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Studio projects Sunday July 23 2017 10:56 am

Stage 21 / “King Me” / 2013

The final stage is always the ride into Paris followed by 8 loops around the Champs-Élysées.

This year they actually rode around the Arc de Triomphe on each loop. Amos, one of our two contributors, created a genuinely original Arc de Triomphe out of metal type.

The circles are large Checkers that we bought from Cracker Barrel. Yes, we rode out there to just buy them. They are applied by driving a nail in the center, locking them to the MDF. We didn’t even have to pack the board to the right height.

Click here to read the whole story of the broadside below of this broadside.

Click here to read the whole story of the broadside below.

The shape is the border of France. The names and information are all of the jersey winners, etc. It is pretty amazing that we could get it to all fit. The coolest part is that listing the winner of the King of the Mountains Jersey’s name (Majka) happens in southeast France, over the Alps.

The tally for the TdLG years so far.

2011 - 53 points
2012 - 27
2013 - 37
2014 - 26
2015 - 31

Studio projects Sunday July 23 2017 10:45 am

Stage 20 / “Chains up Alpe d’Huez” / 2015

We loved printing from bike chains. At one point we talked about doing a complete year always using a bike chain as the image. The main reason I could garner for doing that is that it would make an interesting exhibition have the broadside with the chain used in the print side-by-side.

Anyway, we wanted to get a chain in one more time and were looking for a way to pay homage to those 21 switchbacks on Alpe d’Huez. As each switchback is looping back and forth, it is wrapping around a penny which gave us the right bend to ram the right number of turns. Then we used a written journal between them to highlight things that happened on that ride up the mountain, ending with the win by Frenchman, Pinot. Nice.

21 switchbacks. Brutal.

Click here to read the whole story of the broadside below of this broadside.

You should take a look at some of the production shots at the bottom. The image is made up of 1/4″ wide strips of Masonite. Ended up being a very cool way of drawing the image. Tiffany rolled the dark green. David rolled the middle green. Jill rolled the light green and sky, Killer broadside.

Click here to read the whole story of the broadside below.

This stage was an individual time trial. Each year we made a set of arrows that we would use to represent the riders. This time we used those arrows to create a clock face to emphasize the focus on sheer time where each rider has to do the stage alone without the advantage of being surrounded by his team. The top 3 arrows representing 1st, 2nd, and 3rd were hand rolled in their country flag colors.

The tally for the TdLG years so far.

2011 - 53 points
2012 - 27
2013 - 32
2014 - 23
2015 - 31

Studio projects Friday July 21 2017 09:24 am

Stage 19 / “Alpe d’Huez” / 2011

One of our favorite posters because of the typographic coincidence.

Pierre Rolland won this stage which included the climb up the iconic Alpe d’Huez. Andy Schleck (the guy we were rooting for) got in the Yellow Jersey. I guess you can figure it out.

Rolland ended up having a good cycling race name, second only to Tony Gallopin.

21 switchbacks. Brutal.

Click here to read the whole story of the broadside below of this broadside.

You should take a look at some of the production shots at the bottom. The image is made up of 1/4″ wide strips of Masonite. Ended up being a very cool way of drawing the image. Tiffany rolled the dark green. David rolled the middle green. Jill rolled the light green and sky, Killer broadside.

Click here to read the whole story of the broadside below.

Several days of the tour there was serious rain. This was a beginning-to-end storm. All of the cameras were covered in water so it looked like you would looking through gauze. And one of the killer breakaway schemes ever.

The tally for the TdLG years so far.

2011 - 53 points
2012 - 27
2013 - 32
2014 - 20
2015 - 26

Studio projects Friday July 21 2017 09:03 am

Stage 18 / “Straight up” / 2015

Col du Glandon is a climb where the riders are on 18 switchbacks that simply winds its way straight up the mountain.

On all of the other iconic climbs that I know of, the road will move far to the side, usually at the top, as it competes with the overall shape of the mountain. This one straight up just like our drawing.

This might be my favorite poster of them all. In doing this picking the best poster of the various stages it appears that we did some of our favorite posters in the final week of the tour.

Click here to read the whole story of the broadside below.

