On the left, the grind. On the right, the dream. One is hard. The other, impossible.

It’s an idea visualization by Joey Roth. And here’s another showing why hustling is actually a great trait.

They’re charming motivational posters, without eagles or vistas, but rich with cutting honesty and clean illustration.

The posters are lovingly printed on letterpress.

It’s fine, detailed work.

Interestingly enough, by leveraging geometry, charts, and mechanical illustration, Roth’s images have a voice of authority, even if you disagree with their statements.

You know, like hustling is better than martyrdom.

Or that risk is the fire in every project.

Or…work…who wants to do that??

Regardless of whether they’re your cup of tea, each print is available for $35.

Regardless of whether they’re your cup of tea, each print is available for $35.

Regardless of whether they’re your cup of tea, each print is available for $35.

Infographic: The Grinders Vs. The Dreamers. Who Wins?

There are worse things than a hard day’s work, says a clever poster by illustrator Joey Roth.

To be great at your job, you have to embrace the grind. But the very word implies pulverizing something into nothing, as if with every type of your keyboard, your fingers flake away until work has consumed your wrists, elbows, shoulders, and chest.

Sorry! Don’t think about that visual!

Here’s a better one, by Joey Roth, that imagines the grind not as a platform for powder, but as the step-by-step means to ascension.

"This poster is inspired by my developing realization that the most valuable tool anyone has is their grind—represented in the poster as steps carved into an incline," Roth explains. "I’m not talking about the daily grind: doing work you don’t like or care about. By grind I mean a combination of work ethic and improvised strategy that becomes a daily ritual and ensures progression or improvement over time, regardless of an individual day or even week’s outcome."

Roth’s perspective reminds me quite a bit of that of Thomas Keller, who distinguishes the importance of passion from desire when facing the grind. Roth simply draws the line in a slightly different place in the sand, between dreaming and working.

"Dreaming about reaching the same goal is easier and faster in the beginning, but doesn’t provide the same ritualized framework. The more a dream is exposed to reality, the more it needs this framework—grind," Roth explains. "On the poster, the "dream" ramp becomes progressively steeper the closer it gets to the goal, like Sisyphus rolling his stone."

For those of you interested in the more intellectual motivational poster, Roth has two other fantastic prints. One breaks down work as a bullet—the gunpowder is risk, and the point is humility—and the other compares charlatans, martyrs, and hustlers, Indexed-style. (The hustlers have the best showing.)

Each print is available for $35.

But them here, here and here.

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  • Srishti

    It's Simple, sends a relevant message
    Also, like the website's typeface and layout

  • Anemade

    My friend went to a therapist and he told her to get up from the couch go across the room and pick up a book...she did....and then he said "There that is a start....that is what you need to do ...ACT , Move, Go from one place to another not just sit and ponder."
    Without a fever and complaining of NOT feeling well...My mother would always say to her seen children, get up, shower ,get dressed and get outside to get the stink off you...then see how you really feel! Usually that did the trick! It not only takes an idea and but it takes the act of "doing" to make things happen.

  • Thomas Wooldridge

    I always believed in Work smarter not harder.  Some people stress themselves out way too much

  • Nic Theinwit

    If I had a penny for every dream I would be a millionaire. Actions I think win the day.

  • Linda Kleineberg

    Interesting... I think that magic happens when a "dreamer" understands that he or she needs to surround themselves with people who thrive in the grind... Grinders can climb up the stairs, creating the daily structure, and then throw a rope over the edge of the slope.

  • Julie Evans

    Very interesting.  Would be great to hear more about the relationship between computer design and printmaking.