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Monthly ArchiveSeptember 2015



Studio projects & Tour de Lead Graffiti 2015 Tuesday September 22 2015 10:00 am

Tour de Lead Graffiti 2015: The family portrait

There is the lag time from the end of the Tour de France each year to the moment we have the “clamshell” family portrait photo that represents the edition.

While we believe we feel good, both physically and mentally, when doing the posters for the final stages, when that daily ritual has ended, our desire to work pretty much evaporates. After 23 days (and a good deal of work right before those days actually start) the 17 hour days and the regimen seem to be come part of our DNA. I suspect there has to be some similarity to what the riders feel and we love the idea of sharing that feeling to some degree. Our constantly evolving peloton of collaborators, technical strategy adjustments, crashes (we don’t get the road rash or broken bones, though), feeding stations, and the shared responsibilities of domestiques makes this annual project the greatest project we’ve ever done.

Trying to figure out a plan for the pastepaper we’ll use on the clamshell box is always difficult. We want it to look different, unlike other pastepapers we’ve seen, and somehow visually connected to the Tour and our poster journal.

The first thing we always do once we have this image to represent the edition is to have our postcard sets printed. These are printed offset and we typically get 1,000 made. We love giving them out at talks, to students who visit and/or take workshops, and generally have them for keepsakes to share with people interested in Lead Graffiti or letterpress.

Settling on the final posters to highlight in the photo is also very difficult and there are usually a dozen who are in play for their story, color, technique, experimental nature, just plain different…

Below are links to those 4 posters (clockwise starting at 9:00) and our blog entry about the pastepaper.

          Cummings : Pinot : Bardet / Rolland : Vuillermoz : pastepaper

Studio projects Tuesday September 15 2015 12:58 pm

APHA / Chesapeake Chapter 2016 calendar

Jill and I are participating in a collaborative 2016 calendar project for the Chesapeake Chapter of the American Printing History Association and I thought a black & white photo would work nicely to show the production of my July effort.

Working on the Stage 4 and Rest Day #1 posters for Tour de Lead Graffiti this summer we had experimented with disengaging the crescent which drives the vibrator roller causing it to move left and right, replenish and evening out the ink across the form rollers. With the vibrator roller in a single position the ink stays put as you can see in the image below.

The 7″ x 11″ sheet is fed from the left side.

Here are a few additional photo of the process.

Above: Removing the crescent. There is also a lock screw hidden in the shadow in the side of the vibrator that needs to be loosened with a hex wrench.

Above: Jill laying out the colors. We cut thin strips of bookboard to apply the ink.

Above: We made a jig so we could easily replenish any colors that needed it.

Above: Just after engaging the rollers.

Above. This is just after we had moved the vibrator left and right about 1/8″ a couple of times just to spread the thick center blob of ink a bit and to allow the colors to touch each other.

It took about 4 hours to set everything up and print the 100 sheets for the calendar.