Category ArchiveTour de Lead Graffiti 2015
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.
All dates are now spoken for. If you are interested in being put on a waiting list, send Ray an email.
Stage 2, Sunday, July 5th - Utrecht > Zélande | 166 km
. . . collaborator: Kati Sowiak | graphic designer
. . . collaborator: Laura Jacoby | graphic designer
Stage 3, Monday, July 6th - Anvers > Huy | 154 km (4, 4, 4, 3)
. . . collaborator: Steve Harding | woodworker & cyclist
Stage 5, Wednesday, July 8th - Arras > Amiens Métropole | 189 km
. . . collaborator: Don Starr / designer, educator, store owner | ‘14
. . . collaborator: Mel Parada | graduate student, designer
Stage 7, Friday, July 10th - Livarot > Fougères | 190 km (4)
. . . collaborator: Robert Ivone | teacher
. . . collaborator: Melissa Ivone | designer
Stage 8, Saturday, July 11th - Rennes > Mûr de Bretagne | 179 km (4, 3)
. . . collaborator: Bonnie Feliciano
. . . collaborator: Meryl Arnold | Graphic designer, letterpres printer
. . . collaborator: Tim (the boyfriend)
Stage 9, Sunday, July 12th - Vannes > Plumelec | 28 km (team time trial)
. . . A kind of weird day to watch. Each team rides as one.
. . . collaborator: Carol Mauer | ‘12
. . . collaborator: Kelly Mauer
Stage 12, Thursday, July 16th - Lannemezan > Plateau de Beille | 195 km (2, 1, 1, HC) | mountain top finish
. . . collaborator: Nick Prestileo | graphic designer
. . . collaborator: Ed McCann | user experience designer
. . . collaborator: Steve DeCusatis | graphic designer
Stage 13, Friday, July 17th - Muret > Rodez | 200 km (3, 4, 4)
. . . collaborator: Glenn Stevens | art director
Stage 16, Monday, July 20th - Bourg-de-Péage > Gap | 201 km (2, 2)
. . . collaborator: Aaron Capp | display designer
Rest day #2, Tuesday, July 21st - Gap
Stage 17, Wednesday, July 22nd - Digne-les-Bains > Pra-Loup / 161 km (3, 3, 2, 1, 2)| mountain top finish
Stage 18, Thursday, July 23rd - Gap > Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne / 185 km (2, 3, 3, 3, 2, HC, 2) | mountains
. . . collaborator: David Copestakes | Professor of Graphic Design | Arcadia University
. . . collaborator: Tiffany Zysk | graphic designer
Stage 19, Friday, July 24th - Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne > La Toussuire - Les Sybelles | 138 km (1, HC, 2, 1) / mountain top finish
. . . collaborator: Kieran Francke | letterpress kid | ‘11, ‘12, ‘13, ‘14
. . . collaborator: Hendrik-Jan Francke | dad of letterpress kid & web designer | ‘13, ‘14
Stage 20, Saturday, July 25th - Modane Valfréjus > Alpe-d’Huez / 110 km (1, HC, HC)| mountain top finish
When we started our Tour de Lead Graffiti project in 2011 there was the built elements of spontaneity and experimentation. Originally we only planned for the one year which was 23 posters. We wanted to be able to do the daily posters to have both a continuity, but no design grid and definitely try, as best as possible, to avoid duplicating visual elements. Now we find ourselves editions later, 92 posters in our portfolio, and still looking for ways to make each poster at least fairly different from every other poster. Strangely, that hasn’t been as much of a problem as we thought it would have been.
One of the project strategies was to produce our own woodtype which would be the dominant typographic elements of each poster. The first year we cut Clarendon Extra Bold Condensed in a solid and an outline version. Each year after that we’ve chosen two typefaces, one fairly wide and the other condensed, to create visual texture and also to allow us to deal with some very long names. What to start just seemed more like an idea to have some fun has turned out to be quite a nice design element. For some reason which I’m not able to explain, letterpress seems to allow a flexibility in jumping between typefaces much more than the computer does. Many old broadsides printed letterpress in the late 1800s and early 1900s often used typefaces because they text would “fit”.
These are the two typefaces we are using for 2015.
Velo, designed by House Industries who are good friends of Lead Graffiti and also work nearby, is a typeface that reflects the cycling community. Rubens is a typeface from the late 1800s with some of the letters having that spur on their bottoms.
When we pick the typefaces for one of the editions, we don’t worry about their ability to interact well with each other. We like that we have to figure out how to get them to work together once we are actually designing the poster. The fact that we work on these posters very spontaneously makes it all the more fun.