I recently got asked to do another wedding invitation for two good friends of mine. This time I wanted to approach it differently than the last, but I wasn't sure how. I have been getting a lot of practice in hand-lettering lately, so I wanted to do something for them that would be completely original and customized to the content they gave me. I really felt that the content was so beautifully written that it lent itself to become somewhat of a "mini poster" covered in bronze hand-drawn script. Below is the finished product, and the process to go along with it.
This post is a little late because I was waiting to develop my film before putting anything up. Below is just a sampling of the fruit of the Inaugural National Analog Day. The event began as wishful thinking in a Facebook post about living simpler, at least for one day, and reconnecting (to friends, oneself, nature, etc.) in a way that didn't demand modern forms of digital technology. Eventually, I was encouraged to pick an actual day and set up an event and National Analog Day was born. The event page explained the following initiative: "National Analog Day is about taking a day to get back to older processes, but also to appreciate life with the valuable, tangible, and at times higher quality things that are being lost in the shadow of a digital age." Of course, the question arose, "What exactly is analog, and what does it mean to live that way?" "Can I listen to music?" "Can I drive a car?" I listed ideas for people to try, including writing someone a letter, taking photos with film, and enjoying the great outdoors. It was never meant to become a strict non-digital day, but it was fun to see how much everyone who joined the event were willing to actually try. Someone even listed the plans that she and her friend made in anticipation of the event:
Plans like this and a general sense of enthusiasm really made the event more communal and exciting for me. I began to conjure up my own plans. First, to design and screenprint some postcards to send out to friends or to whoever requested one through the event page. Second, a weekend of camping in Yosemite and photography with my trusty Holga camera.
Below are some of the better shots that I got with my Holga in Yosemite, one of the most beautiful and majestic places I have ever been to. I went with my parents, brother, and cousins. The photos are of our hike to Vernal Falls. I got some really cool light leaks and natural vignettes, reinforcing my love for analog (lomo) photography.
To me, the event was amazing and is something that I would like to make a habit into. Maybe turning off my phone and getting outside to try something different once a month. Overall, 428 people attended the event, representing 11 different countries. I sent out somewhere around 30 postcards and received 3 in return (one of them delivered by hand on the actual day). I snapped 1 roll of film in one of the most beautiful National Parks in the US. And I can't wait to do it again! Here are some other stories from people who participated:
I recently developed these icons for the Intramural Sports program this Fall at Sac State. Yes, I was inspired by Valerie Jar (see earlier blog post). I'm happy with how these came out though. I set out to create a simplified vintage-retro aesthetic, but also a line quality that brought continuity to the set as a whole. By the way, the dodgeball one is modeled after my coworker. I smile and laugh a little every time I look at it.
12 (Twelve) is a dark comedy murder mystery written by Kayla Willett and directed by Eric S. Wood, a personal friend of mine. Eric approached the three of us at Interval Press about the possibility of designing and printing a poster for this original screenplay and we jumped on the opportunity to work on something that is a slight deviation from our usual gig poster project. I actually got to see the play last weekend and it was very entertaining — an engaging plot, memorable characters, and a very talented cast. I only wish it was showing longer so that I could recommend it to more friends. Check the poster below: gold and red ink on French Dur-O-tone Steel Grey paper.
Ah the smell of fresh ink on paper! A few days ago Joel Felix and I ventured to San Francisco Center for the Book to attend an Intro to Letterpress Printing workshop. It was so exciting to get to "know our roots" a little better while getting down and dirty with some real printing. We geeked out as we discovered cases full of some of our favorite typefaces cast in metal blocks — Futura, Garamond, Bodoni, Univers, and much more. We learned the basics of setting type (which took an unexpectedly large amount of time since it is so difficult to handle and has to be set upside down and backwards), as well as how to properly ink & operate a Vandercook cylinder press. The Vandercook is arguably the most popular letterpress machine, and is ideal for printing everything from invitations and stationary to larger for posters and broadsides. SFCB had four of these bad boys! I'd get one myself if it weren't somewhere around $10K to acquire one. Eeek!
I refuse to say that Letterpress is a dying form of printing. As we continue to move more and more into an age of digital printing, alternate printing methods such as letterpress and screenprinting will just gain value because of the unique and tangible characteristics they produce. It is not as efficient or cost effective, but then again, I'm beginning to believe that nothing worth doing is easy. Plus it is always fun to get away from the computer and get my hands a little dirty. Our small project this time was two greeting cards. Of course, we couldn't just settle for a typical phrase, so Joel came up with "You are the cheese to my macaroni" and I followed suit with "You are the butter to my biscuit." Both were set in the beautiful Bodoni Ultra face. We are thinking about selling them as a set.
If you're interested, SFCB offers a variety of classes, including this 3 hour letterpress workshop a few times every semester. Registration was only $40, and once you learn the art, you can become certified to reserve time on the presses during open studio hours. If I lived in the city, I would be there all the time.