Ocho Loco Press

(About art, not much about language.)

This morning I passed on to my grand-daughter a nice wooden box with this image on its cover:

Opal translated the name of the press as ‘Eight Crazy Press’ (but without enlightenment, and I still don’t know the source of the name), and she worked out that the image was an ad for a place called Bottom of the Hill (which I recognized as a famous San Francisco music venue and bar). Turns out the whole business is a San Francisco thing.

The box once held postcards put out by Chronicle Books (in San Francisco). Chronicle’s description:


Inspired by the calendars and posters displayed in diners, barbershops, and gas stations during the 1950s, this postcard box [of 30 cards] features the retro-themed artwork of Ocho Loco Press. Once the postcards are gone, you can hang the silk-screened box lid as a decoration.

Ocho Loco Press was founded in 1994 by artist John Wischmann, who graduated from the Philadelphia College of Art in 1985 with a degree in printmaking and letterpress. After moving to San Francisco in 1990, he began to make screenprinted wooden posters for bands, local bars, and restaurants.

From the press’s own website:

Ocho Loco Press specializes in creating unique hand-drawn designs [posters, calendars, and postcards] that recall a bygone era. Our hand-made wooden screen-prints create a look unattainable by any other method.

Two further samples of the press’s work: a poster for Lagunitas IPA (brewed in Petaluma by a decidedly quirky company) and for a CD of a tribute concert for Kris Kristofferson in San Francisco:

Just packed with Bay Area / northern California quirkiness.

Oh yes, Bottom of the Hill: at the bottom of Potrero Hill, 1233 17th Street (17th @ Missouri). From their website:

Featuring up and coming acts from around the globe as well as in our own backyard, the music spans the spectrum from alternative, rock-a-billy, punk, and hard rock, to folk and funk and pop.

At 9:30 tonight: Wovenhand, Vir, and Yassou Benedict. Tomorrow afternoon at 2: SF Rock Project‘s tribute to Black Sabbath and Frank Zappa / Captain Beefheart. Both open to all ages (unlike many events at the Bottom). The Bottom’s concert calendar is a real treat for fans of band names.


2 Responses to “Ocho Loco Press”

  1. arnold zwicky Says:

    From Corry Wyngaarden on Facebook:

    Isn’t crazy eights a card game? Kids like it because it is simple and there is a chance they can beat the adults.

    Got it just right, I think (though how the card game got connected to the press is another matter). The word order is right, and both the singular and plural variants are attested in Spanish. From Spanish Wikipedia:

    Ocho Loco, u Ochos Locos, es un juego de naipes entre dos a seis jugadores. El juego consiste en deshacerse de las 8 cartas que se recibe al comenzar el juego. Se usa la baraja inglesa [52-card deck] para este juego.

    The game in English:

    Crazy Eights is a shedding-type card game for two to seven players. The object of the game is to be the first to get rid of all the player’s cards to a discard pile. The game is considered a pre-extension of Switch and Mau Mau, much favoured in schools during the 1970s.
    … There are many variations of the basic game, and a number of different names including Crates, UNO, Last One, Mau-Mau, Pesten, Rockaway, Spoons, Swedish Rummy, Switch, Last Card, Screw Your Neighbour, and Tschausepp. In Britain, it is often referred to as Black Jack (not to be confused with the casino card game Blackjack). The name Crazy Eights dates to the 1940s, derived from the military designation for discharge of mentally unstable soldiers, Section 8.

  2. jorge Says:

    How much would one of these posters go for I have two and I’m not sure if there worth anything or not I found them in an abandoned apartment

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