Prolabro is a Portland, Oregon based studio that provides sustainable design and print services to help businesses big and small. Their work has broadened and successfully developed into a diverse portfolio that ranges from music production and illustration, to printmaking and graphic design. All with the intention of creating and developing sustainable solutions.
PJ Portlock is the the owner and operator of Prolabro. A unique name cheekily described as being “inspired by the enduring stories of Norse myth, the musical experimentation of early krautrock and Nikola Tesla’s revolutionary breakthroughs in the field of electromagnetism.”
Prolabro instills the ‘do no harm’ ethic in its work and is a proud member of the Designers Accord. Their studio only uses water-based inks and soy-based cleaners, prefers working with sustainably manufactured garments from American Apparel or Alternative Apparel, and they choose paper stocks that are either FSC-certified or recycled from post consumer waste. Some of which are made right here in Oregon.
One of Portlock’s proud entrepreneurial moments was receiving a commission to print organic cotton shirts with water-based inks for the American Institute of Architects 2008 National conference in Boston.
Portlock’s unique and creative work has also led him to recently being published in the book, Sustainable Graphic Design: Tools, Systems and Strategies for Innovative Print Design. A great resource manual for anyone interested in design, sustainability, and systems thinking. You can find his case study on page 350.
One of his musical accomplishments is worth noting as well. His small private label, Bridgetown Breaks created a 2 volume compilation of drum breaks for DJ’s and producers. Two of the tracks were featured in the hit indie movie Thank You For Smoking. If you haven’t seen it, Netflix it. It’s worthy. You’ll hear his work (and that of the drummers) in the scenes where the main character is flying to North Carolina, surrounded by baseball players, and the other is during the main character’s television interview in the moments leading up to the dramatic court room scene. Portlock will also be releasing a new album early this year entitled, Uncanny Valley.
Portlock is a proud Portland native. He lives and works in South East Portland with his wife, dog, and 2 cats. As a Portlander, he enjoys being involved in the community. He’s currently volunteering with Caldera, a nonprofit arts organization that works with under served youth to expose them to innovative art and environmental programs. He is helping to develop their screen printing program.
He and his wife enjoy hitting up Hood in the winter, exploring swimming holes in the Gorge during the warmer months, and bicycling near the river and Mt. Tabor.
PJ is good people. He does good work for the good of the environment.