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Category ArchiveHistories of Newark: 1758-2008

Histories of Newark: 1758-2008 & Studio projects Saturday December 01 2007 10:49 am

Histories of Newark: the binding

We are headed into the final stretch with the Histories of Newark 1758-2008. Rebecca Johnson Melvin, Jill and I traveled to Ivyland, Pennsylvania, to visit Downey Hoster at Hoster Bindery to approve the foil stamping on the hardback covers, to get a personal tour of the facility, and to talk about final details with the binding and delivery of the book.

It was also our first chance to see the final folding of the book’s signatures and the nesting of those signatures. There are some details we wanted in the book to help give it some sense of being handmade. Two things we did were to print the book on two colors of paper—vanilla and white and to leave the front edge of the book rough.

The book is printed in eight-page signatures (sheets with four pages on one side and four on the other which are folded in half both ways to get he pages oriented correctly). There is one signature in vanilla with two signatures in white nested inside each other. That way the book has 8 pages of vanilla followed by 16 pages of white. We thought it would give the book some texture. The other thing we wanted was a rough fore edge (the edge away from the spine). There was no way to do the book with deckle-edged (rough) paper (we would have loved to do it in handmade paper but we wouldn’t have gotten the book for another 22 years and the cost would about the same as putting in a city subway system). Anyway that fore edge is left untrimmed and it looked exactly like we had envisioned it.
Everything we’ve heard about Hoster Binder has been positive and after the visit we see why. Top notch equipment, personnel, vision, and the ability to see ways to contribute that the designer / printer can’t see.

One very nice element that Downey has added to our book is to round the spine. It seems like a small detail, but after having the architecture of the book explained from the point-of-view of the spine it is a must if you can have it. Once we get the book we’ll show some photos and explain some of these details.
The critical moment right now is Friday, December 7 at 6:00 pm. The Histories of Newark group along with the Mayor is having an opening ceremony along with a booksigning. We hope a lot of the authors come and we kind of wonder if anyone will want us to sign their copy of the book.

The dust jacket is also at the printer and should be printed on Monday. Another detail we wanted was to do a full dustjacket that folded over on the top and bottom. The jacket designed by Jill Cypher ended up being a perfect solution. We used a hand-drawn map of the city from 1820 and overlaid images of Newark people into the house shapes. It does a wonderful job of mimicking the inside look of the book.

We are getting three sets of the book in all of its parts. Wallflowers Press is donating one to Special Collections at the University of Delaware Library, one to the Newark Historical Society, and we will keep one. Once we get into our new letterpress studio feel free to stop in and take a look. It is an interesting process and this book was done right from the very start.

Here is the dust jacket opened up. The worn edges of the map show on the sides.

Histories of Newark: 1758-2008 & Studio projects Friday November 16 2007 11:05 pm

Histories of Newark is becoming a book…

The printer has about half a day of printing to finish the text block part of the book. Then the endsheets. Then the dust jacket. This is the typography for the title. The typeface is Rivoli designed by dftype in The Netherlands.

Here are two of the final spreads that we like.

The book has a couple of interesting elements as far as we are concerned. First is a rough fore edge (front edge of the book). We’ve deliberately incorporated page creep into the the book by nesting three eight-page signatures so the edges are not in alignment. Then we don’t trim them. We only trim the top and bottom of the book.

Each of the three nested eight-page signatures start with a Vanilla color signature then two white signatures. That way the colors of the pages jump back and forth 24 times throughout the book. We thought it would give the book a bit more of aged quality. The paper is uncoated, but pretty smooth. Duotones are done in black and PMS 547 (see the captions above) in a 175 line screen. We wanted the citizen band across the middle to have the people very recognizable.

The hard back is black using two foil-stamped colors (silver and dull grey) to mimic the colors on the silver coin which has been imaged to be shiny and tarnished the way a coin might be.

We are also excited to be doing a full dust jacket that folds at the top and bottom which we hope will add a nice finished touch to the book.

Don Rash, a nationally known bookbinder, will be producing a dozen leather bound copies. These will also include on of the George II coins along with ephemera produced during the project.

We hope to have books by December 6 for a December 7 booksigning.

For a guy that thought he was out of the design world this has turned out to be a pretty serious design project.

Histories of Newark: 1758-2008 Monday November 05 2007 12:53 pm

Histories of Newark - DESIGNED

So after eleven months of work we get to the end of the Histories of Newark: 1758-2008. We were using an Excel spreadsheet to keep track of each of the stages for each of the 288 pages. Once they all got green it was done except for the final proofreading.

So there you have it. Due at the printer tomorrow.

Histories of Newark: 1758-2008 & Studio projects Sunday June 10 2007 04:16 am

Citizens of Newark photos through June 2, 2007

We’ve finished the main effort toward taking citizens of Newark photographs. Here are the totals.

