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Monthly ArchiveJanuary 2013

workshops Monday January 28 2013 12:00 am

Letterpress & bookmaking workshops through June 2013

Lead Graffiti letterpress & bookmaking workshops through June 2013.

A number of area schools schedule workshops for their students and we like to try and keep Saturdays open for them. If you can put together enough people for a specific workshop we will be happy to consider scheduling it.


Creative Letterpress (open registration)

  • Sunday, May 19
  • Sunday, June 16

VANDERCOOK / technical

  • None until after TdLG


Classic clamshell box

  • Sunday, June 9

Studio projects Sunday January 27 2013 05:46 pm

Boy Scout Troop 241 workshop

We did a wonderful creative letterpress workshop for 13 Boy Scouts and 4 scoutmasters who had come to complete their Graphic Arts merit badges. Our ‘meander’ book workshop is perfect for this group. The Boy Scout Law has 12 words to it. Our meander book has 12 pages in it. The book also has a title page and a colophon page, and the book has a cover. So the words for laws were divided up and one took on the title page.

The image above shows the lockup of wood & metal type on the left and the finished broadside on the right. We’ve rotate two rows of pages on the right so the bottoms are all oriented the same.

Here is the group gathered around our Intertype C4 during the tour of the studio space. The Intertype is always a big draw on visitors to Lead Graffiti.

It is one of the nicer designs for merit badges.

Studio Sunday January 27 2013 05:01 pm

What we will do for 10″

We’ve done a number of workshops for 12 - 14 people and things can get a bit crowded in the middle at times, even with all of the space we’ve got. We have two  rows of back-to-back cabinets, 5 cabinets wide. The space between them is often a bit too tight as design students will sometimes sit on the floor and look at the lower cases. I think we had about 3′6″ between them which is easily enough when it is only the three of us, but add us to 12 students and throw in a faculty member and it is a bit of bottle neck.

Well, we finally just bit the bullet and moved the front row of cabinets 10″ to give us more space.

This shows us with the front 5 cabinets emptied. The 2 on the left have been moved the 10″ we wanted to add between the 2 rows. Figuring 35 pounds a case on average, that is means we had to move about 2.25 tons of type, then move the cabinets, then move 2.25 tons of cases back into the cabinets.

That comes out to about 875 pounds per inch of space improvement. The gap in the rubber mats shows how much the space was opened up, so we might need to get new rubber mats. We’ve also decided to allow for more flat working surfaces on those cabinets on the right which previously had two double slant tops on them. Our large creative letterpress workshops often have the students working in a galley instead of a composing stick so flat space is important.

Studio projects Wednesday January 23 2013 03:13 pm

Facebook Boxcard winners

Lead Graffiti sponsored a competition on Facebook for some ideas for Boxcards made from the packaging from 50 cases of Yuengling beer. We ended up with three that we really liked the most, so we are awarding three prizes in no particular order. We will print all three. Each winner will get two boxes of their text and a box containing the other two winners to use as they see fit.

The winners and our design with their words include


BEER. THE OTHER WHITE MEAT -Christiana Del Vecchio


Studio projects & books Thursday January 17 2013 05:25 pm

A look inside Beat literature

Lead Graffiti is working with Bottle of Smoke Press on a new book printed via letterpress.

Entitled All the Wild Thoughts the book is 23 years, 1947 to 1969, of correspondence between On the Road author Jack Kerouac and architect Ed White. The book has a preface and commentaries by Ed White with the introduction by John Leland, author of Why Kerouac Matters.

A prospectus printed via letterpress has been printed to
announce the intended publication in February, 2013

Jack Kerouac & Ed White (the model for Tim Gray in On the Road) exchanged letters and postcards, beginning during their days at Columbia University and continuing until Kerouac’s death. This unique volume offers an insider’s look at their long-lasting friendship and insights into the shaping of Beat literature.

White’s preface offers context for this extraordinary body of correspondence, and his commentaries on each letter add rich anecdotal detail. The book is edited by David Stanford, Jamie White, S.A. Griffin & Frances Sawyer with book design by Lead Graffiti & Bottle of Smoke Press with cover artwork by FAILE.

