Tour de Lead Graffiti opening / SPACE Gallery / Philadelphia…

Lead Graffiti is pleased to announce the exhibition opening of our Tour de Lead Graffiti poster project at the AIGA / Philadelphia SPACE Gallery this First Friday, June 5th, from 6 - 9pm.

The SPACE Gallery is at 72 North 2nd Street (at Arch), Philadelphia.

Come enjoy splashes of color and typography on the run with a selection of 32 of our posters from the 2011 - 2014 editions of our annual endurance letterpress project. If you are in the area, come by and share in the fun. AIGA will also be hosting a gallery talk by Lead Graffiti on Saturday, June 20th at 3pm.

20% of all sales of Tour de Lead Graffiti posters from our Lead Graffiti website during the exhibition will be donated to the SPACE Gallery for the good deeds that come from it.

Each edition of the Tour de Lead Graffiti (23 posters in 23 days) forms a daily letterpress journal following the events of the annual Tour de France cycling competition. Individual posters are 14.5” x 22.5” and printed on Somerset Textured White 300 gsm. Our 2014 edition has a total of 109 runs (total impressions around 8,700). Ray’s time for the 23 days totaled 376 hours:9 minutes. Vincenzo Nibali, the winner of the Tour de France last year, covered the 3,664 kilometers in 89 hours:59 minutes:06 seconds.

Each of the 26 complete poster sets Lead Graffiti has printed over the past 4 years is housed in its own handmade clamshell box, with specially produced paste paper. The clamshell includes the 23 posters, a title page, descriptive page, colophon, and a composite print, which presents every run from every poster. You don’t see many letterpress posters with 109 impressions.

You can see and link to all of the posters for the 4 years by clicking this link. Clicking on the poster image will advance you to the next stage. There are also links to double-sized images if you want more detail. We often post photos of the day at the bottom of the text. The Tour de France 2015 starts on July 4th and our postings will start on the 5th.

Most days we are accompanied by 1 to 3 collaborators, many of whom have never done letterpress. It’s also worth noting that many of them have also never thought about watching the Tour de France. Four of our collaborators have printed with us for at least one stage each of the past 4 years, including a now 14-year old. Last year Lead Graffiti had collaborators for 19 of the 23 days.

Starting around 5am we scan the previous day’s poster, write up a description of what happened and what we took from the event to create the poster, and post that information to our website. We also include some photos of the day’s printing and lockups, along with some social media, etc. At 8:30 am we start watching the Tour de France live on TV with the day’s collaborators until about noon. We then head off to lunch at The Glass Kitchen as we have done all 92 days of this project for the past 4 years. We always eat pie (might be cake or ice cream) for dessert. We spend lunch talking about cycling, letterpress, what we saw, and how we might translate it through wood & metal type via letterpress. The posters are printed on our automatic Vandercook Universal III.

Some interesting events surrounding our project are an article on TdLG in Sports Illustrated in December 2013, an exhibition of 2011 - 2013 posters at The British Library held last summer, this SPACE Gallery exhibition and an upcoming 2-month exhibition from July through August at the Hamilton Wood Type Museum in Two Rivers, Wisconsin.

Lead Graffiti runs workshops for letterpress and bookmaking and our tally now stands at 985 attendees. We cannot wait to cross that next milestone.

Please accept our apology for cross posting.

Ray Nichols | [email protected] | | Newark, Delaware

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