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Monthly ArchiveNovember 2008

workshops Sunday November 30 2008 10:13 pm

Holiday card workshop

Spent a nice Sunday afternoon workshop “letterpressing from the hip” with a friend who didn’t feel like buying holiday cards.

Here is one of handrolled backgrounds and some six line Goudy Italic in wood.

Will need to let these dry and then print one more afternoon on the inside which was typeset today. It would be fun to have the time to advertise for just such a workshop.

We got two ideas today that we are going to print tomorrow. We’ll show some images.

Studio projects Sunday November 30 2008 01:59 am

The Metropolitan Opera notecards

We recently designed and printed via letterpress a line of notecards for The Metropolitan Opera. It is great fun working for a client of this stature. This project to develop a core line of one color cards turned out to be a lot more complicated than we originally thought. Getting the goldest gold ink possible on Crane’s Lettra and getting absolutely solid coverage were interesting solutions to solve. That is a lot easier to say after you’ve solved them, I promise. We provided individual cards in clear sleeves and in boxes of eight with matching envelopes.

Metropolitan Opera notecards

We wanted boxes to match the cards. We met a great box supplier called Catawba Paper Box Co. at the National Stationery Show this past May. They wrapped the boxes with 32# Crane Lettra to match the cards. The box has a clear plastic box over the cards / envelopes that fits inside the bottom. Then a top fits over all of that. And just in case this project wasn’t enough work, we also letterpress printed a belly band to go around each of the four boxes.

The four cards shown here (out of a total of eleven designs) are what we called the assets—the arches that is the face of the Metropolitan Opera’s building at Lincoln Center, a pattern from the stage curtains, gold rings from the brass gates that lead into the theater, and the incredible chandeliers that hang most everywhere. If you get to The Metropolitan Opera take a look at their store and check out the notecards.

There was a box of almost the same designs (two were reversed) which were printed in white ink and debossed. Another box had a simplified set of arches only about an inch wide in the lower right corner. One card had the arches printed in gold and the other had it printed in white and debossed. The last card was a silver / black version of the chandeliers which is being sold as a holiday card with Season’s greetings printed on the inside.

important equipment Thursday November 27 2008 11:02 am

Our Heidelberg Windmill has powered up

We finally got the 3-phase electricity put into the studio. We needed it for both our Heidelberg Windmill and our Intertype C4 linecaster (which we get in about two weeks).

Here is Mike Kaylor, our resident letterpress guru, looking over the Windmill as it takes a stack of paper from one place and restacks it in another for the very first time. Every letterpress studio needs a Mike Kaylor.

Lead Graffiti Heidelberg Windmill on its first run

When we first hooked it up it was running backwards as the electrician had hooked the wires in reverse. Reversing two of the wires and all was right.

Now we need someone that wants 20,000 of something.

workshops Monday November 24 2008 02:29 pm

Two young letterpress workshops

We enjoy inviting young friends to our studio. We’ve found it to be a great way to offer a short break to our parenting friends as well as offering a hands-on experience to a new generation of letterpress printers which really excites us a lot. We also believe it offers some good social benefits as well.

Click here for the longer story.

Above Kieran working on a holiday card.

Above Lucie working on a set of thank you cards.

important equipment Sunday November 23 2008 08:51 am

Lead Graffiti gets into hot metal with an Intertype C4

Since starting in letterpress we’ve planned on printing small, limited edition books. We’ve just purchased an Intertype C-4 linecasting machine (in Portland, Maine) to add to our capabilities and should have it in our shop sometime around the middle of December. This will give us some ‘hot metal’ capabilities along with the ability to set text for books. So, if you are near Newark, Delaware and have any experience with Intertype we are interested in becoming friends. We need to be getting some old printers in our studio.

Above is the Intertype C4 we are getting. Serial number is 26,476 (originally shipped in late 1956). In the back left you can see some of the magazines holding typeface mats that are part of the collection. At the bottom of this post is a listing of the typefaces we’ll have.

Above is the keyboard for the Intertype. The keys are arranged based on how frequently they appear in the English language. On the right you can see that the capital letters have their own set of keys. It will be interesting to see how confusing our lives now get having this keyboard and our computer keyboards.

At the bottom of the image above you can see the lines of type as they stack up. If you make a mistake typing a line you have to retype the whole line.

When you hit a key it allows a mat of the particular letter to drop out of the magazine. Above you can see the mats aligned in a magazine that has a clear cover on it. As you type the molds from the previous line are recycled back into the magazine for reuse. With the C4 you can have as many as four magazines of type at the same time available to you. The image below shows the mat for a 24-point G.

The machine is an amazing thing to watch. What appears to be thousands of parts, cams moving various pieces so they can contribute their part to the process, molten lead being injected, and final type stacking up. If you get the chance to come by and see it you should. We will probably tend to use this in spurts so you might drop us an email to see when we will be running it.

Following is a list of the type we are getting with the Intertype. A listing like “Baskerville / Bold” means you have both the regular and the bold versions available in the same set of mats.

Aldus — 12 point
Baskerville / Bold — 10 point
Baskerville / Italic — 8, 9, 11, 12 point
Baskerville / Italic (SPLIT) — 14 point S
Baskerville Bold / Italic — 8, 10, 12, 14 point
Bernhard Fashion w/ Park Avenue — 12, 14 point
Bodoni Bold / Italic — 12 point
Bodoni Bold Cond / Franklin Gothic — 18 point
Bodoni Book / Italic — 10 point
Bodoni Poster / Italic — 12, 14 point
Caslon / Italic — 10, 12, 24 point
Caslon 236 Old Face — 10, 12 point
Century / Bold — 10, 14 point
Century Bold / Italic — 14 point
Century Expanded — 14 point
Century Expanded / Bold — 8, 10 point
Century Medium / Bold — 5.5 point
Cheltenham / ? — 18 point
Copperplate Lining Gothic / Roman — 6 point
Egmont Medium / Italic — 14 point
Egmont Medium Italic Only — 18 point
Fairfield — 9 point
Futura Book / Demi Bold — 6, 8, 10 point
Garamond #2 Reg / Italic — 14 point
Garamond #3 Bold / Italic — 6, 8, 10 point
Garamond #3 Reg / Italic — 8, 9, 10, 12 point
Garamond Bold — 14, 18 point
Gothic Alt 1 / Palisade — 18 point
Gothic Alt 1 / Palisade — 24 point
Gothic Extra Bold / Memphic Extra Bold — 14 point
Goudy / Italic — 6, 8, 10, 12, 14 point
Kenntonian / Italic — 6, 8, 10, 12, 14 point
Lydian Bold / Italic — 10, 14 point
Melior / ital — 6, 8, 9, 10 point
Melior / semi-bold — 9, 10, 12 point
Memphis Extra Bold Condensed — 18 point
Metro Lite / Bold — 8 point
News Gothic / Bold — 6, 8, 10, 10, 12 point
No. 2 / Condensed Title — 10 point
Palatino / Italic — 6, 8, 10, 12 point
Scotch — 11 point
Spartan / Bold — 10 point
Times Roman / italic — 9, 10, 11, 12, 14 point
Vogue Bold Condensed / Extra Bold — 14 point
Vogue Extra Bold (CAPS ONLY) — 18 point
Vogue Extra Bold / Bold — 18 point
Vogue Extra Bold / Oblique — 12, 14 point
Vogue Lite / Bold — 8, 10, 12, 14, 18 point