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“Prisms and Shamrocks” is the 10th in designer and print-maker Sarah Nicholls’ series of informational and self-promotional pamphlets titled Brain Washing from Phone Towers. Hand-set metal type combined with hand-carved linoleum and wood block illustrations create an aesthetic that reflects the uniquely underground nature of the material and method of distribution. 




Quantity Produced


Production Cost


Production Time

Dimensions (Width × Height × Depth)

Folded: 4 × 6 in.
Flat: 16 × 12 in.

Page Count

Paper Stock

Zerkyll Ingres / cream / text weight /

Number of Colors





Franklin Gothic 10pt, roman and italic.

This piece is available for purchase for $15

Prisms and Shamrocks
Prisms and Shamrocks
Prisms and Shamrocks ---

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Project Description

The Spring 2015 Brain Washing from Phone Towers Informational Pamphlet concerns the history of cryptography, and asks the following questions: How do we solve the problem of communication at a distance? What is the best way to communicate secrets? Has the government always been reading our messages? What kinds of things do we substitute in place of language in order to keep things private? And other related issues, in easily portable paper form. I promise no one will eavesdrop on you while you read it.

Brain Washing From Phone Towers is a series of informative and entertaining Informational Pamphlets produced by hand on a seasonal basis. These small-scale publications combine text (handset in metal type) and image (carved in wood or linoleum) produced via obsolete technology in editioned works which are distributed at will to a chosen audience. The content of the series aims for historical interest, commemorative intent and a healthy dose of humor, and the distribution methods are based on the values of the gift economy.

Our publishing model reflects the print tradition of the tract, small pamphlets used for religious and political purposes, which are often either left for someone to find or handed out.

Production Lesson(s)

This was the first pamphlet I sent out as part of a subscription program: I have a list of people I send these things to, which changes for each pamphlet. Some people are always on the list, some people are sometimes on the list, some people just get one copy. It changes. Usually they are people that I've met or worked with over the last year or so, but sometimes they are strangers, or almost-strangers. Up until recently, there were no subscriptions. If I wanted to send you a pamphlet, I did. But this year I needed to raise additional income to cover my costs, and I was truly gratified to learn that there was a core audience who were willing to pay to subscribe to support the series. A core group of subscribers meant that I could continue to produce these things, and continue to send them out to a random assortment of strangers as well. I am truly grateful. Print allows you to build community this way. ”

Post Author

Author Picture

Kelly Cree

Writer for UnderConsideration LLC.

More: Online / On Twitter


Date Published

October 13, 2015


Filed Under

Self promotion


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About UnderConsideration

UnderConsideration is a graphic design firm generating its own projects, initiatives, and content while taking on limited client work. Run by Bryony Gomez-Palacio and Armin Vit in Bloomington, IN. More…

blogs we publish

Brand New / Displaying opinions and focusing solely on corporate and brand identity work.

Art of the Menu / Cataloguing the underrated creativity of menus from around the world.

Quipsologies / Chronicling the most curious, creative, and notable projects, stories, and events of the graphic design industry on a daily basis.

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Prints / A variety of posters, the majority from our AIforGA series.

Other / Various one-off products.

events we organize

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Brand Nieuwe Conference / Ditto but in Amsterdam.

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Favorite Things we've Made / In our capacity as graphic designers.

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