Tour de Lead Graffiti / Stages 18 - 21

Only three more days for you to suffer through our Tour de Lead Graffiti.

This poster from one of the most heroic athletic efforts to ever happen.

Andy Schleck breaking away ALONE across TWO OUT-OF-CATEGORY mountains in the Tour de France.

It is also nice in the studio for yesterday, today, and tomorrow. 99-103-99. No air conditioning for us. We are hanging in there with the Tour de France guys. Of course we don’t have air conditioning so we don’t really have a choice.

Keep looking in for three more days.

Monday we will wrap up the details and we can all go back to what we were doing.

image: poster-tdlg-stage-18-370.jpg


Log in to reply   5 replies so far

Very nice!

The Stage 19 poster was done in the studio on a day when the temperature was 103 and we don’t have air conditioning. We managed to do a poster that was very satisfying in spite of it.

The story of what all of the elements represent is especially interesting in this poster. I think you would enjoy reading it. The ability to make spontaneous changes is one of the things I love about working with wood and metal type and on a project like this has been is very satisfying.

Two more days.

image: poster-tdlg-stage-19-370.jpg


Stage 20: the Individual Time Trial

An individual time trial is a bike race. Go from A to B as fast as you can without teammates to help. So, we made the poster a few As to Bs. There were six of us working on the poster. Ray, Jill and Tray from Newark, Delaware, Virginia from Dallas, Texas, Nina from Indianapolis, Indiana, and Bill from Dover, Delaware. Also stopping in were Lauren and Eric to pick up their wedding invitations they’ve been patiently waiting for which we’ve been ramming into a few minutes here and few minutes there for the last 3 weeks.

One day to go.

Get today’s whole story at

image: poster-tdlg-stage-20-370.jpg


The end.

We printed 23 posters over 23 days paralleling the stages and rest days of the tour de France.

I spent 348 hours and 12 minutes working on the project which works out to a little over 15 hours a day. This does not include any of the preliminary work launching the project on Kickstarter, preprinting the signature block, or anything else prior to 6:00 am on Saturday, July 2.

At 6 am each day I would start scanning the image, piecing it together, combining with the deckle top and bottom, duplicating and resizing 7 copies of the image for various purposes (our blog, online portfolio, store, Facebook, etc.), writing the description of the stage, reading what was happening in the stage on the Tour de France newsflashes around 6:30, watching the live TV feed on Versus starting between 8:00 and 8:30 am and going until about Noon, going to lunch (17 days of which we had at least one guest with us) and talking about the stage, going into the studio, having everyone sign the day’s prints (40), design / compose / print producing the day’s poster using only handset wood & metal type and if the day went long (and most did) we would eat dinner in there somewhere, picking up a copy of the poster and heading home.

We would typically print our 40 clean copies for the day, overprint on another 10 - 20 copies making sure the impression, color, spelling, etc. was right (these will be made to produce postcards), and then print the run on 12 composite prints that has every ‘content’ run on it plus about 12 of the dates / descriptions that go with the signature block for a total number of runs of about 110. Those has been beat to a pulp.

I ask you. How many posters do you have in your collection with more than 100 runs on it?

The most distant guest contributors came from Indianapolis and Dallas and the youngest was 10. The collegiality was great fun. We made some new friends.

We hope this work decorates a lot of nice work or rest spaces. It will ours for a bit.

In the end this may be the most interesting project I’ve ever worked on and it is nice to be able to say that at this point in my life.

A special thanks to, everyone who contributed to the project, everyone that emailed us or commented in Facebook about the project, and to all who came to the studio and worked, sometimes in horrendous heat, to help us have this much fun.

And this year’s race was likely the most exciting one I’ve followed in the past 20 years.

You can read the whole story at

Feel free to comment or to get in touch with us about any element of the project. We are looking for exhibition opportunities with the set. Complete portfolios or individual posters are for sale on our website.

Thanks also to all the readers of Briar Press for putting up with all of this.

Below is the image of poster #23. I’m now going to check this part of the project off my list of things to do. Now to design a nice clamshell to hold the portfolios and produce the pastepaper to wrap them.

image: poster-tdlg-stage-21-370.jpg


Actually one more.

This is one of the prints we were making by overprinting each run. I think the sheet weights about three times as much as a blank sheet.

Not counting the overprinted dates/locations/distances in the lower left (there are about a dozen of those) I believe it is 103 runs. You don’t see that very often with letterpress.

The sheet is completely limp.

image: poster-tdlg-after-21-370.jpg