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Draplin Design Co., North America
July 18, 2007
Hank Trotter: Thank You
Posted at 07:34 AM


Oh man, dug into my wall of compact discs last night and got tangled up in my Friends of Dean Martinez discography from those dusty, mid ’90s.

I loved that band. It was such a departure from the “smash yer head on the indie rock” sorta rock that was my mainstay at the time. Lots of Sebadoh, Lips, Lizard and Dinosaur topped my list then. Here was this dusty, windblown, rattlesnake-bit, pedal steel stuff from Tucson, and, it opened a portal that introduced me to the likes of Giant Sand, Howe Gelb, and finally, Calexico, of whom, I just can’t enough of.

And of course some Scenic, too. That band is a whole ‘nother post. Phew.

What made me pick the thing up was simply the design of the albums. Beautiful, restrained typography and luscious Southwestern photography. Every font “fit” perfectly. It paid homage to some far away era, and for me, this was new.

And remember, this is at the height of all that horseshit, unreadable Raygun design stuff, right? Once I found out how “digital” all that stuff was, and could track the overlapped characters, it just felt, uh, gratuitous and bloated, and, quick. Anyway, back to Friends of Dean Martinez…

The designer was a guy by the name of Hank Trotter. Hell of a name. Mystified me. I’ve been on the lookout ever since, and haven’t heard so much as a blip. I remember hearing something about him being the “longtime art director” for Sub Pop or the Rocket or something. Maybe he’s the fella who brought in the insanely good Jeff Kleinsmith? Prob’ly. Timing sounds about right. Much, much enjoyment from these designers over the years. Tons.

I know this much, I love everything about these two albums, “The Shadow of Your Smile” and “Retrograde.” Heavily, heavily recommended.

There ya go.

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Some more vintage vinyl just to get you thinkin’.

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Hold up. All these juicy Flickr collections the last couple days are courtesy of the great Roadside Pictures. Basically, everything they touch is brilliant, and, quite the wealth of imagery. Thanks so much, and, bravo.

There Are 3 Comments

Wow. That Roadside Pictures link you gave is amazing!

Thanks for posting it and the great work you’re doing with this site - it’s a fave of mine.


Posted by: JC on 07/18/07 at 3:30 PM

Craaazy. I came across this link, because I was looking for this men’s magazine that Trotter put out in the late 90s (complete with cheesecake-y photos of the lovely Neko Case). It was a throwback mag in the style of those classic pin-up ones and it was called Kutie.
Yeah, that dude had killer talent. I could’ve sworn Art Chantry said that he was a carpenter now. GigPosters has a handful of his work.

Posted by: Al aka El Negro Magnifico on 02/15/09 at 12:45 AM

I don’t believe you remember me too fairly as I was in the obscura of your love for Christina.
I send this in deepest sympathy for the loss (over 5 yrs. ago) of your sister Tina.
I never got over her. I truly struggled for quite a while. Back in 1984. Over on Emerson street. Ptld.
We had a cat that was a kitten and I sent her a pic of him in 1986 (Jan.). He was HUGE for a cat.
Any way, I was lookin’ up someone else and thought about Tina (as I have ever since She left) so I looked her up. It took 2 days and tonight I found out she was married to Tom Steinbrenner and was deceased!
So, Hank. I hope your memory of me is not too severe. I still remember the “Rugger” shirt you contributed. I did remove the Rugger logo though. I wore it for maybe a year?

Posted by: Steve Krueger on 12/09/10 at 7:34 PM
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