Monday, January 9, 2012

LETTERPRESS(,) the sign.

We decided that the best way to make a sign for Letterpress Shanty was to build our own type and print it ourselves. We designed the front wall of our shanty to be both letterpress and print so that visitors will get their first introduction to our craft as they approach the shanty.

We printed out one-foot-high letters to scale and traced them on masonite. We chose Helvetica as our font. It's a classic and the letters are about as close to proportional as you can get without resorting to monotype.

Sara traces our typeface onto the masonite.

Jeff cuts out our typeface with a jigsaw.

Jeff and Jon Gorilla-glue the letters to blocks, cut uniformly to allow for a 1/2" margin around the letter "R" which has the widest dimensions. Notice that the letters are backwards. Text and images are reversed when transferred to the printing surface.

Jeff and Jon fasten the type to the press bed of our sign.

The lower half of our sign--type and press bed--is complete.

Sara paints the type black, before we ink it, while Jon and Jeff mount the printing surface on a stretcher to lower onto the type for printing.

Sara prepares the ink for our print.

MC, Jon and Sara hand-roll ink onto our type. The stretcher is ready to be flipped over onto the type for printing.

Having lowered the printing surface onto the type, we hand press the plastic with dry rollers onto the inked type.

The moment of thruth! We carefully lift the stretcher from the type and we have our first print!

The team is relieved and excited that this process worked. This is a great print for such large type on plastic.

MC fastens the top portion of our sign to the front wall of our shanty.

We wait to attach the lower portion of our sign until we assemble our shanty on the lake.

And this is where our LETTERPRESS sign now lives, on Medicine Lake. The front wall of our shanty is both letterpress and print.

We look forward to seeing you in print and on the ice, starting this Saturday, January 14.

Follow @shantyquarian on Twitter. Tag your tweets with #shantyQ to get published on an old-fashioned press on the ice.

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