Olive Schreiner’s poem “I Saw a Woman Sleeping.” One of the posters, a lengthy quote from Woody Guthrie’s autobiography Born to Win, is destined to become a best seller. “I just had to get that one out of my system,” Ricardo, the artist, explained later. “With all those words, I didn’t really expect anyone to buy it. I made it for myself, because it summarized what I wanted to do with my life. As it turned out, we couldn’t keep up with the demand.” For the first printing, Ricardo patiently cuts each letter out from a translucent lacquer-based film. He then presses this onto the silk screens to print the posters by hand. Today the Woody Guthrie poster is off-set printed, having sold over 7,000 copies.

rosie_bwPicture this: Collective members at the public library, compiling a mailing list by copying names and addresses of progressive bookstores around the country from the Yellow Pages. Collective members printing posters and filling orders in the basement of a former grocerystore on the corner of Bloomington and Franklin Avenues, which also houses the Northern Sun Anti-Nuclear Alliance and its fund-raising arm, Northern Sun Merchandising. Some collective members losing interest, as filling orders and sending out catalogs becomes a larger part of the weekly routine.

Picture this: Northland’s second home, on the third floor of a warehouse on North Washington Avenue in Minneapolis (currently housing Sex World — a rather different story!). Ricardo, Richard, Barry Beckel-Kleider, Lee Hoover, and Lois Beckel filling orders on their lunch breaks and odd hours. Excited responses from progressive bookstores and from political artists around the country, who encourage the collective to gather and distribute the work of even more artists. Collective members attend a couple of seminars on mail-order marketing, and learn that there is a science to what they are trying to do!

Picture this: The Northland catalog of 1988, printed on glossy paper and in color for the first time, with Rosie the Riveter rolling up her sleeve above a union bug on the cover. Inside, twelve packed pages of posters covering union issues; the anti-apartheid struggle in southern Africa; the Central American solidarity movement in the US; the nuclear weapons freeze campaign; women in the labor movement; and–for the first time–non-poster items like books, records, and post cards.The collective has made a particular effort to get art from labor artists, and labels everything that is union-printed. The color catalog is the beginning of Northland’s serious debt, though, since it can only be financed with the help of family and friends.

Picture this: The eleventh Great Labor Arts Exchange in Washington, D.C., in 1989. Ricardo attends, to lead a workshop on “Giving the Boss an Art Attack.” Other participants at the conference gobble up the merchandise he brings, encouraging the collective to begin attending labor conventions around the country to sell their products. Ricardo becomes a popular workshop leader, helping labor activists come up with ideas for mixing art into their organizing, and Northland continues to be a regular fixture at the Great Labor Arts Exchange every June.

Picture this: Union-made t-shirts appear in the first catalog of the new decade. Ricardo has quit his day job at Cold Side Silkscreening and set up his own business, RLM Graphics. All the printers join the International Brotherhood of Painters and Allied Trades. RLM Graphics supplies most of Northland’s products from then on. Although technically two separate businesses–one a non-profit and the other a sole proprietorship– Northland and RLM Graphics are run as one collective.

rosie_bwPicture this: Sheets of butcher paper on the walls as the collective engages in visioning and decision-making. The collective–Ricardo, Barry, Lee, Lois, and Barb McAfee–is solid, and feels certain of what it wants to do politically. However, a warehouse is no place to welcome visiting trade unionists–especially when one has to run down three flights of stairs to let them in through the locked door–and they are running out of space. So the collective rents two side-by-side storefronts on Lake Street in 1990, and moves again.

Picture this: The 1991 catalog converts to a black and white, newspaper tabloid format. “This move from color to black and white catalogs was in response to financial realities,” the collective admits in its “dear friends” letter inside. “The cost of competing for attention with slick, glossy advertisers was making it harder to do what we’re here for: providing inspiring, educational material for activists, organizers, teachers, and their friends. We can now print smaller monthly runs . . . and respond much more quickly to public events and to feedback from you, the people on the frontlines of the labor, peace, environmental, and justice movements.” The “financial realities” include a deepening spiral of debt to suppliers, the state of Minnesota, and the IRS. The move itself takes longer and costs more than they expect. Fortunately, Northland’s customers are just as excited by products pictured in black and white as in color.

