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By Kentucky For Kentucky |

On Friday, August 29th at 10am we're launching a whole new take on the images of the Commonwealth. Thoroughbred Printing ran this first edition print of 'Kentucky Icons' – and more treasures are yet to come. These posters measure in at 18" x 24" and are printed on French Paper Company Paper. At $25 these prints are a steal.

To begin this new line, we asked Kentucky for Kentucky superstar Jeremy Booth to design a 'Kentucky Icons' poster laden with a heavy dose of old-fashioned American charm—and with that idea in mind, he stood and delivered. Hearkening back to the good ole days of boy scouts, camp, and summers outside of the city, this collection of Kentucky icons has a wide reach. Booth provided a little background on his design inspiration: "I wanted to make the badges flat and simple. Something pleasing to the eye, easy to understand, and fun. The inspiration came from a personal project I had done in the past of a small collection of camp icons."

After gathering up a little research on all things Kentucky, Booth got to work crafting 20 iconic images that speak to the simple wonders of the Commonwealth. When asked about what kind of statement this collection makes as a whole, he explained, "This collection to me says that Kentucky is simple, fun, and that we have a ton going on in the great Commonwealth." We couldn't agree more, Jeremy; there's certainly a lot of celebrate when it comes to Kentucky.

Reminiscent of a classic scout badges, our 'Kentucky Icons' showcase a wide range of natural and cultural wonders using contemporary, streamlined illustration style. From Cumberland Falls to bars of gold to Lincoln's top hat to barns and cheeseburgers, we've got the simple pleasures of Kentucky covered.

When interrogated about his own past as a scout, however, Jeremy clarified, "Unfortunately I was not a Boy Scout, I could certainly use all the experience now when I go camping."  His lack of hands-on experience in the Kentucky wilds aside, Booth was able to articulate which badge would have been the most fun to earn: "Most definitely the coon hat. I see it as a badge of exploration, just like good ol' Daniel Boone. Who doesn't want to pioneer and explore new things?"

We certainly like to pioneer and explore new things, which is why we're launching this fresh print on Friday, August 29th at 10am. Come join us on a Kentucky journey from past to present featuring 20 distinctive badges, each with a story to tell, all for $25.


1.) Kentucky State Crest – United We Stand, Divided We Fall. Even the early pioneers of Kentucky knew that sticking together is the best way to succeed. Once destroyed in an 1812 fire at the capital, this state crest has been through a lot. A testament to the resilience of Kentuckians, this symbol can really withstand the test of time.

2.) Kentucky State – This iconic symbol of Kentucky holds a whopping 120 diverse counties. Shaped like a key, our state unlocks the gateway to the beautiful world of the South.


3.) Cardinal – We are so proud to have this scarlet beauty as our state bird. A cardinal sighting on a snowy day, red against the white, is a harbinger of hope and joy. A point of pride for some sports fans, a point of contention for others, this bird carries a lot of feeling for Kentuckians. No matter who you are though, this beautiful bird is undeniably special.


4.) Horse – In Kentucky we love horses. Horses were invented in Kentucky. They embody all the traits we admire: strength, beauty, grace, and speed. Dotted along scenic roads in elegant poses, horses let you know that you're home.


5.) Blackberry – Juicy, complex, sweet, and vibrant,– just like Kentucky! The blackberry is the official state fruit of Kentucky. It has many forms; whether it's in a pie, a cobbler, or raw in a handful on a summer day, this fruit perfectly illustrates the delicious, southern charm of the place we call home.


6.) Spotted Bass– In 1956, the Kentucky Spotted Bass became the official state fish of Kentucky. You may find these frisky underwater KY friends surging through the tides of our great state's lakes, or just chillin' in the deep – these fellas can even breathe underwater. No joke. No matter what the activity may be, keep in mind- they move with the speed of the Holy Ghost, so anglers beware!


7.) Bourbon Barrel- Behold! the rustic delights within these oak grown marvels of Kentucky tradition. From economy to debauchery, from sturdy vessels of firewater to refurbished table tops- everyone from the commonplace booze-hound, to the trained connoisseur holds this symbol of Kentucky pride close to their heart. After all, in Kentucky, there are more barrels of bourbon than people. Amen.


8.) Gold- Plunge deep into the realm of wealth untold…ok, maybe we told a few people, but the iconic Ft. Knox federal reserve has been busting at the seams with nearly 5 tons of gold bullion since 1936, making Kentucky one of the richest states in America. If you'd like to get your hands on a bar of gold, come to the Commonwealth. It's true what they say, friends: in KY, all that glitters is gold.


