I don’t have a clue what that red machine/gear is, but that’s what makes it interesting. Like the concentric circles (both on the same block) surrounding it, the machine/gear was printed from a vintage advertising cut. The type is handset 18 point Park Avenue, from the American Type Founders. The sheet size is 5 x 7 inches; the paper is Mohawk Superfine, Smooth, White, 100lb. cover.
Guess this is backtracking a little, but I just realized I wrote this post but never published it.
Easy Assembly No Tools Required
This is the first print I completed for the show and it set the tone (and color palette) for the rest of pieces. The type is 18 point ATF Garamond Italic, the image a vintage advertising cut (see Pattern Recognition), and the star 18 point Monotype. Printed on 5 x 7 inch Mohawk Superfine, Smooth, White, 100lb. cover.
The exclamation “Improved!” was set in 24 point Kaufmann, with brass rules above and below. As you can see in the next image, I used furniture from an angle-bodied wood type script font to slightly rotate the line.
Halftone images are difficult to print well, but after adjusting the rollers and impression, and adding makeready under the toe and heel, the image turned out pretty crisp. This block was one of a handful rescued from a box destined for the dumpster. Tumbling around in a box full of metal-faced cuts did some damage to the plate, most evident under the Keds badge and around the heel stitching. There’s also a significant scratch running diagonally from midfoot through the second eyelet.
Vintage Cut: Atom
Fourteen fantastic hours in the studio today proofing type and cuts. This one’s a new addition, thanks to Ethan Ensign of Scrub Oak Bindery and Press.
Vintage Advertising Cut: Dress Pattern(?)
I rescued this cut from a sizable dumpster-bound box of mostly uninteresting logos for long-defunct businesses. I love that whoever art directed this illustration deemed it necessary to show a single hand, but left the image headless.
6.5 line Vintage Clown Cut
Found this little (just slightly bigger than an inch) gem of a magnesium cut at the studio this evening. What is it about garishly painted disembodied heads that makes them seem so sinister? My money’s on the wee cap perched precariously above the menacingly arched eyebrows.
Elephant copper cut
This cut was found five or six years ago at Dave Churchman’s “Boutique De Junque,” in Indianapolis. The color of the metal plate (mounted to a wood block to make it type high) leads me to believe it is a copper die. According to Owosso Graphic Arts, Inc.’s website, copper is more durable and preferable for long print runs, which means this thick-skinned mammal is going to be around for a long time. I used this cut – along with three wood stars and a greeting handset in foundry Century Schoolbook – for a short run of A2 cards (see below) that proved popular… I’m thinking it’s time to reprint.
15 x 17 line magnesium cut
Feel that? That’s Letterpress Daily upside your head! This wild, haymaker-of-a-cut is just begging to be paired with some Balloon Extra Bold.
This beaming lad was acquired – like so much of my collection – from the warehouse of Dave Churchman, in Indianapolis. As to the origins (before Churchman’s) of this blissfully ignorant orphan, I haven’t a clue. If anyone out there recognizes this toothy little tyke, please pipe up. The block is comprised of a photoengraved magnesium plate mounted atop a block of wood to make it 0.918 inches high (type high) so it may be printed on a letterpress.