Scheduled hours included in photoshoots: 98

Total number of citizen photos taken: 5,054

Total file size of originals (color .jpg images): 6.86 gigabytes

Total number of retouched photos: 1,237

Total file size of retouched photos (black/white .tif images): 2.79 gigabytes

Estimated hours for retouching: 155

Total citizens (some in multiple images): 3,767

The design of the book includes a 1″ band that will run through the middle of every page of the book to include current citizens of Newark. A book on the history of the city doesn’t have room for the contemporary city and a lot of the old photos do not include much of the humanity that has gone into that history.

This citizen band was included to counter both of those problems.

While the effort in the citizen photography was far more than we anticipated the fun of doing it was also far beyond what we anticipated.

Histories of Newark: 1758-2008 Friday June 08 2007 11:23 am

Citizen retouching #2

Every so often while we’ve been taking the ‘citizen’ photos for the Histories of Newark book we’ve had a reason to actually set up a photo which requires some fairly serious retouching.

Original #1. From this one we got the overall feel of the piece, the two ’strong’ guys and the lady’s feet.

Original #2. From this one we got the lady and the third guy.

Retouched. I love the look on the face of the middle guy. I can hear a kind of Beavis and Butthead voice saying, “We got a big one this time. Huh huh huh huh huh.” The one thing we didn’t do that we may go back and redo is the middle guy’s left arm. It is in a better position in #1.

Some days this is just plain fun.

Histories of Newark: 1758-2008 Friday June 08 2007 11:07 am

Citizen retouching

Every so often while we’ve been taking the ‘citizen’ photos for the Histories of Newark book we’ve had a reason to actually set up a photo which requires some fairly serious retouching.

We are going to post several on this blog.


Retouched. And I need to remember to retouch that guy’s fingers that barely missed the edge of the photo.

Histories of Newark: 1758-2008 Monday May 14 2007 07:56 am

Panorama of Newark, Delaware for ‘Histories’

We shot a panorama of Newark, Delaware and its surrounding countryside from the city’s reservoir. It took 70 images, the original is 165″ wide at 300 dpi, and weighs in at 728MB with layers still on.

Check it out.

Histories of Newark: 1758-2008 Tuesday May 01 2007 12:09 pm

Favorite citizen photos from 4/20 & 4/21

This was a great weekend with 529 citizens showing up to have their photos taken for the Histories of Newark: 1758-2008 book we are designing.

Our 19711 zip code and part of a larger photograph of citizens who protest the Iraq war every Friday from 5:00 - 6:00 pm at the corner of Main Street and South College Avenue.

When most people come in they ask, “What do you want us to do?” I often say, “Can you do a cartwheel?” Well this group could.

One of those wonderful moments when we had a fireman come in with his full gear on and an amazed 10-year old. Then the offer, “Want to try it on?” gave us a great photos. A group that came in ready to play. We shot this one with them lying down and there are two other really good ones of them. This family of breakdancers really got into the fun of the photoshoot. We should be so lucky every day.

Two more days of this sequence of events we’ve been doing for the past five Fridays and Saturdays.

Histories of Newark: 1758-2008 Saturday April 21 2007 09:32 am

Histories of Newark citizen number keepsake

One of the things we like about letterpress is producing objects that will help maintain memories. After each citizen gets photographed for The Histories of Newark book we give them a 3″ x 5″ card which tells them the number they were in the line. We are working to get at least 3,000. As I write this we are up to 935.

You can click on the category “Histories of Newark: 1758-2008″ to see some of the citizen photos.

Histories of Newark: 1758-2008 Monday April 09 2007 06:12 pm

Favorite citizen photos / week 2

We added another two hundred or so ‘citizens of Newark’ to what we hope to be a 212 foot-long strip of 1″ high photos. It was a bit of a slow weekend with Easter and also a weekend that was colder than Halloween, Christmas, and New Years. So much for global warming, I guess.

A hispanic group with perhaps someone’s father who played hard-to-get. After taking the rest of the group in two photos, he agreed. You can see his son(?) in the photo a second time.

Two young women who had just bought a nice historical poster. Kind of fit the occasion quite well.

We like it when people bring props and this quilt hit the spot. It was inscribed on the back in ink that looked like it was written yesterday and dated 1851. It had been in their family 155 years.

Three women doing the Abbey Road image. I kind of fell for it as I’ve really done the Abbey Road image in London.

Another person with props that say something about them. And yes, “War is gauche.”

Several people have gotten in front of the camera and asked what they could do. My pat response is, “Can you stand on your hands?” The answer has always been “No.” Except this time. It took three tries to get almost up.

The fourth time was a tad over-the-top so to speak. Here are the results on our white seamless. A bit of white duct tape and all was repaired.

