We had some crazy weather in Somerville today leading to flash floods around town – Stebs from Paper Fortress got some footage of the scene around the Repeat Press/Fringe building. Thankfully we’re sitting dry at loading dock height 4ft up from the parking lot.
A collaborative effort between minds at Open Bicycle, Fringe, and Chorus Collective, has resulted in the first release from Union Foundry, the Rotafixer. A full description of the tool can be found on the Union Foundry website but to summarize, this is a universal lockring tool for fixed gear bicycles that uses the leverage of the wheel for more torque than a hand tool could provide.
I’m proud to have been a part of the team on this release, creating the design and construction of the packaging and VIP mailers.
Packaging for the Rotafixer consists of a custom converted vellum envelope, with a die-cut chipboard insert to hold the tool. The front of the envelope is left unprinted to reveal the laser-etched surface of the tool, while the back has an impression in white displaying the Union Foundry logo, tool name, and release edition, printed using the Vandercook SP-20.
For the initial release of the tool, Union Foundry sent out VIP mailers to close friends and influential names in the cycling community. The VIP mailer was sent in a standard 6×9 manila envelope, but the contents were carefully designed and constructed for an elegant presentation upon opening. To ensure the proper presentation, a folded sheet of chipboard was used to pull the contents out of the envelope together. This sheet had rounded corners to mimic the packaging insert, and a heavy impression of the Union Foundry logo printed with transparent base using the 10×15 Heidelberg “windmill” platen press. The use of transparent base can provide a nice alternative to a blind impression as it will give a subtle change to the color and finish of the printed area, and this method was used on the bottom flap of the sheet where the name of the tool was again displayed.
Along with the tool, VIPs received a swatch of Penfield flannel to protect the bike frame during use of the tool, and a typewritten note on custom Union Foundry letterhead. The letterhead was printed in simple black ink on Neenah’s 80lb Classic Crest in Classic Natural White.
The Rotafixer is available now exclusively through Open Bicycle in Union Square, Somerville MA.
Love the classic rivalry and had to make a little something for the finals – wood type on 140lb watercolor paper, edition of 33 (natch). 10×15″, printed on the Vandercook SP-20.
Ten bucks on the etsy site – will ship quick so you have it by the end of the series.
Mucho radness going on these days.
THURSDAY 4.29 (TONIGHT) the Distillery Gallery will be hosting the opening reception for the Studio 11 Retrospective show. Studio 11 is the former home of Repeat Press, as well as dozens of other artists over the past few decades. The show will feature works from all former tennants who could be tracked down, as well as a special display of relics from the history of the space. The show will run through may but everybody knows the real fun is at the opening so get over there tonight, 6-9pm.
FRIDAY 4.30 you can relax a bit and head over to Harvard for the current showing in the “Food at 24 Frames Per Second” series – All In This Tea, a documentary following “a tea-obsessed American to the lush Chinese countryside, where he battles bureaucracy and economics to spark an interest in organic tea.”
I’ve been assured that this is a great film and tea will be provided.
SATURDAY & SUNDAY 5.1-5.2 the annual Somerville Open Studios will be happening city-wide, and we wouldn’t be left out of that. Fringe will have its doors open to the public to come check out whatever it is that we do around here, and Autumn Ahn will be painting a mural on the wall next to the studio, live throughout the weekend.
In the Repeat Press shop I’ll have the presses running demos throughout both days, and a blowout sale on old posters – stop in and pick up some prints cheap!
FRIDAY 5.7 this might be a hike for folks in the Boston area but well worth the trip. Friends Fish McGill and Evoker are teaming up for a show at the coolest surf gallery around, Portland’s Corduroy. This flyer gets an early nomination for best flyer of 2010.
Spring has sprung! Get out there and have some fun!
I was approached by the Nave Gallery to create a poster for the concert series accompanying their upcoming art show, “The Beast In Me” – art inspired by the work of Johnny Cash. Jenn from the Nave worked tirelessly to coordinate a 4-city tribute series of bands playing Cash songs, all in benefit for prison literacy progams.
These posters will be available at all four concerts, as well as through the Nave Gallery. A portion of proceeds will go to the same prison book programs affiliated with the concert series.
I’ll be manning the sales table at each show so be sure to stop by and say hello if you’re able to make it out!
8 April 2010, RISD Auditorium, Providence, RI
9 April 2010, The Elevens, Northampton, MA
10 April 2010, P.A.’s Lounge, Somerville, MA
28 April 2010, Space Gallery, Portland, ME
full schedule here.
I took some pictures as I worked on the poster and put together a process post – unfortunately they’re just off the iphone so quality isn’t amazing but it should give you some idea of what goes on behind the scenes – enjoy!
Started things off with a loose sketch at full size – I had just picked up some linoleum and was eager to put it to use as I hadn’t carved anything by hand in years, so I decided that the main element would be curved text cut from linoleum.
Then started working out the main text onto the linoleum block. You can see in the picture that I almost forgot to lay things out backwards. Total pro.
Text drawn out (backwards!) with some wood type for reference:
Starting to carve into the linoleum. I purchase it in large sheets that get cut down and mounted to wood for printing. You can also see an outline of an ornamental shape I was considering drawn out there that I decided not to use in the final design.
All negative area carved away, trimmed down and ready to mount.
Putting the linoleum aside for a minute, I began work on the background. One of the things that struck me when discussing the concert series with Jenn from the Nave Gallery was the fact that since all of the bands would be playing songs by the same person, there had to be coordination between the bands as to who would be covering which songs. Thankfully there was about 50 years worth of material to choose from. I chose to create the background of the poster from layers of text, spelling out some of Cash’s numerous song titles throughout the years.
This picture shows one layer roughly laid out on one of the oversized galleys that I use for poster layout.
And the second layer:
To print the background, I started with a solid block of linoleum to frame out the piece. Coverage on this layer was fairly light as the addition of the text layers will add up to a nice texture with a good amount of depth.
The first layer of background text in a slightly darker red than the original layer:
I forgot to grab a picture of just the layered text, but it is still quite visible in this picture, which includes the addition of a white star, hand carved from wood during a previous project.
You can probably guess where the color scheme is going – red, white, and…blue ink on the linocut locked up in the bed of the Vandercook SP-20.
Five layers of ink at this point!
For ease of setup I printed the linoleum block and the informational text in two separate passes – here’s the lockup for all the info at the bottom of the poster. 4 venues + over 20 bands = a lot of lead.
And of course, the final product!
Good friends over at the SDC designed these cards as part of their initial self-promo package. The cards feature a blind impression alongside custom PMS629 and PMS534 ink matches. Printed on Crane’s 220lb pearl white Lettra paper, they’ve got some weight to them.
These cards were showcased on FPO with a nice writeup – have a look here!