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          Tour de Lead Graffiti 2014
S T A G E  2 1 :
          Évry > Paris Champs-Élysées / 136 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 9 words:
   "What a long, strange
     journey this has been"

. . .

Start time today: 5:36 am

Completed: 11:07 pm

Time today: 17 hours : 31 minutes

Time to date: 376 hours : 9 minutes

Runs: 3 - warm gray (outline of France and La Course text); handrolled (Le Tour de France in 2 colors); handrolled (edition 101 in 2 colors)

Runs to date: 109

370 > 800 pixel wide enlargement

The day's story

Description: The Tour de France winner is a foregone conclusion and it is a gentleman's agreement that the positioning in the race will stay as it was at the end of the 20th stage unless there is some catastrophic event that would take someone out of the race.

Stage 21 winner: Marcel Kittel

First in the General Classification: Vincenzo Nibali of Astana (89h 59' 06")

Second in the General Classification: Jean-Christophe Péraud of Ag2r - La Mondiale (+07' 37")

Third in the General Classification: Thibaut Pinot of FDJ.FR (+08' 15")

Green Jersey for sprinters: Peter Sagan of Cannondale

Polkadot Jersey for King of the Mountains: Rafal Majka of Tinkoff-Saxo

White Jersey for best young rider under 25: Thibaut Pinot of FDJ.FR

Super Combative: Alessandro De Marchi of Cannondale

Team: Ag2r - La Mondiale

Total distance covered: 3,664 kilometers

Total time: 89h 59' 06"

The poster also reflects the win by Marianne Vos of La Course, a 13-lap, 91 kilometer (57 miles) route around Paris which was run on the Champs-Élysées while the men's stage was still out on the road sipping champagne and coasting toward Paris.

With the two French cyclists on the podium (no Frenchman had been on the podium in the last 17 years and it had been 30 since there were 2) it was nice to see French cycling bring the women't side of the sport to the forefront. Hopefully, it will stay there. Now to get a few of the rules related to the weaker sex updated to this century.

A few thoughts about the poster. When we left the Glass Kitchen we had no idea what the poster would look like. We played around in the studio, picked typefaces that reflected the larger wood type and copperplates we had made for the 2014 edition. We set the names and started to think about it and slowly came up with the idea to make it into the shape of France. Do you have any idea how hard it is to make a long line of type fit into the shape of France that needs to be a size the fits a poster and have it come out pretty right. Actually in this instance, to come out very right.

Our favorite rider of this year's Tour turned out to be the winner of the King of the Mountains Jersey, Rafal Majka of Tinkoff-Saxo, who rode some seriously, fabulous stages in both the Alps and Pyrenees mountains. Rafal only became a member of the Tinkoff-Saxo TdF team about 2 weeks before the Tour's start. So, our hats off to whomever made that decision. And we got his name to fit in right over the Alps. How cool is that?

Thanks to everyone who collaborated, tweeted, retweeted, emailed, followed along, participated in our almost daily competitions including both winners and losers, and anyone else that connected with us. A big thanks to The British Library who exhibited 20 of our posters from the 2012 and 2013 edition at their London main branch and another dozen images from 2011 at their Boston Spa brance to celebrate the Tour de France in England for the opening 3 stages. Thanks to our newfound friends in Middlebury, Vermont who exhibited our 2013 posters at their inaugural gran fondo event.

Thanks to Jill Cypher and Tray Nichols, who worked in partnership with me (Ray Nichols) on this unbelievable project.

And the biggest thanks goes to the 198 riders that started the Tour de France 2014 and the gazillion support staff and the 12,000,000 fans that stood in the heat and rain along the course to make this our favorite sporting event and for making Tour de Lead Graffiti even a possibility.

Buy a poster and support our cause. We would love to speak about the project and letterpress for those of you who might teach or belong to design or typography organizations. We are also always looking for exhibition opportunities.

'Til next year.

Printing details

Signatures: Ray Nichols, Jill Cypher, Tray Nichols, Rachel Strickland, and Kayla Romberger

Size: 14.5" x 22.5"

Stock: Somerset Textured White 300 gsm

Main typography: Neuland 12 line, Jefferson Gothic 12 line, Neuland Inline 48 point, Jefferson Gothic 60

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

Press: Vandercook Universal III

Photos from July 27th

Starting to set the names and categories of the main winners. We also include things like the distance covered and the time it took them.

Once we decided to do the outline of France, Jill drew it the right size for the poster. This is a rare instance when we actually used any kind of sketch, but we weren't going to get this done without it. We took 2 quick shots at it to see if we should put the type on the inside of the line or the outside. This is the first try on the inside. We ended up doing it on the outside as we needed a little more length for all of the type.

Rachel, Jill and Kayla roughing it in. You can see that green tape we've applied to one side of each block of type. It both keeps the type together and allows you to curve it in a direction and helps keep things straight. Worked great. We'll do that a lot more times in the future.

Another shot of it coming together. We started filling in the inside with spacing materials so we could generally lock the whole shape together. We weren't being terribly accurate with the true border of France, but as we would do each segment (look back at Nibali's name at the top of the poster), we would figure out which way the type would generally turn. We would tape the edge that would be the "inside'" of the turn. That kept the type generally in position.

We then used bookboard strips to help along the edges of the type. It is softer than using leading and a lot easier if you needed to bend into a pretty tight curve and had a bit more give. The type would bite into the bookboard quite nicely and help keep things locked together. Then a bit of spacing materials (always starting with quads) to at least keep it pretty much in place.

We could help adjust for using the two different sizes of type with an extra layer of bookboard where necessary. We could adjust the length of overall type quite a bit by adjusting where the type fell (aligning with the side of the previous letter or the bottom of the previous letter) as you made corners. As we got closer to the end we would play with that a lot. We also wanted to do some nice position of certain information such as putting Rafal Majka, winner of the King of the Mountains jersey over the French alps.

A closeup of it very close to finished.

The final lockup. I don't think we've every filled the bed of the press with that much stuff ever. Most of the time we are interested in the most elegant and simple solution, but not this time.

The printing didn't even get started until past 8:30. This shows Ray showing Kayla and Rachel how to do their parts and how to make the workload balance come our as even as possible.

The warm gray for the first run. Jill is going to make a book with all of the drawdowns for all of the colors for all of the posters for all of the stages. You can see the drawdowns on the sheet under the glass. So, it shows that she actually mixed the ink to 4 different tones before she got the one she wanted.

Rachel grabs the sheet at the end of the run as Kayla lines up for the next print.

Oh, yes. Everyone takes photos.

The yellow for the 101.

Jill handrolling the black on Le Tour de France.

Just a nice photo of tightening the quoins.