Picture this: An increasingly multi-cultural collective and some friendly creditors. As often happens in a move, people burn out, and in Northland’s case some people who’ve already helped out on occasion take on more responsibility. Rahel Hewit-Herzog, Julie Horns, Mali Kouanchao, and Simone Senogles provide enthusiasm and fresh energy. In order to keep going, Ricardo presents a well-thought-out business plan to a group of socially-conscious investors, and borrows more money. The IRS and the state of Minnesota are temporarily appeased.


Picture this: The 1993 catalog introduces products specifically geared to union organizing drives and contract negotiations. Slogans such as “The Labor Movement: The Folks Who Brought You the Weekend,” and “Beware: Keep Hands Off Benefits,” and “Safety:We Come to Work, Not to Die” appear on bumper stickers, buttons, and decals. Meanwhile, a small and growing number of posters lampoon the standard shop floor posters put up by management. Ricardo demonstrates his ability as a cartoonist, with a series of smiley-faced bosses trying to hood-wink workers with strategies like the Team Concept.These 11 X 17 posters, run off on photocopiers, are priced to be ripped down by infuriated management, and replaced the very next day.

nyob_zoo_bwPicture this: A series of posters by Asian- American artists; a series of posters by and about African-Americans; a series of portraits of labor leaders. Northland products begin to appear in classrooms around the country, as teachers take advantage of a 10% educational discount.

Picture this: Stacks of unopened envelopes from the IRS in the collective bookkeeper’s desk drawers. In trying to avoid “founder’s syndrome” and have an egalitarian collective, Ricardo hasn’t checked very carefully on what the bookkeeper’s been doing. Turns out that the bookkeeper shares Ricardo’s disregard for paying bills! Repeated trips to the IRS office in Bloomington, trying to understand which forms need to be completed, and what the appeals process might do for the collective. Earnest negotiations with suppliers, printers, and banks. A winter spent in the building without heat because the landlord has not been paying the gas bill. No water because the pipes burst in the cold. “The collective” sometimes dwindles to Ricardo and Jeff Peterson, the printer, because no one else can work without pay. Nervous meetings with extremely patient and kind creditors, who offer their best advice and help. A sympathetic column by Doug Grow in the Minneapolis Star and Tribune detailing Northland’s troubles results in a completely unexpected and highly generous gift of $18,000 to keep the IRS at bay. These are some of the images of the mid-1990s. Not everything happens at once, but it all adds up to several near-death experiences, and some unpleasant memories. When a friend asks Ricardo why he sticks it out, Ricardo answers honestly, “I think it’s because I look forward to telling the story and saying, ‘It really wasn’t worth it!'”

bosses_beware_bwPicture this: Postal workers in Danbury, CT, greet their regional manager wearing red t-shirts proclaiming, “Bosses Beware: When We’re Screwed,We Multiply.” Up until then, the workers have been protesting in vain as their local management violated important provisions of their contract. The attack of the militant bunnies, however, breaks the impasse –suddenly, management is paying attention! The bunny shirts come from Northland Poster Collective, of course.

Picture this: Articles about the feisty artists in the heartland appear in the national magazines of the carpenters, chemical workers, auto workers, and in the National Catholic Reporter. Northland images and slogans are borrowed (with and without attribution!) for union newsletters and organizing drives across the country. Northland’s posters are a familiar sight on the walls of many union halls, and even hang in the AFL-CIO headquarters in Washington, D.C.

baby_stuff_bwPicture this: The launch of Northland’s web site, one of the first e-commerce sites on the internet, in 1996. Alejandro Levins, Ricardo’s brother, designs and programs it. Drawing inspiration from digital technology, Ricardo puts together a new business plan which anticipates Northland’s best-selling images on many surfaces: mugs, mousepads, note cards, temporary tattoos, and screen savers. A new line of baby and youth garments and bibs bring coos and cries of “How cute!” at conferences.