You should take a look at some of the production shots at the bottom. The image is made up of 1/4″ wide strips of Masonite. Ended up being a very cool way of drawing the image. Tiffany rolled the dark green. David rolled the middle green. Jill rolled the light green and sky, Killer broadside.

The tally for the TdLG years so far.

2011 - 48 points
2012 - 27
2013 - 32
2014 - 14
2015 - 26

Studio projects Friday July 21 2017 08:55 am

Stage 17 / “Grading Dots” / 2014

A poster produced with Kieran as the collaborator. He is one of only 3 people outside of Lead Graffiti staff that did a poster all 5 years. Nice to see one of his included.

This day we fell in love with a cyclist named Rafal Majka. He tore up a very difficult mountain, picking up enough King of the mountain points to be able to wear the jersey the next day. As he got to the top he casually looked over at the cameraman riding on a motorcycle next to him and winked. Twice.

This poster has to be in the top 5 at the minimum. Actually at the end of sorting out these posters I’m going to figure out which ones are my favorite 5. That will be cool to know.

Click here to read the whole story of the broadside below of this broadside.

Click here to read the whole story of the broadside below.

We had 3 good designers in the studio collaborating on this day saw the riders on a narrow mountain road that scarcely would have managed a single car. Instead of just working on a poster we set up a size and let each designer just do whatever they wanted and then we just overprinted them.

It ends up having a nice kind of complexity that resembles the chaos of the peloton.

The tally for the TdLG years so far.

2011 - 48 points
2012 - 27
2013 - 32
2014 - 14
2015 - 16

Studio projects Tuesday July 18 2017 12:11 pm

Stage 16 / “High Five for Voeckler” / 2012

I would love to have a hundred people with a strong design sensibility choose their favorite posters from our Tour de Lead Graffiti project. I can surely pick my favorites, but there is a lot of political, historical, geographic, visual luggage to drag along. It is really difficult to just ignore the lightning bolt that came out of the sky and demanded to “be the poster.” This is surely one of those.

It was a brutal stage of the tour. Thomas Voeckler had been a hero of ours from the previous year when he got into the Yellow Jersey. Each day the commentators would say “This is the day so-and-so takes over the Yellow Jersey.” For 10 days that didn’t happen. They say that when you are wearing the leader’s jersey you “grow wings.”

So on this brutal day with 2 category 1 and 2 out-of-category climbs, we hunkered down in front of our TV. Climb 1. Voeckler was first over it. Climb 2. Voeckler was first over it. Nah. Can’t happen. Climb 3. Voeckler was first over it. Nah. Can’t happen. Climb 4. Voeckler was first over it. Nah. Can’t win the stage. Finish line. Voeckler was first over it. This will forever be one of a couple of Tour stages that has carved out a huge place in my memory.

Another thing that was cool about it was that he got into the lead for the King of the Mountains Jersey (polka dot).

And still another thing cool about it was that we only had 2 Vs, so we had to do that red run 3 times to get his name on there 5 times.

And one more thing. If you look closely at the Vs, you can see that a mouse had nibbled away at the edge.

Click here to read the whole story of the broadside below of this broadside.

The tally for the TdLG years so far.

2011 - 45 points
2012 - 27
2013 - 32
2014 - 9
2015 - 16

Studio projects Tuesday July 18 2017 02:03 am

Stage 15 / “The Air Is Thin Up There” / 2013

Mont Ventoux is one of the mother climbs in the Tour de France.

When you get up around the top there is nothing but rock. No vegetation at all. You are above the tree line. You are above the grass line. I think you may be above the lichen line.

Froome having 2 Os was just too much fun to play with.

The road wrapped around protrusions in the mountain. Around the bend and disappear for a bit. Then, surprise. Back out in the open. And then disappear again.

All in one color, but it took two runs because we couldn’t write pedal that many times in the metal type we had.

I really love this poster.

Click here to read the whole story of the broadside below of this broadside.

Click here to read the whole story of the broadside below.

Some terrorist threw tacks in the road near the top of a serious mountain climb. There were 48 flat tires. We loved using the Ts as tacks.

We decided no one with a Q in their name was going to win a stage, so we cut the bottom of it off and made a flat tire out of it.

