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Studio projects Friday January 21 2011 11:35 am

Making Lead Graffiti wood type

After about two years of testing out how to make wood type that would rival any of the early manufacturers we are about there. For our first complete test of our system we chose a 12 line Bradley as our first “put it in the case” font of wood type.

We found a way to get the wood made as well as we think it can be made from endgrain Rock Maple using random sized blocks which helps counter any warping and with as accurate a type height as is achievable in wood (which shrinks and expands based on humidity and temperature). The routing is as smooth as we could have expected it to be. The surface is 3 handsanded layers of polyurethane and as smooth as you could hope for.

We printed our first piece last night using the type and it was amazing and flawless.

While we love the history you can sense from using old wood type that has been banged around in some print shop for a hundred years, it is also nice to add your own history to new wood type.

There are a number of other places that are making wood type for sale, which we would like to do. We think that our wood type is going to be as well made as it can be.

One of the other things that we want to do is to also make individual replacements for those who print via letterpress that have letters that are missing or have serious damage problems. We expect to even do custom work where you supply a proof and we will supply it in wood.

Interested in trying a character in Bradley? Pick one capital letter or the ampersand. $7.50 each and we’ll pick up the mailing. We are working on figuring how much to charge, but if you might be interested, let us know.

Also, if you have those missing characters we mentioned above, you should start looking around to see if you can find someone that does have it and perhaps scan a proof of any letters that would help build its image. We would need as much information about what it looks like and how it fits on the block.

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