Picture this: An incredibly dedicated group of young environmental activists camp out in front of bulldozers for 18 months to prevent the widening of Highway 55 from 46th Street to the Mall of America.Their experience in self-governing, consensusbased community life creates a new wave of anarchist collectives in the Twin Cities. Northland benefits, as Whitney Fink leads a steady stream of her friends tothe storefront on Lake Street, where they take jobs. Angie Anderson, Austin Beatty, Keith Jackson, Sarah Jordan (Lawton), Emily Lindell, and Ben Tsai are among them. Betsy Raasch-Gilman joins the collective in 1999 as a bookkeeper. Her business experience, mostly gained in food co-ops, brings much-needed sanity. Both Ricardo and his creditors breathe a huge sigh of relief as Betsy doggedly whacks away at a jungle of financial brambles, and puts into place basic management systems.

Picture this: Excitement is building about a major demonstration in Seattle during the meeting of the World Trade Organization. An organizer friend there tells Ricardo, “You know, there’s no official t-shirt for this event yet.” Holding their breaths, Ricardo and Betsy borrow yet more money to finance an enormous run of t-shirts, pack them into Sarah’s battered truck, and Sarah drives them over the Rockies. In the most intense retail experience ever, Ricardo and Betsy sell Northland productsto 20,000 enthusiastic trade unionists rallying at Memorial Stadium. Reports of tear gas and rubber bullets reach them as they sell. Later, as they pack up, they realize that they are trapped by the state of emergency declared by Seattle’s mayor.

Picture this: A high-end laser copier appears at Northland. Central heat and air conditioning follow, because otherwise it won’t work (machines being more finicky than activists)! The copier revolutionizes production, making cheap 11 X 17,” off-set quality, color posters and note cards possible. Clerical workers at the University of Minnesota give the machine its first major test, with an order of 15,000 posters for a multi-year campaign to improve their wages and benefits.

Picture this: Artist Janna Schneider hunched over the mailing room table, drawing images of people’s movements during the 20th century. Century of Struggle, an artistic collaboration between Janna and Ricardo, appears in the 2000-01 catalog. Over 600 campaigns, leaders, newspapers, and organizations appear.The images are grouped into the shape of a tree. Movements of the 1900s are the roots, the ’60s are the trunk, and the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s form the entire canopy of leaves. (Century of Struggle poster featured on the following page of this program.)

Picture this: Airplanes slamming into the World Trade Center towers in New York. Northland workers grimly trying to guess the political impact. An anti-war demonstration scheduled in Minneapolis for the following Monday.The collective leaps into action, imagining an 11 X 17″ sign that people can display in their windows or carry at rallies. Emily and Ricardo poll their friends over the weekend for slogans that might express activists’ concerns. At lunch on Monday, the collective decides on words and images. Alex Bajuniemi goes to his computer and designs the window sign. Others review it, change a word, and it goes into production. At the rally at 4:30, collective members pass out the No War window sign, and it is welcomed heartily.The next day it is on the web site as a free, down-loadable poster. A grant from the Twin Cities Friends Meeting (Quakers) finances an off-set print run, and ultimately over 7,000 copies go into circulation. Other shops reprint it.The recession following the 9/11 attacks once again nearly kills Northland, yet not even Betsy regrets giving away all these posters.

Picture this: A poster expressing outrage over the racist response to Hurricane Katrina. Buttons and bumper stickers emphasizing the value of Social Security. A poster celebrating US labor solidarity with China. T-shirts for anti-war activists. A note card comparing the force of people’s movements with the force of a volcano. A poster commemorating Haitian hero Toussaint L’Overture.The collective–Austin Beatty, Kim Christoffel, Lila Karash, Ricardo Levins Morales, Eduardo Penasco, Betsy Raasch-Gilman, Qamar Saadiq Saoud, and Janna Schneider–work them into the 2005-06 catalog, load them onto the web site, and send them out to a wide, supportive network of activists.

