Moments Carved in Paper: Zero: the prospectus
A series of semi-autobiographic stories
This was our first draft of the text for our prospectus for our Moments Carved in Paper book series. It will likely change a bit for it is finally settled.
We are also still working on the cost of the books which we intend to sell in subscription form in sets of 10. Individual books may also be available. The books will be offered in the basic form and also in a deluxe, clamshell box edition.
We: Lead Graffiti.
Stories. Everyone has ’em. Short, striking tales. Moments, indelible impressions. Perhaps something teaching.
We love stories and we love to print via letterpress.
We want to take our special stories and carve them in paper to produce a series of small, fine press books.
Welcome to MOMENTS CARVED IN PAPER.
Lead Graffiti are designers who print via letterpress. We push type into paper. Letterpress creates sparkle around the edge of type with the light casting a shadow along one side of the letter while creating a highlight on the other. Highlights & shadows creep around an “o” but slide down an “l.” Highlights & shadows bring words to life on the page.
This prequel, entitled and numbered Zero, presents the general structure and feel of the series. We’ve printed 200 unnumbered copies to send to major libraries and others who have shown an interest in Lead Graffiti’s work.
The chief story-teller at Lead Graffiti is Ray.
Teaching for more than three decades, Ray often told his students, “You can judge the quality of your life by the quality of the stories you have to tell.” Through the medium of letterpress the time has come to tell Ray’s stories.
MOMENTS CARVED IN PAPER and most specifically this book, owes at least a bit of its life to Ray’s favorite book about the creative problem-solving process: The Universal Traveler: a soft-systems guide to creativity, problem-solving and the process of reaching goals by Don Koberg and Jim Bagnall. The book outlines 7 creative stages: acceptance, analysis, definition, ideation, idea selection, implementation, and evaluation.
Acceptance—the simple act of just getting started and one of the hardest stages—offers fifteen methods to kick-start the creative process. Number 12 is the “Declaration of Acceptance.”
It took great courage for the signers of the Declaration of Independence to put their names on a document which subverted their existing government. But their signatures attest to their full acceptance of backing up their beliefs. Perhaps such a document could help you to accept the responsibility of your problem situation.
MOMENTS CARVED IN PAPER: Zero is our Declaration of Acceptance.
Declaration: The Carving
We want to write, design and print compelling stories about special moments in time.
We will to make an edition of each story in the series in a flutter book format, with a full dust jacket. We will set some aside as an additional set housed in a clamshell, always with something extra that drops out of each story.
MOMENTS CARVED IN PAPER are for collectors and collections, individuals and libraries. In an academic library, the series will make a great show-and-tell for design, writing and history classes.
The form of the books in this series will be much like the one you are holding—a 5” x 9” flutter book. In letterpress, impressing the type on one side of the page un-impresses the type on the reverse. The flutter book construction is an intelligent way to avoid printing on both sides of the sheet, allowing for the visual tone we are looking for.
We plan to print on one of our favorite papers, Somerset Textured White 300 gsm, thick and sexy and with a surface that begs to be carved, though some stories my invite a different surface. With an eye on experimentation, we look for connections between story and typography, printing techniques, colors, and other elements of the moment.
Consider the cover of this book: we often hand-roll our wood type prior to printing. This is a slower process, and we love the painterly quality that offers clues to what we are thinking & feeling—the way music adds mood to a movie scene. On the title page, we like implying ZERO without showing it. On the cover the colors are dark with the red arrows emphasizing forward motion.
We plan to release stories roughly monthly, at the rate of about 10 a year (with a summer working vacation during July & August so we can undertake our annual Tour de Lead Graffiti project during July & August).
Stories: The Moments
Currently we have ideas for about 70 stories that come from everywhere–teaching, printing, student study abroad trips to London, people we’ve met, family. Fairly short, almost always autobiographical. MOMENTS CARVED IN PAPER will use design, letterpress, texture, image, and typography to impress memorable stories.
Ray treasures “moments,” whether crystallizations formed in flashes or impressions consolidated over time. Some stories of moments are connected by bridges of time, turning them into a journey of stepping stories, like stones to get you across a shallow river.
Ray is intrigued with the idea of coincidence. He doesn’t truly believe that there is an actual force floating around the universe pulling odd incidents together, but it often seems so. When moments do converge, we want some of these books to be the glue that keeps those connected.
Some stories are about how we came to know a story, as when and how our friend Meagan told us how her name came to be pronounced. We loved the New York City day we met her, her story and this book gives us the chance to play with a new diacritical mark in print. She’ll write the story and we will provide the foreword. We’ll have as much fun writing the preface, putting the story into its context, as printing Meagan’s story itself.
Some stories connect to family. Book 2 in the series introduces Ray’s parents and a favorite moments with each of them. We hope this reminds readers to record their own favorite moments before too much time passes.
Some stories will come from Ray’s crossing paths in 30 years of teaching and traveling with some seriously creative people—from Helmut Krone and his reject drawer to George Lois with a handful of beard. There will be great student stories from Karl & Brandon's DEViCes to a 9' invitation to our year-end show. And some odd books of moments like Ray’s top ten shopping moments. He doesn’t mean buying a new pair of jeans, but a story that goes from buying a piece of early cuneiform handwriting, to finding a dozen 1758 silver half-shillings for a project, to finding the Spencerian script that landed in Lead Graffiti’s logo.
Stories, the MOMENTS CARVED IN PAPER, abound.