Ben Karis Nix is an artist, musician, father, husband, and part owner of Design It Together, just down the street from The Arts Center. Ben graduated from SUNY Albany with a Bachelor’s of Arts, majoring in Fine Art and Anthropology. After graduating, Ben took a break from visual art and concentrated on developing as a musician, performing as a singer/guitarist with a local band, The Orange, before taking to the road with the indie power-pop band, Jupiter Sunrise. As the Art major in the band, Ben assumed the role of designer for their promotional material, album art, and website. Having cultivated some skill designing for t-shirt printing, he chanced upon a panel of silk screen poster artists presenting at CMJ 2005. Revved up from the panel, Ben became fascinated with the tradition of poster printmaking and began experimenting with designs for the medium. Performing on the Van’s Warped Tour later that year, Ben encountered a number of independent clothing lines. Inspired for a second time, he cemented his commitment to explore the art of poster printmakng and later launched an ecologically-oriented line of apparel designs.
When Ben’s band came to a close in 2007, he moved back to NY and began his collaboration with Taylor, who’s own research into printmaking and strong design sensibilities helped propel Design it Together’s portfolio and printing skills. A subsequent tour to Europe by Ben as a guest vocalist with Arms and Sleepers led to a chance encounter with Risograph printing. Upon reporting back to Taylor in New York, they succeeded in acquiring a Risograph and put it to use as a method for creating tactile art prints and stationery.
Launched in 2010, Design it Together was created as an umbrella for Ben and Taylor’s shared design projects with the goal of collaborating and involving the Capitol Region’s arts community.
Having first moved into a small office in the Market Block building, Taylor and Ben began with an initial offering of basic design services. Shortly into their Market Block tenure, however, they acquired a Risograph stencil duplicator and began producing art prints which they sold at festivals around New England and at local boutiques.
Later that year, they opened a small studio/storefront at street level, and began offering Risograph duplication and screen printing services via a small press. The following year, they moved Design it Together to its current location at 291 River St. which hosts multiple presses in addition to their Risograph.