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Tour de Lead Graffiti 2015, clamshell box edition of 23 stage posters + composite print

Tour de Lead Graffiti 2015, clamshell box edition of 23 stage posters + composite print

$750 (boxed set)

23 signed posters printed via letterpress from handset wood & metal type with handrolling / $750 + shipping

The image shown here is from the 2014 clamshell edition. We will update the image as soon as we have the first clamshell produced.

     Click image for closeup.

Includes: 21 stage posters, 2 rest day posters, title page, description page, lettered colophon page, and a 92-run composite print

Poster size : 14.5" x 22.5"

Paper : Somerset Textured White, 300 gsm

Clamshell box : covered in special-made Lead Graffiti pastepaper


The idea

For the fifth consecutive year now, we’ve undertaken a personal project to follow the 2015 Tour de France and visually translate each day’s events into posters printed via letterpress using handset wood & metal type and other objects, such as bike chains & sprockets, we have in our studio.

When we started the project in 2011 we intended to print 2 runs for each poster plus the preprinted signature block defining the day/stage/destination/distance. If this year is typical we'll average more than 4.5 per for each of the 23 posters this year.

The schedule

Starting around 5am, the previous day’s poster is scanned, saved in 4 different sizes for various online applications (Lead Graffiti’s archive & online portfolio, blog, store, Facebook, etc.), and then we write the daily online description of the stage events and how the events translated into the poster.

Around 8:00 am we started watching the live TV feed of the Tour de France on NBCSports. For all 23 of the 23 days we will have guest collaborators who met at our house to watch the stage. At lunch (always followed by pie) 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 commit those memorable moments to ink on paper. We would hang the previous day’s poster and everyone signs the preprinted signature block for the new day’s poster, mimicking the Tour’s daily sign-in for those who are still in the race.

The layout & printing

The posters are 14.5" x 22.5", printed slowly & patiently via letterpress on Somerset Textured White 300 gsm paper. All of the posters were produced spontaneously, rarely using any form of sketch, composed directly on the bed of our 1969 Vandercook Universal III. The least number of total runs for any 2014 poster was 2 (Stage 11, but one of those runs had 8 separate inkings) and the most was 10 (Stage 2).

As well as the edition of posters, we include sheets overprinted with each run of every poster, excluding the date/destination lines. The main body has 109 overprints. Additionally, postcards are made from makeready sheets trimmed into random 6" x 4" mailable postcards.

At the time 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 109 runs with a running time of just over 376 hours, averaging just over 16 hours a day.

The posters plus a title page, description page, composite print and colophon are housed in a custom-made clamshell box, wrapped with Lead Graffiti pastepaper that complements the series.

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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.