Tour de Lead Graffiti 2013
S T A G E 2 1 :
Versailles > Paris Champs-Élysées / 118 km
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A predictable day
. . .
Start time today : 6:07 am
Completed : 10:28 pm
Time today : 16 hours 21 minutes
Time to date: 347 hours 59 minutes
Printing sequence : 7 runs - 4 runs of silver to create the circular element (printed from plastic checkers), handrolled Froome / Sky, Arc de Triomphe, and names / titles of the other awards.
Runs to date : 102
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The day's story
The final day looping the Champs-Élysées went pretty much as planned except that the stage winner was Marcel Kittel, his fourth of this year's Tour. We suspect (and hope) Omega Pharma got up the next morning to start to figure out how to put together a better lead-out team for Mark Cavendish. He's got the legs, but with more and more sprinters crowding in at the finish, he still needs that certain crack-the-whip oomph from his team to clinch the win.
The 100th Edition Tour finish in Paris was conducted at twilight, also known as a nocturne ride. The French pulled off some amazing computer graphics on the face of the Arc de Triomphe during the closing ceremonies. They also closed off the Arc's traffic circle to 12 intersecting-roads-worth of traffic for the exclusive use of the Tour's racing riders this year (you might notice our matching 12 notable facts whirling around the Arc on our poster). While the 2013 Tour seemed to lack a few over-the-top spectacular moments when compared to the past, some interesting things did happen.
After watching Chris Froome lead Bradley Wiggins to the Tour win last year and a second place finish for himself, it was hard not to imagine that he could win it himself. So, he proved that in a definite way this year.
The most exciting new rider, Nairo Quintana from Columbia, came in second while also winning the King-of-the-Mountains Polka Dot Jersey and the Best-Young-Rider White Jersey. We are in for more than a few exciting years of seeing him on the mountain stages.
Third was Rui Rodriguez, who had a great 20th stage win to capture 3rd place.
Peter Sagan of Cannondale easily won the sprinter's Green Jersey. While earning only one stage win, he dominated 2nd place in four other stages and was a major player in most of the intermediate sprints to capture a commanding lead.
Saxo-Tinkoff won the team title, which provided a little consolation to Alberto Contador who had maintained the 2nd podium position right up until the end.
The focus of the layout was the 12 radiating streets at the Arc de Triomphe, which the riders circled about 10 times during the final part of the stage.
On our poster, be sure to look at the enlargement and take note of Amos' handset wood and metal rendition of the Arc de Triomphe, which we thought was pretty spot on. Our metallic silver circular sparklers, created from a set of plastic checkers, represent the spinning bike wheels in the City of Lights around the Arc's traffic circle. This end-of-the-Tour poster, and especially the final run, ended up being quite ambitious. Thanks to Ann's design energy, that final lockup is one of our more complex, difficult and interesting ones. We also gave a final handrolled salute to Froome and Sky on the Champs-Élysées as they took their last bow for the 2013 Tour.
So, after 3,404 kilometers, there you have it. We had great fun, produced another 23 posters, bringing our total Tour de Lead Graffiti portfolio to 69 posters, met some new friends, and learned some new ideas for letterpress. Immediately afterwards we got an email from the British Library who wanted the clamshell version (they already have the first two). There is even talk about an exhibition of the posters to be held at the British Library. How cool would that be, because the Tour de France 2014 will start in England!
Maybe we will see you next year.
. . .
We would love to know which 5 posters you like the best. Email Ray with the dates of your five favoites. You just have to tell us the day of the month number. No need to rank them any more than just which ones are in your top five. We would appreciate knowing.
Signatures: Ray Nichols, Jill Cypher, Tray Nichols, Ann Lemon, and Amos Burkhart
Size: 14.5" x 22.5"
Stock: Somerset Textured White 300 gsm
Main typography: Bernhard Gothic Medium & Impact(wood), Thinline & Euro (metal)
Production notes: handset wood & metal type, plus plastic checkers. The stage / signature block / profile was preprinted using photopolymer plates.
Press: Vandercook Universal III
We bought the checkers at our local Cracker Barrel. We are always looking for things that we can print from and saw these large ones about two weeks ago. Our letterpress friend, Megan Zettlemoyer (see Stage 1), designed and printed a broadside series using standard checkers, so we borrowed the idea. Happily for us, if you took a 1/2" piece of MDF board and nailed the checkers to it, you had the perfect type-high printing surface. Simple as that. We used our lead saw to trim away the edge on the center one so it wouldn't print. That lone checker is nailed over to one side so we could use the tapes on our Vandercook Universal III. The other two checkers needed to make that line had already been printed at this point, and we ended up shifting and printing the checkers in silver a total of 4 times.
Amos printing one of the four checker runs we did to add a sense of motion to the poster image.
Printing onto the composite, which by this time has really been beaten to a pulp (literally). Amos is being seriously careful as the ink really sits on top and he has to work around the wet areas with his fingers.
At this point we had already handrolled & printed "Froome:Sky." We did a complete run inking from the press to be sure we got a great image of Amos' metal type illustration of the Arc de Triomphe, which was quite wonderful. Be sure to look at the enlarged version of the image for detail.
This is the Arc de Triomphe lockup with Amos' handset wood and metal composition.
Ann composing from our collection of Euro, which was a favorite metal type we used this year.
A more expanded view of the composing. We needed 12 statements to coincide with the 12 streets that converge at the Arc de Triomphe.
A close up of the type using radically different sizes and weights of Thinline and Euro. We weren't quite sure how we would go about actually locking up this very complicated grouping.
That great big red plastic checker in the middle ended up being the perfect hub for our typographic mash up.
This is the final lockup for Tour de Lead Graffiti 2013. We were beat, but this is a project that is more fun than you can imagine.