About the project


Used together, these two words are best described by a Yiddish saying that has the schlemiel as the clumsy chump who spills his wine, and the schlimazel as the unlucky sap it lands on. Mazel tov.

Alyssa Davis

What inspired you to create what you did?
My favorite work has a simple idea and execution but still gives people some sort of experience while they’re touching it, holding it, looking at it, reading it, smelling it. That’s why I really wanted this 9 x 9 sheet of paper to be a living, breathing articulation of Schlemiel & Schlimazel. That being said, because this phrase is a two-parter, it made sense for me to be the schlemiel, and the person on the receiving end to feel what it feels like to be at the schlemiel’s mercy–the schlimazel. So, sorry I spilled wine on your calendar.

What can you tell us about your process to create the piece?
Once I figured out that wine-spilling was the way to go, I wanted the words to be an expression that both the schlemiel and schlimazel would mutter under their breath right after it happens. Hence “Oh. shit.” which I hand-lettered. I lost sleep over period usage, spacing and use of capital letters. And spent an evening with my fellow FUEL schlemiels—Ann McAllister, Judi Gavin, Diane Fitzgerald Harris and Michele Randall—spilling wine on every single printed piece: 1,200 total.

Anything else you’d like to add?
Thank you to Cohber and the FUEL team for being totally open to wine spilling AND being so enthusiastic about it. In total, we only used six bottles of wine. Shiraz to be exact (thank you Mike Tracy for your input on what wine to use). Also a special shout out to Nick Vernetti for your assistance in putting my hand-lettering in an acceptable print file.

Cohber's Craft

We are literally–and figuratively–fueled by creativity. Especially when it comes in our favorite “ink,” a fine bottle or six of Shiraz. Strathmore Pastelle Felt with a deckled edge was the perfect stock to absorb the “spillage.” All in the name of creativity + craft.

Freelance designers and FUEL creative team members Diane Fitzgerald Harris @dfhdesign and Michele Randall @michele.randall created unique typography inspired by each of the words in our FUEL 18: LINGO calendar. The typography for December’s word “Schlemiel & Schlimazel” takes a simple freefalling flow and turns into a mess where it lands.