Histories of Newark: 1758-2008 Thursday April 05 2007 09:23 am

News Journal article / April 5, 2007

Wallflowers Press is designing a 300+ page book on the Histories of Newark: 1758-2008. We got a nice writeup in the Wilmington News Journal. The bike riders featured are worth a bit of the story.

As the ‘citizen photos’ part of the project was just getting started we hadn’t had a lot of publicity or word-of-mouth advertising happening. We had gotten the Wilmington News Journal to send down a reporter and a photographer on Friday, April 30 (our first day of shooting). They came at 5:00.

And it was dead at the photoshoot when the News Journal got there.

Ray was standing outside trying to find anyone to come in and be in a photograph. All of a sudden a group of about 25 bicyclists were coming down the street and holding up traffic. They took up the complete width of Main Street. Ray walked out and tried to talk with them while they rode by trying to get them to come in to do a photo. Not much enthusiasm for it at that point.

About 20 minutes later and our photoshoot was still just as dead the group circled back down the street in front of the building we were were holding the photoshoot. This time Ray went right out into the middle of the street to force them to listen to his story. “Be in the photograph and we’ll promote your cause.”

So they came in. We think the article pays off the promotion promise. Their group is called “Critical Mass.”

Histories of Newark: 1758-2008 & Studio projects Monday April 02 2007 05:49 am

Histories of Newark: citizens #0001-0100

The design we did for the Histories of Newark: 1758-2008 has a 1″ strip that we want to run through the middle every page of book to give the book an extra bit of humanity. Here is how it will look.

We are planning to photograph at least 3,000 citizens. Over the first day we got exactly 100 to agree. It might take us a bit of time to get the word out so it isn’t as much work to get people to participate. Here are 8 of our favorites from the first day of shooting.

We will be shooting at the former CVS building at 108 East Main Street in Newark from Noon - 8:00 pm every FRIDAY and SATURDAY through May 5. PLEASE come by and bring a group with you. Choir, fraternity, football team (uniforms would be great), Brownies troop, families, dogs, of course bikes, etc.

This was a group of activists riding through the streets of Newark on their bikes and rollerblades to heighten awareness for the need for alternatives to gasoline powered transportation.

We had a Wilmington News Journal reporter and photographer at our photoshoot and things were completely dead. No one. Then we see this group slowing down traffic (actually they were probably keeping up as well as anyone) and we flagged them down with the promise that “We can promote your cause.” It was a pretty amazing moment. We think the News Journal will do a story just on them.

We were giving out suckers so we just threw the bag in front of a group of four and they threw them in the air.

Anytime people were a couple we asked that they look like it. These two did that quite nicely.

A 4-H group was planting flowers in front of the Post Office just down the street and stopped in, wheelbarrows, shovels, petunias, dog and all.

“So, what can we do?” “We could jump.”

Two U of DE students stopped in right after their yoga class. A bit of talk and voila.

This guy had been hiking the Appalachian Trail and had fallen and had a serious buise he wanted to show us.

The last guy just had his iPod on and broke into an iPod commercial.

100 down. 2,900 to go.

Histories of Newark: 1758-2008 & Studio projects Friday March 23 2007 03:17 pm

012 Histories of Newark people photoshoot

A nice design element we’ve built into the Histories of Newark book is a 1″ strip that runs horizontally through the entire book with full length portraits of people who live or work in Newark. This is the poster we printed to put up around town to encourage people to come and have their picture taken.

It took seven runs to do the poster. The colored lines were done about 7 at a time and were handrolled using three different colors each run. The type was a photopolymer and the white background was MDF.

Size: 15″ x 21″

Histories of Newark: 1758-2008 & Studio projects Monday March 19 2007 11:03 am

011 Histories of Newark photoshoot postcard

This is the front and back of a postcard we letterpressed which we are mailing out to Newark residents to try and get them to be photographed for the Histories of Newark: 1758-2008 book which Wallflowers Press is designing. The front image shows a general layout with the 1″ strip of people photographs. We hope to photograph at least 3,000.

If you are reading this and either work or live in Newark, Delaware we are shooting photographs on Fridays and Saturdays from March 30th until May 5th from Noon until 8:00 pm. Just stop in. Bring something with you that represents you and dress for you and not the weather.

Histories of Newark: 1758-2008 & Studio projects Saturday November 18 2006 10:47 pm

Histories of Newark

Ray Nichols and Jill Cypher of Wallflowers Press (now Lead Graffiti) have accepted an offer from the city of Newark to design a book celebrating its 250th anniversary (1758-2008). The book is scheduled to be published in the fall of 2007.

This is a link to our blog entry about the final book.

You can also see the deluxe edition in our portfolio.

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