The tally for the TdLG years so far.

2011 - 45 points
2012 - 22
2013 - 32
2014 - 9
2015 - 16

Studio projects Monday July 17 2017 02:01 pm

Rest day #2 / “High-speed countryside” / 2014

One of the things you notice is the landscape. You could almost watch the Tour just to see the mountains, countrysides, rivers, waterfalls, castles, and small French towns.

The stage before this one we had done an interesting bit of hand rolling of the type by setting the roller onto the wood type and NOT rolling it.

We like using bike parts as printing surfaces and decided to create a layout of chains and sprockets and then wrap the word “cycling” around it. We would use the inking technique to create the blur that we often see as the camera stays focused on the riders whizzing by.

Click here to read the whole story of the broadside below of this broadside.

Click here to read the whole story of the broadside below.

We loved the way this one turned out from 2013. We had about a dozen members of our Chesapeake Chapter of the American Printing History Association who joined us for a few hours in the afternoon.

The tally for the TdLG years so far.

2011 - 40 points
2012 - 19
2013 - 32
2014 - 9
2015 - 16

Studio projects Monday July 17 2017 01:38 pm

Stage 14 / “The 10th man” / 2015

You take a cyclist like Stephen Cummings. Born in 1981 he turned pro in 2005. He has won 9 races or stages in multi-day races over his career. In the hierarchy of cycling résumés, it isn’t very high. For instance, Peter Sagan has 76, Chris Froome has 28, including the Tour de France, and Mark Cavendish has 131.

But Cummings is on the MTN-Qhubeka, the first team from Africa to compete in the Tour de France. I talk about that team back on Stage 6. when the first person from an African team wore a jersey (it was for the King of the Mountains) in the Tour.

Cummings came in 10th at the opening stage individual time trial, and that was good enough to beat out some high-quality riders. Since then the highest finish he has had on any stage was 67th 2 days ago. But there is something special about today if you are on the South African team.

Today would have been Nelson Mandela’s 97th birthday or better known around most of the world as Mandela Day. MTN-Qhebeka is wearing orange helmets instead of their standard yellow ones.

Never underestimate the power of motivation.

Bob Roll commented in the follow-up to the stage, “The Tour teaches you to go through suffering without surrendering.”

Read the story here to get the whole description.

The tally for the TdLG years so far.

2011 - 40 points
2012 - 14
2013 - 29
2014 - 9
2015 - 16

Studio projects Friday July 14 2017 08:06 am

Stage 13 / “The wind as knife” / 2013

This poster represents a wonderful example of the dynamics of cycling and the physics of drafting. This is one of Ray’s favorite 3 posters of the 115 we did, and honestly it may be #1. Love the color, love the layout, and love how well it explains something quite complicated.

Read the story here to get the whole description.

I would have a hard time trying to argue for this poster in a court of law. I just like the simplicity. Using the heart as the “O” in Roy highlighted a heartbreaking catch of a breakaway, except that we really loved the guy who won.

Read the story here to get the whole description.

The tally for the TdLG years so far.

2011 - 35 points
2012 - 14
2013 - 29
2014 - 9
2015 - 16

Studio projects Thursday July 13 2017 11:05 am

Stage 12 / “In the clouds” / 2011

They climbed Mont Tourmalet into the clouds where the helicopters couldn’t show the race. Some hand rolling and blind printing (without ink) will show that quite well.

One of the slight problems is that when you cut the design for a font and you only cut 3 “C”s when you ended up needing 4, you need to work things a bit differently.

Read the story here to get the whole description.

The poster may not show it, but this was a large block of type to handroll, and there were 4 people around it doing the ballet.

Read the story here to get the whole description.

This was an interesting solution to French riders coming in 1st & 2nd on the stage and with 2 British riders being 1st & 2nd in the General Classification for the Yellow Jersey. And you always are looking for ways to use 4 ampersands.

Read the story here to get the whole description.

The tally for the TdLG years so far.

2011 - 32 points
2012 - 14
2013 - 24
2014 - 9
2015 - 16

Studio projects Wednesday July 12 2017 09:47 am

Stage 11 “Kings of the Castle” / 2013

This is a tough one, but we think Jill’s typographic illustration of Mont St. Michel wins over “rubber bands.”

