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Monthly ArchiveJune 2013

Studio projects Monday June 10 2013 01:48 am

Tour de Lead Graffiti typefaces…

Each year of our Tour de Lead Graffiti project we’ve chosen one (solid and also outlined) or two typefaces for the main type for the posters.

This year we’ve decided on Impact and Bernhard Gothic Medium.

You can tell we aren’t much of wood type purists.

It will be interesting to work with two sans serif typefaces.

We are having both faces made into 2″ high wood type which will be cut using a CNC router. Last year we used copperplates to make the type, but had some frustrating problems with the type height. I’m not sure we can solve it this year, but we are sure going to try. Here is a photo showing some of the finished blocks of type. You can see there are positive and negative arrows.

wood type right out of the router

The image shows the letterform surfaces that have been finished and we are about 1/3 of the way down the sides of the individual blocks. Once this has been completed we cut the letterforms apart on our lead saw which cuts the right side of one letter and the left side of the adjacent letter at the same time. This is both efficient for time as well as allowing us to get the most letters out of the block of wood. We can put about .14″ between letters but the CNC router requires about .3″ for it to cut between them. That adds up over a string of 14 - 20 characters.

We use the arrows as a visual representation of the cyclists. You might notice the thin edge around the circle. That is a mistake. I should have done the line just to the inside of the arrows instead of the outside. We’ll have to clean all of that up. No way that would last printing via letterpress.

We’ve loved Bernhard Gothic as a metal type since our earliest days of printing via letterpress. Impact is the typeface we use on our Boxcards.

Should be fun.

Studio projects Thursday June 06 2013 07:50 pm

Boxcar Poems 1 - 12 by John Dorsey

We are happy to announce the newest book from Lead Graffiti entitled Boxcar Poems 1 - 12, a series of poems penned by John Dorsey for this edition.

Edition : 125 hard cover copies (4 1/8″ x 5 1/8″), printed via letterpress, signed by the author, and wrapped with hand-painted paste paper

Clamshell box : numbered 1 through 12 and includes the metal slug of the first line of the Boxcar poem bearing that same number designation / $110 each. Clamshells will be available in early August 2013.

Hard cover : numbered 13 through 125 / $25 each

Click here to purchase.

. . .

John Dorsey is the author of several collections of poetry, including Teaching the Dead to Sing: The Outlaw’s Prayer (Rose of Sharon Press, 2006), Sodomy is a City in New Jersey (American Mettle Books, 2010), Leaves of Ass (Unadorned Press, 2011), Street Maps for Lost Souls (Crisis Chronicles Press, 2012), and White Girl Problems: Poems & Stories (NightBallet Press, 2012). His work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. He may be reached at

. . .

Some details about the printing and binding:

Binding : The meander book format bound without glue or sewing offered a connection to walking among railroad cars in a trainyard, crisscrossing tracks and ducking under the cars. Lead Graffiti paste paper painted for this book has a combed-box design by Jill Cypher.

Printing : The book was printed slowly & patiently via letterpress on our Vandercook SP15 and Vandercook Universal III. The 14 inside pages are printed in three colors using hot metal type from our Intertype C4 and wood type. The cover title, inlaid in a debossed rectangle, along with the endsheets and spine are printed in 1 color.

Paper : Inside text is printed on paper retrieved by Newark historian, Robert Barnes, from our local Curtis Paper Mill around 1997 when the mill closed. The paste paper is Mohawk Superfine Soft White 80# text, endsheets are Fabriano Tiziano Steel Grey 160 gsm, and the spine is French Construction Brick Red 100# cover.

Typography : Vogue, linecast on our Intertype C4.

The meander is a book form we’ve used in about 40 Lead Graffiti Creative Letterpress workshops. We’ve wanted to print a more serious book using this binding technique for a while. John’s 12 poems match the number of interior pages required for the text. Jill designed the paste paper to reflect the color that comes to  mind when we think of boxcars, though you probably don’t actually see them like that except in old movies.