Lead Graffiti is a member of the APA (Amalgamated Printers Association), a group of printers who like to print for fun amongst the other reasons we put ink to paper. The idea for the group is a great one. It is limited to 150 members. Each member must produce 150 copies of each of 4 pieces during the year (600 total for the group) which are sent to a ‘mailer.’ Each month the pieces that have been sent in are sorted and a set is sent to each of the members. So, in an average month you would get about of 50 letterpress samples.
It is always fun to see what people do in their letterpress shops. Some are quite simple and others are very complex. Some take a minimal effort while others can take days to produce.
This is what the bundle looks like (after we open it) when it comes in its 9″ x 6″ envelope.
We’ve talked about picking our three favorites each month and putting them on our blog. So, after almost three years of thinking about doing this, here is #1.
From left to right:
Alison Bozeman / Birddogpress (APA #823) - The subtle green & blue coupled with the paper is what stood out to us. The quote is from Helen Keller / Paul Hawken and talks about ‘disturbing times.’ The lack of visual contrast adds a wonderful quality to the tone-of-voice of the piece.
Sven Nelson (APA #776) - This is a wedding invitation that is round. I don’t think I’ve ever considered a round one before. It is a great, never-ending shape to use for such an occasion. I don’t think I’ll ever start designing one again that I don’t consider the shape and wanting to print the type in a circle.
Nils R. Bull Young / The Tagalong Press (APA #537) - It is no small task printing a 3-color cover and 20-page booklet. Nicely printed, good choice of colors, and the stories were fun to read.
Below is our contribution to the APA August bundle.
These are eight visual poems that were produced using ‘Handy Boxes’ sold by the Baltimore Type Company. These boxes provide metal type of characters that are not normally contained within a typeface. You can see dots, stars, cent and percent signs among others. The background is handrolled with copper ink.
. . .
While I’ve been writing out this blog entry I got the idea that we should do a Lead Graffiti award and send it to our winners. Hmmm.
Essentially this was another APA project although we printed some extras to mail to friends.
The APA is a group limited to 150 members and each member must print 150 copies of something (some people go to a lot of trouble and others go to a lot less) which is sent to the ‘mailer’ who distributes all of the submissions into packages and mails them to each member. So in practice there are 150 members x 4 projects divided by 12 months which means that every month you get an average of 50 printing samples.We’ve been playing with the idea of doing a set of pieces that only concern the use of color. The image we’ve chosen to use is is a photograph of us from a letterpress workshop we did in Oxford, England in 2004 which uses a large halftone screen.
In this instance we made it a Halloween card so we printed black on orange paper. The inside of the card says “May the black arts be good to you on this All Hallows Eve.”
This is a one inch square from Jill’s eye showing the halftone.
Title: Halloween Card 2007
Size: A6 (6.25″ x 4.5″)
Inks: one color / two sides
Press: Vandercook SP-15
The first of two recent projects were two calendar pages for the 2008 APA member’s calendar.
While experimenting with the typography for September Jill discovered that if you divide the word into three lines of three letters the middle column is all ‘e’s. That plus a maple leaf and you had a nice fall month. The highlighted days are Labor Day, Jill’s birthday (September 11), and the Autumnal Equinox.
For March Ray’s used the dictionary image of the word ‘mar’. There has been a bothersome discussion going on on the LetPress listserv with a lot of ‘printers’ whining about new people to letterpress using too much impression. Sometimes letterpress is really nice BECAUSE you can push the type down into the paper. Starting in the third line of the definition Ray has written “This page is not marred b the depth of the impression acting as tone-of-voice between the ink and the paper.” We aren’t sure how many people will actually read it.
Then in the dictionary the definition is nicely followed by “Mar., March.”
Title: APA calendar (March / September)
Size: 5.5″ x 8″
Inks: three colors / one side
Press: Vandercook SP-15
As part of our joining APA we have to supply them with 155 3″ x 5″ proprietor cards introducing ourselves. We thought we would do it with an oversized business card. Our plan with APA is to print four pieces a year (supplied to all members) which will force us to experiment or innovate. This piece was designed to make us deal with registration. The piece is 5 colors and the registration is 1/4 point trapping. You can see a blow-up of the “W” above which is 1″ high.
Since we started with them we’ve changed our name to Lead Graffiti which required a new proprietor card.
APA & Histories of Newark: 1758-2008 & Studio & Studio projects & Visual Communications / UD & events & film & honors, awards, media & news & important equipment & inventory / collection & inventory / important type & inventory / miscellaneous & inventory / presses & personal & photo projects / hand-drawn type & printing tricks / advice / help & trips & type & Lettering & uncategorized & workshops Tuesday November 30 1999 12:00 am