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          Tour de Lead Graffiti 2011
T H E  P R O J E C T:

the project | clamshell | title page | descriptive page | colopcolophon | postcards | overprint

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

Ray and Jill in Liege, Belgium at the opening day prologue of the 2004 Tour de France

This was a project that has been banging around in our head since the summer of 2004 when Jill and Ray took a 4-day break during the middle of a study abroad trip to London with 24 of Ray's Visual Communications students from the University of Delaware.

Ray was walking from their London flat on Tavistock to the Russell Square Tube station and saw a group of his students in Student Travel Associates making travel reservations for various trips during the upcoming 4-day break in our schedule. Ray decided to ask about his own trip which just happened to be over the opening weekend of the 2004 Tour de France that would start in Liége, Belgium.


We were starting to get heavily interested in letterpress and its history, so the basic idea of the trip was to get to Mainz, Germany (Point A) so we could pay homage at the Gutenberg Museum, get to Antwerp, Belgium (Point B) to visit the Platin-Moretus Museum, and in between watch the Prologue of the Tour de France in Liége, Belgium.

What could possibly go wrong with that? The summary is, "The trip was far better than even our plan." We have plans to write it up and print a small, fine press, limited edition book to record the experience.

The Tour first hand

The photo above shows us standing on the street right against the police barrier at the one kilometer marker from the start / finish line. We could see every racer in both directions along that nice long curve. The news that night said there were 650,000 people along the 6.1 kilometer course.

Tour de Lead Graffiti Stage 3A bit of salt for flavoring

To explain a bit of how we often like to work, we like spontaneous projects where you are planning the piece on the press, often locking up for one color and not always knowing what you are going to be doing for the next color. Ray always gets up every morning of the Tour and watches it live on Versus. Every year. Every day. Every stage. That pretty much explains it.

The Project:
23 posters in 23 days

This will be endurance letterpress.

We will watch each stage of the Tour de France, look for usable moments or incidents or comments, go to lunch (we have a number of guest printers joining in and we want them to contribure to the day's poster), get started on how to represent the stage using wood & metal type, wood or linoleum cuts, and objects related to cycling that are usable for the 14.75" x 22.5" poster.

The Tour de France has 21 stages and 2 rest days that we will interpret. In addition, we'll produce a portfolio title page, a page that will describe what we used from the race for each poster, and a colophon page listing the physical elements of the project, who did what, etc. All who are involved will sign in, just like they do in the Tour de France. We will be printing the posters on Somerset Textured White 300 gsm which we got from Legion Paper where we buy most of our letterpress paper.

To the left is the poster we did for Stage 3 / July 4th which was won by Tyler Farrar, an American, winning his first stage of the Tour de France. He also rides for Garmin - Cervélo, an American team. You can read the whole story about this poster by clicking here.

Kickstarter rewards

We used to generate the intial funding for project stage, offering a variety of rewards valued from $10 to $600.

You can get to our page by clicking here. Below are the rewards we offered.