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Terminal by Mike Bain

A combination of love for design and for airports, these posters present the layout of 5 domestic airports as pure extruded lines, highlighting how the runways interact with each other.

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Airport infrastructure is designed to be practical, not pretty. But I think that infrastructure can be really beautiful, if it's presented in a creative way. My latest project is a series of limited-edition silkscreen prints of the abstracted runways of five American airports—in San Francisco, New York, Boston, Newark, and Washington D.C.—rendered as colorful geometric compositions:


I've obsessed with everything aviation for a while now -- planespotting, listening to air traffic control, and renting hours in a full-motion 747 simulator at the American Airlines' Pilot Training Center in Texas. I started looking at airports from an abstracted perspective, seeing them as collections of runway lines.

These intersecting lines look like strange typographic symbols. D.C.'s somehow resembles the Dead Kennedys' logo. San Francisco's looks like a hyperextended hashtag:

SFO Lineup - Runways 1L and 1R.

What I love about these prints is that people respond to the graphic quality about it at first, and then are surprised when they find out that the art is illustrating something concrete and utilitarian.

The Medium

I chose 3-color silkscreen on Domtar Cougar Smooth Opaque 100 lb. paper for the medium. I work with computers all day, so I wanted to use a handmade process.

Each print has been inspected, and then hand-signed and numbered by me.

On Exhibit

Last month, I exhibited these prints at my solo show for Culture Espresso in New York City. The exhibited works sold out on the first night, but you can buy framed versions of each print here before the edition sells out.

- Mike Bain

"I think that infrastructure can be really beautiful, if it's presented in a creative way."

-Mike Bain