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          Tour de Lead Graffiti 2014
S T A G E   1 1 :
          Besançon > Oyonnax / 186 km

the project | preliminary | clamshell | title page | descriptions | colophon | postcards | composite

Stage 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | Rest | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | Rest | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21

2011 edition | 2012 edition | 2013 edition | 2015 edition

Available as an individual print
or in the clamshell box edition

In 2 words:
  "First > last"

. . .

Start time today: 4:17 am (couldn't sleep)

Completed: 10:21 pm

Time today: 18 hours : 4 minutes

Time to date: 198 hours : 16 minutes

Runs: 2 - all but the team name handrolled in 8 colors (took about 90 seconds each with three of us rolling); then the team name

Runs to date: 59

370 > 800 pixel wide enlargement

The day's story

Description: What a long strange road this poster was. There were several points during the process that it seemed like the best option was 'just don't do a poster today.' The best laid plans are sometimes pretty idiotic.

Nothing happened. The Yellow Jersey didn't crash out. A breakaway did win but only by a few seconds and it kind of didn't come as a surprise.

We don't want to beat the guy up any more than he has probably already been beat up, but Andrew Talansky, an American, came in dead last, something like 32 minutes behind the leader. We have to put the stage winner on the poster and the only other thing to contribute was Talansky's meltdown. The things we went through doing the poster do not compare to the pain and anguish Talansky must have gone through, riding 20 minutes behind literally everyone else with a photographer on a motorcycle riding beside you. Honestly, it was the only story in town. But we were having our own troubles with the poster and I suspect anyone reading this cannot quite understand that we would put the effort into these posters, day after day, year after year, and truly contemplate that the best thing to do is ' stop and do nothing.' I (this is Ray speaking here), truly contemplated it. Not as an option, but as the only option. Talansky will forever probably remember this day as his worst day ever.

I for one will never want to forget it and will root for him everytime his incredible ability to cycle gets him mixing with the biggies.

We had David Jones, a recent Tyler School of Art graduate and soon-to-be professor at West Chester University, and Bill Roberts, long time good friend and letterpress printer, with us in the studio. We really, really thank them for their patience on this poster.

The poster turned into a kind of game for us. We went through a lot of iterations as to how to tell the story in type. The finished one is maybe the 20th or so. Then came the time to do it. We headed to Home Depot to buy some round things that will make those dots. We've got some nice large dots but we only have two of them. Doing the poster in 16 runs to put 32 dots on it seemed a bit extreme. We think Talansky would have been with us on that decision. Round floor tiles. Those felty things you put under furniture. PVC couplers for your bathroom plumbing. Nails. Thumbtacks. Bottle tops off of rat poison. Cutting a dowel into .918" segments. Drilling holes and doing the whole thing backwards.We walked every aisle and considered every option we saw.

Then can the magnets. Perfect size. Nice and flat with sharp edges. POWERFUL magnets. About $40 later we were back at the studio, applying Xyron to the backs of the magnets. Ray headed home to cut the sheet of 1/2" MDF on his table saw.

These magnets were powerful. You can put one on the top of your hand and another on the bottom and it will hold them together. Stack a few of them together and it will hold through your wrist. We were literally ready to get started when the light bulb came on all of our heads. If these magnets are so powerful and they are glued to a piece of MDF with Xyron what is going to happen to them when that 350 pound steel cylinder rolls across it. Is that Xyron going to hold.

N o W a y !

It is like 5:30 in the afternoon at this point and we are now NOWHERE.

A bit of playing with our 1/2" paper drill and hammering (as with doing it with a hammer because it will literally melt it if you really try to drill it.

To make a 30 minute story into a daylong ordeal, it finally worked.

We thought it was doubly ironic that we were doing all of this work to try and get the poster done in 1 run. In the end it took 2 runs as we forgot that we had to do the team name and it always has to touch the stage winner's name.

One more fun thought about us doing these posters. We are constantly looking for something to tell us the answer. When I taught I talked about trying to find an 'inevitable' solution. How cool is it that the stage winner's name is 'Gallopin.' How nice is the width of the word 'Gallop' set in 12 line Neuland. When you get in the zone, and I mean the real zone, ideas rain down like crazy.

Printing details

Signatures: Ray Nichols, Jill Cypher, Tray Nichols, David Jones, Bill Roberts

Size: 14.5" x 22.5"

Stock: Somerset Textured White 300 gsm

Main typography: Neuland 12 line, Jefferson Gothic 12 line, Euro Bold Condensed 24 point

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

Press: Vandercook Universal III

Photos from July 16th

Jill's color sequence for the dots.

The photopolymer dots glued to the MDF. Quite frankly in the long run we were really suprised they stayed on. But not one problem at all. A couple of them have a slight rough edge, probably from having to hit the hammer twice will cutting them out. We decided to leave them.

This s Jill handrolling Gallopin's name and Bill Roberts doing the bottom 3 rows of dots and Talansky's name. Ray was doing the top three rows of dots, but someone had to take the photo.

There is a mask laying on top of the dots to keep the type separate from the dots and to give us a way to help keep the color segregated on the rows. We thought those instances when the ink got on the MDF that it might print but it never did. In the end, it worked quite well.

The flap to protect the background around the dots is folded over to the right in this photo. It is taped to the furniture so it is easy to flip back and forth.

The lock up of the team name. Kind of a nice elegance to the lockup, isn't it?