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Monthly ArchiveNovember 2010

Studio projects Friday November 26 2010 01:03 pm

That after Thanksgiving dinner nod off…

Studio projects Sunday November 21 2010 03:14 am

News from the Lead Graffiti store

Studio projects Wednesday November 17 2010 12:28 am

Kalmar Nyckel recruiting poster

Jill & Sharon Litcofsky of the Kalmar Nyckel

We finished our first project for a new client, Delaware’s Tall Ship, the Kalmar Nyckel. Above is illustrator Jill Cypher with Sharon Lipcofsky, the ship’s port captain.

How cool is that for a client?

We produced this 9″ x 22″ poster to recruit volunteers to join the ship’s crew. Jill did a nice job of producing a woodcut from a photo by Andrew Hanna.

You spend eleven Saturdays from January to April and after that you can crew with the ship. They take lots of 90 minute cruises and also travel up and down the Atlantic seaboard. Anyone out there interested?

We are selling 3 signed broadsides, starting with #1, with all proceeds going to the Kalmar Nyckel Foundation. We’ll even pay for the shipping. $30.

Watch out Captain Jack Aubrey.

Studio projects Monday November 15 2010 02:09 pm

Coca-Cola Boxcards

All of a sudden we’ve been getting requests for our Boxcards that are specifically printed on recycled Coca-Cola packaging. We’ve got Lead Graffiti staff that are completely brand loyal to Coke, but we need some help getting the packaging.

Below is generally what the cards look like on Coca-Cola packaging. Each is at least a bit different depending on how we’ve cut out the card blanks, what is on the original packaging, etc.

Below is the packaging stock we need for our Boxcards.

If you send us enough packaging to make 8 cards we’ll give you one finished A2 card (5.5″ x 4.125″), printed in silver via letterpress at Lead Graffiti, blank on the inside, and packaged in a clear sleeve with a kraft envelope.

Just for the record we also would love to have other kinds of soft drink and cereal packaging. We can make boxes out of any packaging as large as a Kraft Macaroni & Cheese box or larger.

To prepare them you need to unseal the two smallest ends and LEAVE THE LONGEST SEAM INTACT. The boxes can then be flattened and packaged for mailing. You will need to contact us ahead of time and let us know it is coming so we can be ready for it. You also need to make sure you put something in the package that gives us your name and mailing address. You pay for mailing the cartons to us and we’ll pay for mailing the cards back to you.

For a minimum order of 30 cards and an appropriate number of cartons, we’ll even put the text you want on it. You’ll need to have that approved by us beforehand. Nothing profane, negative about the company, etc. Send us an email with your desires and we will email back a proof.

And any requests for specific text will NOT be treated as an exclusive agreement.

So, maybe if you are a brand loyal Coke drinker, you’ll want your Christmas cards on the packaging.

As there are lots of Coke products out there you need to make sure you are clear as to what you want. It is complicated enough just making these cards without the added bookkeeping of lots of different text possibilities.

In a nutshell: If you want free Lead Graffiti Boxcards on a specific kind of packaging you need to send us two cartons for each card that have not been torn up, have not been opened to make the in-refrigerator dispenser, have left the long seam intact, and have not been opened or mangled in a way that destroys our ability to cut it down into the appropriate number of cards (4 per carton), we will trade you two cartons for one card. You pay for mailing to our studio at

Lead Graffiti
120A Sandy Drive
Newark, DE 19713

Currently our text options that are available include

. . One man’s trash is another woman’s notecard
. . One man’s trash is another man’s notecard
. . Garbage in, garbage out
. . Waste not want not
. . Have you lost weight (typically on diet soft drink packaging)
. . Write like you mean it
. . ‘Twas the trash before Christmas
. . Printed via letterpress
. . 100% post consumer waste
. . Guess what I had for dinner
. . Chew on this
. . Food for thought
. . Eat dessert first
. . Feast your eyes
. . News from the best trash
. . Ninety nine bottles (typically printed on beer cartons)
. . Worth repeating

. . Recycle logo
. . Silhouette of trees

. . Newark, DE trash
. . New York City trash
. . Brooklyn trash
. . Philadelphia trash
. . Washington, DC trash
. . Chicago trash
. . San Francisco trash
. . Los Angeles trash
. . Dallas trash
. . Boston trash

. . Delaware trash
. . Washington trash
. . California trash
. . Arizona trash

Get in touch. Let us know.

Studio projects Sunday November 14 2010 11:00 am

Delaware Art Museum Creative Letterpress workshop

It is strange how how nicely something that seems wrong ends up being right.

We were expecting five attendees for a Delaware Art Museum workshop, but only two showed up. One of those had already taken one of our Creative Letterpress workshops that was going to be doing essentially the same project. With two people you have a lot more flexibility.

We had been experimenting with some alphabet posters so we switched directions. Lead Graffiti choose a base alphabet that we printed in silver. Both of the others choose an alphabet to juxtapose over / around the silver one. One person chose the typeface Neuland while the other person wanted to dig through our orphan wood type collection. We printed each in a different color and the result was quite nice. We printed enough so each could have 10  of the 15″ x 22″ posters.

Could save them some Christmas shopping for typography conscious friends.

A future idea is that we see how many we could do in one workshop lasting from 10 am - 5:00 pm. If we had the base alphabet already done we might be able to do 4 or 5 in different colors.

We printed a copy of the base alphabet on tracing paper. Then we cleared the bed of the Vandercook, laid down the tracing paper (upside down) and positioned the wood type where we wanted it. Then we just filled in all of the space around it with furniture and spacing material. Things moved a little, but it was surprising how accurate it was as we were in a bit of a rush to get it done.

Studio projects Saturday November 13 2010 11:54 am

A.D. Winans book cover

Letterpress projects have been seriously rolling through the studio lately and it feels good.

We finished the book cover project shown below with Bill Roberts of Bottle of Smoke Press. Bill asked us to design a cover for a collection of work from San Francisco poet A.D. Winans entitled Drowning Like Li Po in a River of Red Wine: Selected Poems 1970-2010.

We love printing via letterpress where we can emphasize a strong sense of the handmade to highlight the humanness in the writing, design and printing. The cover was printed black and blind debossed on Canson Mi-Tientes Bordeaux and then Jill handrolled white ink across the blind debossing to bring out the contrast. We produced about 150 wraparound covers for the softcover version and 65 copies for the hardcover version. Bill has really been working hard to produce well thought out projects and this one turned out great. It was nice to be able to contribute to the project.

I believe the hardback version has already sold out. Can’t wait to see our copy of the finished book.

This would be a good time to start collecting Bottle of Smoke projects.

Studio projects Monday November 01 2010 06:00 am

Lit Press broadside using our Intertype

It is nice being able to contribute to the letterpress work of our friends.

Mike Kaylor, letterpress printer at Washington College in Chestertown, MD, has produced more than 900 broadsides over his 25+ years at the school.

Charles Bernstein broadside from Lit Press

He produced this broadside in October 2010 for Washington College using our Intertype to set the quite tall and narrow poem entitled Thank You for Saying Thank You by Charles Bernstein.

The piece measures 10″ x 26″ and is printed on Hahnemühle Bugra in two colors.

The edition was 65.

Click here to see a larger image.