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          Tour de Lead Graffiti 2015
R E S T   D A Y   #   1 :

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

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

2011 edition | 2012 edition | 2013 edition | 2014 edition

2011 - 2015 posters grouped by topic


Available as an individual print
or in our clamshell box edition

In 6 words :
  "The Tour at
  a snail's pace"

. . .

Start time today : 5:05 am

Completed : 10:13 pm

Time today : 17 hours : 8 minutes

Time to date : 168 hours : 56 minutes

Runs today: 3 - silver chain, light green "rest day 1", rainbow run Zs in 6 colors

Runs to date : 41

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The day's story

Each Tour de France schedules 2 rest days. Typically they are on a Monday except in the instance when one of them occurred on July 14, Bastille Day, and then the rest day shifts to Tuesday. They would never want to interfere with the opportunity for a French rider to win on Bastille Day. We will be rooting for a Frenchman to win today.

Today was Rest Day #1.

We don't have 4 hours of TV to watch so we can catch up on some things that haven't been done. We always print from a bike chain on the first rest day (2011, 2012, 2013, 2014). We liked the poster we did in 2011 and decided to make it a rule that we would always use a bike chain on the 1st rest day. We've also used it on some of the 2nd rest days also.

Diane & Belinda are collaborating today. Both of them are involved in AIGA / Philadelphia and were involved with our exhibition in their gallery. We wanted today's poster to be something special.

Trying to figure out how to use a bike chain in a way that differs from the other 6 or so times we've used it is becoming a bit harder. Bouncing around in my head was the image of bike chain spiraling into a big shape. To do it took 4 bike chains linked together. The rest day offers a few minutes to run to the local bike store to buy them. A sign in the store invited people to come there and watch the Tour. I asked them if they might like to do an exhibition of our posters. They said, "Bring them by and let us look at them." Hmmmm.

So, a spiral it was. It always seems like the letterpress gods will get involved when you are going hard, thinking clear, and executing well. To make this point, we started the chain from the OUTSIDE and spiraled toward the inside. That small area in the center is where the 4th chain ended. You might get one more link before the center is too small to really try to maintain the circle. Also, that is the circular element we wanted in each poster this year.

We used a hot glue gun to adhere the chain to a piece of 1/2" MDF. It needed some extra packing to get it up to the 0.918" height needed for printing.

It ended up looking like a giant snail—perfect for a "slow" rest day.

The type for "Rest Day 1" was pretty straight forward and Jill mixed a nice, relaxing color for it.

Then for the fireworks. After doing the split fountain rainbow run on the Stage 4 poster, we wanted to give it another try. So we took the extra time the rest day offered us to do it in a very controlled way.

The "ZZZZZZ." offered a nice abstract bit of type. It was about 24 picas wide, so Jill mixed up 6 colors, each to be spread 4 picas wide on the rollers. We disengaged the yoke as we had done on the previous attempt and it simply worked great. There was a bit of spread, but even with the most careful application of the ink to the roller, it was tricky to get the same amount of ink in each small area, which needed only 2 applications during the entire run. Honestly, it worked about the best I could imagine.

See the photos below for some idea of how we did the spiral and applied the color.

As an aside, it is clear that we are doing fewer runs per poster, but the runs themselves are getting much more complicated.

Printing details

Signatures : Ray Nichols, Jill Cypher, Tray Nichols, Diane Zatz, Belinda Haites

Size : 14.5" x 22.5"

Stock : Somerset Textured White 300 gsm

Main typography : wood - Velo Black 12 line (House Industries) and Rubens; metal - Garamond

Production notes : handset wood & metal type. The stage details and signature block were preprinted using Boxcar photopolymer plates.

Press : Vandercook Universal III

Images from Stage

Above: Just after starting hot gluing the chain.

Above: We added hot glue about 4" at a time and then by eye pushed the chain into it.

Above: Much of the time I would use one of the smaller embroidery hoops to help keep my fingers out the hot glue. Both Belinda and I lost a bit of skin to the glue.

Above: This is the whole spiral glued to the MDF board and locked into place.

Above: A close-up of the hot glue.

Above: Inking the press with silver. Because the silver is oil-based ink, immediately after we get it we transfer it from the can to tubes. I've just squirted it out of the tube on the large roller.

Above: Belinda catching one of the prints from the 1st roll.

Above: Ink for "Rest Day 1."

Above: Belinda working on the lockup of "Rest Day 1."

Above: Jill's drawdowns from working on the rainbow run colors.

Above: Belinda looking like she was having a good time.

Above: We printed the spiral onto a sheet of tracing paper which we set on the press bed. Then we could position the type for the next two runs right on top of it. Worked great.

Above: The lockup of the Zs. You can see the proof underneath.

Above: Me measuring the placement of the colors on the roller.

Above: Belinda photographing Jill's drawdowns in position.

Above: This is the way the inks looked on the roller. The width of the interior colors is 4 picas. We made the outside ones a bit wider to make sure the whole type block got covered.

Above: Our ink knives with the same amount of ink on each. We had to ink twice with this much ink to get the first good print. It was an incredibly small amount of each color required.

Above: This is what the ink looks like after it is rolling. It divides into those thin stripes which shows on the print. I would push the roller back and forth about 1/8" 3 times and everything would smooth out. I would do that after each 3 prints. We were prying the oscillating roller with a piece of wood furniture.

I'm sorry I didn't take a photo of the ink when it had been smoothed out.

Above: The printed Zs which were about 4" wide with the 6 colors spread over it. There is the slightest roughness to the edge of that middle purple Z as you can see in the photo above it that the ink looks a bit heavier on the left. It would leave the edge of the type (36 point) ever so slightly rougher.

It is worth pointing out that an advantage we have at Lead Graffiti, is that when we have personal project such as Tour de Lead Graffiti we can have multiple people working on the print at the same time. In this instance there were three of us.

Also worth noting that this is on a Vandercook Universal III. You could do all of this with one person.

1) Have the press running

2) Move the oscillating roller back and forth a small (1/8" is what we were doing).

3) Immediately disengage the rollers.

4) Get your paper ready to print.

5) Engage the inking rollers and print as quickly as possible.

6) As soon as the print happens disengage the rollers again. You should get 2 - 4 good prints before going back through the process with the oscillating roller.