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Posted on Sat, Jan 12, 2013 : 5:59 a.m.

Deli expansion to feature Zingerman's art framed by locally sourced company

By Angela Smith

12282012_BIZ_ZingermansAddi2.JPG

The south deck eating area in the new building at Zingerman's Deli. The frames and benches in this room are made from a wood that was knocked down for the expansion of Zingerman's Deli.

Joseph Tobianski | AnnArbor.com

Zingerman’s hand-painted artwork may be just as famous as its sandwiches.

The posters, which embody the deli’s artistic style, originally were designed in 1985. Steve Muno was one of the first designers and developed the font. Since then the unique style of handwriting, eventually dubbed ‘Muno’ has become the standard for all Zingerman’s signs and posters.

And the posters are plentiful. Pete Sickman-Garner, Zingerman’s marketing manager, says the deli has stacks of them. “I don't think anybody knows just how many pieces we have but we've painted 5 ‘line-signs’ per month for years plus countless other merchandising signs.”

Zingerman’s has long-talked about making the posters available for sale. The delicatessen’s renovation is offering the perfect opportunity to display and sell the artwork. Zingerman’s is partnering with local business owner Paul Hickman of Urban Ashes to display its unique artwork.

Hickman has been a local artist and furniture designer for years. In 2008, during the height of the emerald ash borer’s assault on local ash trees, he formed a business that focused on creating frames from locally salvaged wood, Urban Ashes.

12282012_BIZ_ZingermansAddi.JPG

Urban Ashes, a local framing company, has been framing old Zingerman's signs and are displayed at the deli. The art work is for sale and could be found in the bathroom.

Joseph Tobianski | AnnArbor.com

In addition to locally sourcing the wood, Hickman also gets almost every other component of the frames in Michigan.

“Creating a product that was comprised almost entirely of Michigan-made components required a tremendous amount of time and energy. However I felt it was imperative that we do this to create a brand that was strongly entrenched in Michigan's manufacturing traditions,” Hickman said.

While Hickman was starting his frame company, Erica Bertram, merchandising manager at Zingerman's Deli, was trying to figure out what to do with the mountains of hand-painted signs she and her crew had painted throughout the years, according to a news release.

"The signs are usually up for a month and then we swap them out. We've thought about selling them for years but last year we finally made that a reality."

Zingerman’s is not the only partnership Hickman has formed for Urban Ashes. Business has been growing at a rapid pace, and he’s gone from six to more than 60 retail partnerships during the course of 2012. This month he will be exhibiting at one of the largest gift fairs in the world in Atlanta, Ga., as well as the largest Art and Frame expo in Las Vegas. His frames can be found in retail shops in 10 states, and the list is growing each month.

“We have also developed several other partnerships with places such as Reclaim Detroit and most recently Mighty Good Coffee,” Hickman explained.

Zingerman’s diners will be able to find the framed art in both the men's and women's restrooms of the newly constructed deli space. "That might seem like a funny place to put it, but hey — it's a high-traffic area and we want to show this stuff off," Bertram said.

Angela Smith is a freelance reporter for AnnArbor.com.

This story has been updated to correct details about the signs' artistic origin.

Comments

Angela Smith

Wed, Jan 23, 2013 : 2:19 a.m.

Per Zingerman's, "The Deli just sells the art by itself but recommends Urban Ashes frames and can direct buyers to local frame shops that carry Urban Ashes products."

Goofus

Sat, Jan 12, 2013 : 7:11 p.m.

Unsurprisingly, Urban Ashes frames are probably 60% marked up in price from the nearest competitor...just like Zingerman's food is. When ever I see their product at ReUse A2, I laugh at the high prices...just like Zings... Nice fit.

A2M3

Sat, Jan 12, 2013 : 11:35 p.m.

@Goofus, I agree totally, but I see a negative voter score in your future, thanks to the Zing zealots in this town.

Nicholas Urfe

Sat, Jan 12, 2013 : 10:36 p.m.

I hear Arby's is nice.

SPG

Sat, Jan 12, 2013 : 5:28 p.m.

JudeW Said: "I always told myself I would never make a comment with a correction or typo... but I can't stop myself: In the main picture caption, I think you'll find that "a wood that was knocked down..." is more commonly referred to as a "tree". ------------------------------- I always told myself the same thing, but in this case the wood that was knocked down came from the demolition of the buildings at the construction site, it was not a tree.

