Art Directors Club of New York

Grandmasters award

THE ADCNY ESTABLISHED this award in 2008 specifically to recognize the teachers and mentors who had inspired their industry's top creative talents. It was also an early and severe opportunity to push our technical letterpress envelope by printing the gilded frames of the photo image that the Art Directors Club had approved to represent the award.

All they wanted was 1 copy each of 5 certificates. As Ray was one of the inaugural honorees, Lead Graffiti was asked if we wanted to print the awards.

"Yes!" 

SO, NOW WE NEEDED to figure out how to do it. London friend, Satwinder Sehmi, was tapped to do the calligraphy. Working with photopolymer plates, we scanned Sehmi's inkwork and printed it via letterpress, along with two other runs for the type along the bottom.

Ray's son, Tray, did the heavy computer work, breaking the color photo image down into four vector-based images (NOT halftoned color separations). We printed each of the 4 plates in various shades of yellow.

The gold just didn't pop enough, so we went back on press and overprinted the two lighter colors with pure yellow to brighten them. It was like turning on the lights.

All told, this was a 9-run job.

The technical letterpress envelope, please

WHEN WE SHOW the Grandmaster piece to anyone who prints via letterpress, we always say, "Feel it." They run their hands across the calligraphy and say, "Nice." We then say, "Now feel the frames." Their eyes open wide and they usually let out a quiet gasp.

It never fails to impress. That's the way every certificate should feel.

This is what the proof print of one of the 4 vector-based plates looked like.

This is what the proof print of one of the 4 vector-based plates looked like.

And here it is in all of its golden glory.

And here it is in all of its golden glory.

A great group of former students shared the awards presentation evening with us.

A great group of former students shared the awards presentation evening with us.