You can read the whole story of the stage and this poster by clicking here.

A close second from 2011 originated in a discussion we were having with the day’s collaborators, trying to explain the relationship between the peloton (massive group of riders) and a “breakaway.” We explained it was like they had rubber bands tied between them. So, we printed from rubber bands.

You can read the whole story of the stage and this poster by clicking here.

Today we are throwing in a 3rd place partly because it is just an odd story. Gallopin (isn’t that a cool name for a racer) and the American cyclist, Andrew Talansky who came in dead last. A good story to read.

You can read the whole story of the stage and this poster by clicking here.

The tally for the TdLG years so far.

2011 - 27 points
2012 - 13
2013 - 24
2014 - 9
2015 - 13

Studio projects Tuesday July 11 2017 03:07 pm

Stage 10 / “Rocket Man” / 2015

We listened to David Bowie all day while we were doing.

In the General Classification, we were rooting for Chris Froome and he didn’t disappoint.

You can read the whole story of the stage and this poster by clicking here. Note the part about mice.

Some posters you like because they were a first love representing a moment that just sticks in your head. Our second place poster is surely one of those.

The climb up the Col du Colombier is one of the most astounding views. The road is so tight that the curves have to broaden out so the actual turn in the hairpin is more than 180 degrees. We cut oak dowels to make the dots as we didn’t have anything (or enough) that would work for what we wanted.

You can read the whole story of the stage and this poster by clicking here.

The tally for the TdLG years so far.

2011 - 24 points
2012 - 13
2013 - 19
2014 - 6
2015 - 13

Studio projects Monday July 10 2017 12:41 pm

Rest Day #1 / “The chain that binds” / 2012

The broadside that came in second for the 5 Rest Day #1 broadsides started a rule that we continued to follow for all 5 years. We always used a chain as the major image for the 1st rest days. We also used it several other times which may show up later in these posts.

The rest days gave us an extra 4 hours in those days as there wasn’t any Tour to watch live on TV. This gave us the chance to do some things that would otherwise make the broadside difficult to finish on the same day. This particular poster wasn’t finished until 10:29 pm even with the extra 4 hours.

The idea of the broadside was the “loose” chain. We locked the top strip of chain with two pieces of leading and then hand rolled the chain for 4 runs, each in a different color. Between impressions, we would simply flick the chain to give a different positioning. No thought went into what the chain’s position had been on any of the previous runs.

You can read the whole story of the stage and this poster by clicking here. Look at the production shots at the bottom.

For the second place winner, we always liked the one we did in 2011 where we used the chain “loosely” drawing the border of France. The chain is one complete bike chain.

Another interesting element to this one that only happened one other time during the 5 years was that it referred to another poster which was the 2nd place winner yesterday.

You can read the whole story of the stage and this poster by clicking here.

. . .

The tally for the TdLG years so far.

2011 - 24 points
2012 - 10
2013 - 19
2014 - 6
2015 - 8

Studio projects Sunday July 09 2017 09:55 am

Stage 9 / “7 Mountain Breakaway” / 2012

It is almost impossible for us to root against a breakaway. Period.

Honestly, they seldom win.

Sometimes you want the breakaway to teach the peloton a lesson about lollygagging along.

Sometimes you want it to be someone who comes out of nowhere to win their first Tour de France stage win.

Sometimes the French haven’t won a stage in a while, and you want it to just be someone French.

Sometimes it is a team that hasn’t won a stage.

Sometimes it is just kind of miraculous.

Today was the lesson time, 1st win, French, miraculous kind of day when the breakaway survived over a 7-mountain stage.

You can read the whole story of the stage and this poster by clicking here. Note the part about mice.

Some posters you like because they were a first love representing a moment that just sticks in your head. Our second place poster is surely one of those.

You need to read the story below about the day. It is one of THE crashes we’ve ever seen on the Tour.

You can read the whole story of the stage and this poster by clicking here.

. . .

The tally for the TdLG years so far.

2011 - 21 points
2012 - 5
2013 - 19
2014 - 6
2015 - 8

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