228 W. Sprague Avenue, Spokane, Washington
This space is not an office.
A designer does not work in this space, but this space is the work of a designer. The designer owns this space. The designer’s husband, a music promoter, also owns this space. Together, they designed this space.
They wanted to run a music venue. They wanted to promote local artists. They wanted to open a cafe. For two years, they designed and promoted and promoted and designed. Last year, they opened this space. This weekend, this space — their space — hosts a festival showcasing 33 independent musical artists on stage and the works of 33 poster artists on the walls.
This space is The Bartlett.
The Designer + The Promoter
Karli and Caleb Ingersoll grew up playing music and attending shows. Karli is a designer with broad experience and a special interest in designing for the independent music universe. Before marrying Karli, Caleb managed The Red Room, a 400-person venue in Kennewick, Washington. Caleb now promotes musicians at The Bartlett, the couple’s Indiegogo-fueled dream-made-real, a 150-person all-ages music venue/cafe in a scruffy neighborhood on the edge of downtown Spokane hard by the Greyhound station.
The Outside + The Inside
Caleb and Karli split design tasks for The Bartlett. While he focused more on interior design and she focused more on branding, they both kept simplicity at the core of their efforts. To their minds, The Bartlett’s design elements should serve as distinctive but understated backdrops allowing the musicians and poster artists to star as ever-changing focal points.
"All of our branding choices have been somewhat subtle and more mood driven, allowing for a blank canvas for the music and events we book," Karli told Dribbble. The Bartlett’s facade is mostly black and white, with some wood accents. The cafe and the venue feature natural textures, brick walls, and hundred-year-old wood floors: lovely, strong, understated. "The idea is for all of it to get out of the way and almost be unnoticeable so that the focal point can really the the music."
As for technical design, the two wanted the space to attract bands that might typically appear at larger venues. “We had experience running shows in the past and were able to apply that into every little piece of the design … the actual layout and selection of equipment,” Caleb said. “I wanted a sound system that you might find in a 500-capacity music venue, but set in a smaller room.”
The Logo + The Signage
When it came to branding, Karli wanted to maintain the simplicity of the interior while also creating something memorable. During the process, she worked her design muscles in new ways.
"I went through a ridiculous amount of design attempts before I really hit the nail on the head. It was the most laborious project I’ve ever done but through it I felt like I really grew." The work not only served The Bartlett, but also Karli’s professional life. "I now see The Bartlett logo in creative briefs from clients, which gives me a great feeling of satisfaction knowing it has directed my career and style in a big way."
Bartfest the First
At The Bartlett, Karli and Caleb meld music and art and community. Bartfest, the first iteration of which kicks off Friday, takes those passions to a higher pitch. The three-day festival features 33 bands, each of which has been paired with a designer who created a unique show poster for their band. Featured designers include a number of Dribbblers. We’ve highlighted their work below. (If you’re part of Bartfest and we missed you, we’ll happily add you to our grid. Email email@example.com.)
Thanks, Karli, for all of your help.
- Visit Karli at Dribbble, on Twitter, and at karliingersoll.com.
- Visit Caleb on Twitter.
- Visit The Bartlett at thebartlettspokane.com.
- Visit the Bartfest in person this weekend at The Bartlett and nYne, and online at bartfest.com.
Spaced features interesting Dribbbler office spaces. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to be considered for an upcoming article.