All the Wild Thoughts is published as a limited edition fine press book, printed via letterpress by Bottle of Smoke Press & Lead Graffiti. The hardcover book is planned at 150 pages and 7” x 10” (17.8 cm x 25.4 cm).
This first edition is limited to 600 copies: 500 numbered trade copies and 100 numbered deluxe copies. Signed by Ed White & the designers, each deluxe copy is bound in leather and housed in a custom-made clamshell containing a copperplate used to print one page of the book.

Trade Edition $130 (pre-publication $105)

Deluxe Edition $475 (pre-publication $415)

Copies will be assigned as orders are received, with earliest orders getting lower numbers. Expected shipment date is February, 2013. To order a copy, please email Payment can be made by credit card, PayPal, check, or money order. If sending a check or money order, please email first to insure your place in the order.

Studio projects Saturday January 05 2013 05:57 pm

Yuengling Boxcards competition

A friend the other day brought us the packaging for 50 cases of Yuengling beer for us to use for Lead Graffiti Boxcards. So we trimmed them down to get them ready for printing.

Boxcards are greeting cards we print using recycled packaging. Here is a photo of a group of cards printed from 12-packs of Coca-Cola.

Below is the design of three other cards to give you a clear idea of how the text looks. To us it takes the right balance of word length so you get a nice texture between the scale of words with the typography. They are always the same typeface which I suspect is a solid rule.

This first one is about the longest one we’ve done. The type needs to be fairly large on the A2 card (5.5″ x 4.125″). We like these first two a lot.

Notice that we used the recycling logo on one, so it doesn’t always have to be words.

It cannot be negative toward Yuengling, beer, drinking, etc. Do keep in mind the backgrounds are all Yuengling beer in this instance.

Go to our Facebook page and suggest something to print on our Yuengling Boxcards. Enter as often as you like, but each entry must be submitted as a separate comment to the Facebook listing. Like us while you are there.

If you come up with our favorite, we’ll give you a Lead Graffiti poster and a box of cards with your text on them. Your idea needs to beat our ideas to win.

Studio projects Friday January 04 2013 09:16 am

Last year, Craig Cutler did a project that ran from April, 2011 - April, 2012 where he produced a personal photographic project each week.

CC52, Week 52 :Words

Lead Graffiti’s contributions run from 1:34 - 1:46, 2:02 - 2:11, and 2:17 - 2:25 in the 3:48 film.

CC52, Week 49 :Letterpress

16 portraits of things found around Lead Graffiti from our oldest wood type > our hell box > our 1956 Intertype C4.

. . .

Craig Cutler is at it again. This time with which documents a photographic project each day of 2013.

When he told me he would be doing it I figured he would shoot a photo at lunch or something. You need to put this on your RSS feeds, unless you’ll really don’t feel like thinking you aren’t working hard enough every day.

You might also notice his sketches which are drawn on his “sketch” cards which were designed and printed along with his corporate stationery by Lead Graffiti. It is hard not to love a photographer with a pen and paper. Here is the sketch from day 3.

Craig Cutler raw eggs day 3

Now to figure out how to get some letterpress in Craig’s work again.

Studio projects Wednesday January 02 2013 12:45 pm

Rules for handsetting metal type

We produced this poster with Sarah Zero on one of our shorternships during the year-end holidays. Jill had come up with the poster idea to help provide a reminder to people attending our letterpress workshops.

We always like doing our handrolling to provide some nice color texture and using these 8″ high letters provides a nice canvas for the ink

The posters are 14.5″ x 22.5″ and are printed on Somerset Textured White 300 gsm stock which is thick and velvety. The piece was run in an edition of 45 in three runs—colored numbers which were handrolled in 4 colors, larger handset metal type of 72 point Neuland and 60 point Jefferson Condensed, and the colophon which was cast on our Intertype C4 in 10 point Palatino with a nice little dingbat for a bit of visual interest. The poster was printed over two days with the first devoted to writing the text, designing the layout, and handrolling the numbers. All told it was about 8 hours.

We plan on giving away 15 or so to schools with viable letterpress studios. If you are at one let us know and we’ll see about getting you one for your wall. We are also selling them $30, if you are interested.

You can click on the image to see a larger version.

Handsetting metal type rules