SPG

Sat, Jan 12, 2013 : 7:03 p.m.

JudeW, I know how you feel. I'll bet someone comes on here and tells us it actually WAS a tree that got knocked down! I just read it as "a wood..." meaning a type of actual wood that was knocked down from a structure for the expansion. Now I am not so sure :>) Any body know for sure?

JudeW

Sat, Jan 12, 2013 : 6:26 p.m.

Ah, for some reason I was sure it was from the tree that had been on Kinsgley St, which came down right when the project first started 2009. Thanks for the correction. I knew I should have resisted posting ;)

pooh bear

Sat, Jan 12, 2013 : 5:07 p.m.

fawning at its best. and the new building it butt ugly.

brian123

Sat, Jan 12, 2013 : 4:31 p.m.

but is that local, or local-local?

ParrishFraming

Sat, Jan 12, 2013 : 4:04 p.m.

Wood - Urban salvage sourced from Southeast Michigan Finishes - Hand applied milk paint & a petroleum-free linseed oil clear Glass - Manufactured in Michigan Paper Insert - Sourced from a 5th generation family-owned Michigan paper mill. 100% recycled content with a minimum of 30% post consumer waste - acid free; lignin free with a neutral ph - processed cholorine free - produced with 100% gree power via their own hydroelectric plant. Printing - Provided by a Michigan printer Backer & Easel - Hardboard utilizing domestic hardwoods, manufactured in Minnesota with no added adhesives Hardware - Manufactured in The USA Packaging - Reclaimed from used packaging prior to recycling, and re-purposed

Koivu Tree

Sat, Jan 12, 2013 : 3:23 p.m.

I think this is a fantastic idea. I lived in Kerrytown for a while and passed Zingerman's every morning on my way to work, always noticing the artwork in the windows. It is happy art and I love it. It makes me smile.

Billy

Sat, Jan 12, 2013 : 2:30 p.m.

I'm sorry Muno....but I've always HATED your art. (that sounds so mean...sorry) I know I know....art is entirely subjective...but the "people" and "animals" you draw just CREEP me out big time. On that same note, most of Picaso's work tends to creep me out too. Nothing from his blue period of course...I actually really like that stuff and always found it quite inspirational....but anything cubist with people in it almost inspires fear.

A2M3

Sat, Jan 12, 2013 : 11:30 p.m.

@Billy, you'll always be flamed for sayin' anything bad about Zingerman's, but I must agree, though I'm good with Picasso.

JudeW

Sat, Jan 12, 2013 : 2:16 p.m.

I always told myself I would never make a comment with a correction or typo... but I can't stop myself: In the main picture caption, I think you'll find that "a wood that was knocked down..." is more commonly referred to as a "tree".

Homeland Conspiracy

Sun, Jan 13, 2013 : 2:40 a.m.

Doh!

JudeW

Sat, Jan 12, 2013 : 6:23 p.m.

I have been corrected as to the source of the wood below, and duly down-voted myself! It does, however, serve to prove I should have listened to myself in the first place LOL

deb

Sat, Jan 12, 2013 : 1:59 p.m.

You should do more stories on Zingermans!!!!!

Brad

Sat, Jan 12, 2013 : 2:07 p.m.

Would that even be possible?

smokeblwr

Sat, Jan 12, 2013 : 11:41 a.m.

This is a good start. The frames may be locally sourced but what about the paint and stains used on the wood? -Thor87

Nicholas Urfe

Sat, Jan 12, 2013 : 10:39 p.m.

Hater got p0wned.

ParrishFraming

Sat, Jan 12, 2013 : 3:59 p.m.

Wood - Urban salvage sourced from Southeast Michigan Finishes - Hand applied milk paint & a petroleum-free linseed oil clear Glass - Manufactured in Michigan Paper Insert - Sourced from a 5th generation family-owned Michigan paper mill. 100% recycled content with a minimum of 30% post consumer waste - acid free; lignin free with a neutral ph - processed cholorine free - produced with 100% gree power via their own hydroelectric plant. Printing - Provided by a Michigan printer Backer & Easel - Hardboard utilizing domestic hardwoods, manufactured in Minnesota with no added adhesives Hardware - Manufactured in The USA Packaging - Reclaimed from used packaging prior to recycling, and re-purposed

ribs1

Sat, Jan 12, 2013 : 1:14 p.m.

Who cares.