One of Buffalo’s most beloved manufacturers is making a bit of a comeback, albeit more of a nostalgic one than anything else. If you’ve ever rummaged through commercial dinnerware at garage sales, chances are that you’ve come across a plate or a bowl from Buffalo China (est. 1901 – then called Buffalo Pottery). For years, Buffalo China cranked out a wide assortment of porcelain coffee cups, plates, bowls, etc. So much, in fact, that during the company’s heyday they produced between 2 and 3 million dozen units per year. Unfortunately the 275,000 square foot manufacturing operation, located in South Buffalo, went belly up, even though there were attempts made to keep the products and the name alive. Ironically, mounting competition from China, finally put Buffalo China (then Niagara Ceramics) out of business, upon which time the factory sat empty… until the plant was purchased by Kevin Callahan a few years back (see back story).
Today, the plant is home to Buffalo Curling Club, Yoga Pants Vodka (makers of Blonde Bush Vodka and Busia’s East Side Krupnik – made by women distillers), and Buffalo Film Works. Along with leasing out the plant, Kevin, and his wife Charisse, own 716 China (home to Roaming Buffalo Dinnerware), which is a shop that mainly sells excess inventory from the old Buffalo China/Niagara Ceramics factory. According to Charisse, upon closing, Buffalo China/Niagara Ceramics left behind 10,000 dishes (among other porcelain products), which are now in line to be “reimagined”. The couple came up with the idea to hold a 716 China Plate Design Contest, where the winning logo would be stamped on the limited edition dishes.
“The Buffalo Pottery logo from 1901 was a quaint lifelike standing buffalo (see lead image),” said Charisse. “We would like to reimagine what the logo would look like today if the factory was still in operation. This ‘new’ logo will be featured on the 10,000 remaining dishes (blanks) at the factory and be sold as a limited-edition collection. The winning artist will have their work featured on the front of each piece and his or her name highlighted on the back. The collection will be sold in our 716 China Store as well as online at 716china.com.”
Artists and designers, you have your directives. If you think you’ve got what it takes to create a logo that is inspired by Buffalo China, or the city’s renaissance, or whatever direction you think the company would have taken, if it was still around today, please go to 716china.com, fill out an entry form and submit that with your design by September 7, 2018 to firstname.lastname@example.org. Entries must be received by September 7, 2018. A winner will be chosen by September 14, 2018. The collection will be sold in time for the 2018 holiday season.