The phones are ringing. Every day come calls about front line struggles: military families protesting the war in Iraq; activists fund-raising for undocumented farm workers hit by the hurricane; striking mechanics at Northwest Airlines; California teachers facing budget cuts.The corporate media declares that mass movements are a thing of the past. At Northland, we’re too busy to notice.

Northland Closes


Northland Poster Collective is closing. As an organization that has struggled on for thirty years and three months, we have enjoyed long and deep relationships with many organizers, activists, students, teachers, leaders and rank and filers in unions, immigrant rights, nationalist, GLBTQ, farmer, women’s and too many other movements and groups to enumerate. We have worked community strategy sessions, union and labor dissident conferences and picket lines. We’ve designed demonstrations with high-schoolers and taught screen printing behind bars. We have friends for whom Northland has always been there and others who have just discovered us. We have friends who discovered us when they were rank and file activists and who are now national leaders.

Given these ties we have tried, once the decision was made, to close Northland in a deliberate, transparent and respectful way that will preserve some of the services that you have come to appreciate (see Life After Northland).

We don’t have to tell you that maintaining a small, insurgent political art organization, without institutional backing or grant funding for thirty years in a capitalist economy is a struggle. That we did it for so long is an achievement we can celebrate. A couple of years ago we engaged in a major fundraising effort that retired a mountain of old debt and set us — or so we hoped — on a course toward long-term stability. Given a few more years of steady growth without any global financial meltdowns we may well have gotten there. We didn’t get an opportunity to find out. After years of doing our part to undermine Wall Street, the darned thing fell on us!

When you helped us to raise the funds for another try, we committed ourselves to making a concerted effort to make it work, but one that would not subject us to missed paychecks or creeping debt. We already knew what that was like. While Goldman Sachs managers have been making off with billions, many of the people who are our constituents are not in as good shape. It became clear that we would face many years of ups and downs and that we didn’t have the buffer to ride out the downs without being sure if the ups were going to return. That’s the summary account.

There’s a bigger story that is worth noting that has to do with the way the cultural struggle for a better world is carried out. In short, the right wing is very aware that political power grows out of people’s beliefs and hopes and dreams and they support their cultural warriors unstintingly. Our side thinks in terms of “issue campaigns” and leaves its cultural workers to work second jobs or take out mortgages to support their projects. We may wish to rethink this strategy.

We are working to keep as much of our past production and art and union printing services as possible, available in new forms. How that shakes out will become clearer in the months to come. It’s been a wild and exhilarating thirty years! While we close a chapter with the closing of Northland, be sure that we’re not going away any more than you are. See you on the picket line!

Life After Northland


Some of the functions fulfilled by Northland Poster Collective will continue in other forms. Here are some of them:

  • Custom union tee shirts.
    Our screen printing operation has spun off as an independent union shop. It is operated by the same printers who maintained our much admired product quality. Aztech Graphics has been handling our screen printing needs and servicing Northlands client base for over a year already.
  • Northland t-shirt designs.
    As of now, it will be possible to order Northland’s T-shirt designs but only in quantity. They can be ordered for unions, organizations or for resale. There is not currently a way to order a mix of individual items as you could from Northland.
  • Custom union buttons.
    River City Buttons is the shop within the shop that produces Northland’s in-house and custom buttons. It will continue to produce buttons to order.
  • Northland buttons.
    Northland button designs can be ordered from River City Buttons in quantities. There is not a source for ordering mixes of individual buttons.
  • Posters and cards.
    Northland artist Ricardo Levins Morales (who is responsible for a large part of Northland’s artistic production) will be opening his own studio. He will also open an online store to continue making his art available. This will be in the form of posters and note cards. Cards will continue to be available through him for quantity orders and organizational use. Items can be purchased as single items or in combined orders. It will be several months from the closing of Northland until the opening of Ricardo’s store.
  • Art and design.
    Several of Northland’s past artists will continue to offer art, design and layout services. These will be listed along with their areas of specialty and contact information.

Further information. After Northland closes, a Northland legacy web page will be posted with links to these services and any others that are developed. There will also be a blog on which to discuss how Northland affected your corner of the world (or whatever thoughts you care to share).