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Tour de Lead Graffiti 2011, clamshell box edition of 23 stage posters

Tour de Lead Graffiti 2011, clamshell box edition of 23 stage posters

$650 (boxed set)

23 signed posters printed via letterpress from handset wood & metal type with handrolling / $650 + shipping

     Click image for closeup.

Includes: 23 stage & rest day posters, title page, description page, lettered colophon page, and a composite print

Poster size : 14.5" x 22.5"

Paper : Somerset Textured White, 300 gsm

Runs : 108, excluding signature blocks, plus 12 on additional pages

Clamshell box : covered in special-made Lead Graffiti pastepaper


The idea

The seed for Tour de Lead Graffiti was planted in Ray Nichols and Jill Cypher the day they stood in Liége, Belgium, watching the opening day Prologue of the 2004 Tour de France.

The goal for the project was to translate memorable incidents from each stage of the 2011 Tour de France into wood and metal type to produce a coherent series of letterpress posters, as a creative design and typography challenge, as well as to parallel the physical endurance required of the cyclists in our own world of letterpress.

The posters are 14.5"" x 22.5"", printed slowly & patiently via letterpress on Somerset Textured White 300 gsm paper.

The schedule

Work started at 6:00 each morning, scanning the previous day’s poster, compositing the six scans into one digital image, saving it in 7 differently-sized formats for various online applications (Lead Graffiti’s online portfolio, blog, store, Facebook, etc.), writing the daily online description of the stage events, and how the events were translated for the poster.

We would start watching the live TV feed on Versus / NBC Sports of the Tour de France with opening commentary around 8:00. Seventeen of the days we had guest printers / designers who met at our house around 8:30 to watch through the end of the stage, which was typically around Noon. At lunch we would talk about things we saw and heard that would become seeds for the poster’s typography and visuals.
Around 1:00 we headed to the studio to make those connections real. We would hang up the previous day’s poster and everyone would sign the preprinted signature block for the new day’s poster, mimicking the Tour’s daily sign-in for those who were still in the race.

The layout & printing

All of the posters were produced spontaneously, never using any form of sketch. The compositions were created on the bed of our 1969 Vandercook Universal III, while considering design, color, what had been done previously, etc.

We started the project intending to print at least 2 runs each day above the preprinted signature block defining the day/stage/destination/distance. On the poster for Stage 1 we printed 4 runs which set the tone and the bar for future posters. The least number of total runs for any poster ended up being 5 and the most was 8.

As well as the edition of posters, we included 12 sheets overprinted with each run of
every poster, excluding a few of the date/destination lines which looked like they were going to cut through our paper. The main body has 103 overprints.

Additional items included postcards. We glued 100' Mohawk Superfine White Cover on the backs of about 80 makeready sheets and trimmed out random 6" x 4" postcards.

At the end of the final run of each poster, we would note the time as the end of our day. For the 23 posters produced on consecutive days covering the 21 stages and 2 rest days of the Tour, we printed a total of 103 runs with a total running time of 345 hours 8 minutes and 12 seconds, averaging just over 15 hours a day.

     Click here for the full story
     behind this poster.

SHIPPING NOTE : The price options include handling & shipping as stated.

Clamshells are shipped through USPS Priority Mail and are seriously packed in sturdy boxes with clamshell corner protectors.