9.) State Capitol– Here in KY, we're always on to the next. We're big time in the Bluegrass, and do everything with a BANG!. Wanna see? Just take a peek at our iconic state capitol located in Frankfort. Originally established in 1792, this home of all things political & just has gone through a few transformations. In 1910, we unveiled the internationally inspired, locally crafted structure you see today. The 'Kentucky Kicks Ass' flag flies high here, so let freedom reign.


10.) Mammoth Cave– You say stalactite, I say stalagmite, but no matter how you call it, you can't help but say, "Good God Y'ALL". Mammoth Cave, one of the largest underground systems known to man, is every Kentuckians pride and joy. Get ready to dig deep. No matter what sort of journey you'd like to take, rest assured that this prehistoric limestone labyrinth holds treasures untold. For example, in the late 70's it was discovered that a group of Japanese businessmen had been using Mammoth Cave to smuggle Kentucky Fried Chicken from Kentucky all the way into Japan. Like we said, it's the world's longest cave system.


11.) Covered Bridge – since the 1700s, Kentuckians have been building and burning and vandalizing and celebrating covered bridges. These structures protect timbers, boards, and people from the elements while creating safe and beautiful passageways. Unfortunately, many of Kentucky's covered bridges have been lost to the ravages of time, but now one will be forever-immortalized here as a timeless Kentucky icon.


12.) Cumberland Falls – the "little Niagara of the South" is calling your name by the light of the moon, Kentuckians. Spanning the borderlands of Whitley and McCreary Counties, the Falls are a majestic feature of the Cumberland River at 68 feet high and 125 feet wide. A wonder of southeastern Kentucky, Cumberland Falls is a waterfall to visit in the bright of day or by the glow of a full moon.


13.) Lincoln's Top Hat – Understood as "the irrepressible symbol of prestige and authority," the top hat was Lincoln's signature accessory, extending his 6'4" frame even higher into the heavens. Once thought to have saved his life – a bullet went through the hat rather than into Lincoln's head – his battered top hat gave our 16th President a distinctive look that lent itself to many a caricature.


14.) Boone's Coonskin Cap – Did Daniel Boone actually wear a coonskin cap? Probably not, but everyone thinks he did – including many tried and true Kentuckians. One of the first settlers of our fine Commonwealth, Boone likely wore a felt-brim hat. The famous frontiersman's image was reshaped by network TV, where Boon was first depicted with a raccoon's pelt on his head and the image stuck forevermore.


15.) Barn – In Kentucky, you can find a wide range of barns dotting the scenic countryside in all 120 counties. Fashioned to house horses or tobacco, the barn is an iconic representation of all things agrarian, rustic, and rural. Sometimes clad with quilt squares, barns provide equally perfect shelters for farm animals and teenagers sneaking make-out sessions in haylofts.


16.) Basketball – It's the passion that makes you bleed a particular shade of blue or red. The madness that burns couches and overturns cars down the street. Nice weather we're having, who cares, did you see the game last night?! Come basketball season, you can't avoid this Kentucky institution.


17.) Corvette – An American classic since 1953, Corvette became the official sports car of the Commonwealth after moving its assembly operations to Bowling Green in 1981. Corvettes are known the world over for their sleek builds and need for speed. Just don't park on top of a sinkhole.


17.) Cheeseburger – The legend of the cheeseburger was born in 1934 at Kaelin's Restaurant in Louisville, Kentucky, USA. Infinitely superior to the plain hamburger in every way because cheese. In fact, it's so good they made a double.


19.) Fried Chicken – You can't have a conversation about fried chicken without feeling nostalgia for the Kentucky Colonel. He gave a face to Kentucky hospitality with his white suit, and now you can taste a little bit of Kentucky in 118 countries around the world.


20.) Bluegrass Music – Fingerpick and clawhammer away your loves lost with the soundtrack of the Commonwealth. Passed down from songbooks preserved in Appalachia, bluegrass has a distinctly American sound. Popularized and coined by Kick Ass Kentuckian Bill Monroe in the 1940's, bluegrass has been the  heart on America's sleeve ever since. So turn off those newfangled bleeps and bloops, and embrace your hometown sound.


Words by the Kentucky for Kentucky team members – Hannah LeGris, Joshua Kingsland, Andrew Allingham and June Tate. Photos by – Stanley Sievers.

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