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          Tour de Lead Graffiti 2012
S T A G E   1 4 :
          Limoux > Foix / 191 km

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Stage 14 / Tour de Lead Graffiti 2012

Available as an individual print
or in the clamshell box edition

In 1 word:

. . .

Start time today: 6:11 am

Completed: 8:15 pm

Time today: 14 hours : 03 minutes

Time to date: 246 hours : 35 minutes

Runs: 4 (sequence: orange, black, green, blue)

Runs to date: 79

370 > 800 pixel wide enlargement

The day's story

Description: A strange day. Today the focus was hooligans. That is the word the announcers used after one of the spectators tossed tacks onto the road, puncturing the tires of a number of riders, including both this year's leader and last year's winner.

You don't often get the chance to typeset the word hooligan, so we seized that opportunity. When we made our Stymie Bold Condensed wood type for the project (actually copperplates) we had redrawn the Q to more match the original. In organizing the type for production we didn't notice that it was extending outside of the crop area. So when the original cut was made on it we cut off about 1/8" of the swash. That means we are hoping that Manuel Quinziato doesn't win any stages, as he is the only rider in the Tour with a Q in his name.

The punctured tires was obviously a good image so we simply sawed off a bit more of the Q and we had our flat tire. Also nice that hooligans has two Os in it. We should have used the same typeface for the other O, but oh, well. We also used a nice typographic element playing off the word "attack," which is in constant use in the Tour de France commentary, and the fact that it contains the word "tack". The race organizers found 28 tacks left in the road after the riders had passed, so we accused a single hooligan, so we could get the plural "tacks." A set of thin "T"s made perfect image to represent the tacks.

Then in the race came one of the moments in the stage that will forever make us a fan of the Tour de France. Last year's tour winner, Cadel Evans, was one of the riders caught up in the punctured tire situation and had to go through three tire changes costing him minutes of time that would essentially end any chance of winning this year. Bradley Wiggins, the current Yellow Jersey holder, whose Sky Procycling Team was leading the peloton, called for a slower pace allowing Evans to catch up. Watching that happen in one of the most important athletic competitions in any sport anywhere was exhilarating.

Luis-Leon Sanchez of the Robobank Cycling Team, who had been in a long breakaway group of 11 riders, gaining the most time on the peloton so far this tour, eventually won the race. Sanchez had received serious injuries in a crash on Stage 1 and most riders would probably have quit and gone home. He stuck it out, jumping into breakaways, always falling short, but not this time. His team has been devastated with problems and has gone from the original 9 members to only 4. We loved watching him cross the finish line first.

Joining us for the day were long time friend and patron of Lead Graffiti, Rebecca Johnson Melvin who works in Special Collections at the University of Delaware, and Diana Zatz, professor at the Art Instutute of Philadelphia.

General classification leaders & favorites

Yellow Jersey / Bradley Wiggins of Sky Procycling: 59:32:32

     Christopher Froome: +02:05
     Vincenzo Nibali: +02:23
     Cadel Evans: +03:19
     Jurgen Van Den Broeck: + 04:48
     Luis-Leon Sanchez: +1:15:01 (58th place, moving up from 84th)

Printing details

Signatures: Ray Nichols, Jill Cypher, Tray Nichols, Rebecca Johnson Melvin, and Diane Zatz

Size: 14.75" x 22.5"

Stock: Somerset Textured White 300 gsm

Main typography: 12 line Agency Gothic Outline, 12 line Stymie Bold Condensed, Euro and Caslon Italic in metal.

Production notes: handset wood & metal type. The stage / signature block was preprinted using photopolymer plates.

Press: Vandercook Universal III

Three of today's photos

Lockup: This is the lockup for Sanchez' name and a few arrows to represent the breakaway.


Art: You cannot see it very well, but this is the reminents of drawings showing the position of some type blocks over the previous couple of prints. If you compare to Stage 11 you an see some connection.


Scene: Jill, Rebecca and Diane printing the 3rd of 4 runs onto the composite prints. At this point the paper is starting to get pretty beat up and flattened. The sheets are a lot harder to get positioned in the grippers as you can see from the curl along the top of the sheet.