Hamilton Wood Type Museum Exhibition / July - August 2015

A selection of our Tour de Lead Graffiti 2011 - 2014 broadsides was the inaugural exhibition in the new gallery space at the Hamilton Wood Type Museum in Two Rivers, Wisconsin. We watch the daily broadcast of the Tour de France and then translate those events into a broadside designed and printed the same day. Using handset wood & metal type & other objects, we print the old fashioned way via letterpress to create 23 broadsides in 23 days. We call it “endurance letterpress.”

We were very pleased and excited to display such a large quantity of our project and we thank museum director Jim Moran, for offering this honor to Lead Graffiti.

The new gallery has a 50′ wall which is perfect for hanging 42 broadsides very close together. You’ll see below that the exhibit looks kind of like a high-speed peloton on a long, flat stage across central France. The Museum, adding a special touch to the display, included a nice 40-year-old racing bike to hang with the work.

Jill and I traveled to the Hamilton Wood Type Museum 10 years ago or so. They’ve since moved into a new space which we hope to get out and see. The museum represents a major component in the history of printing & typography and it is great that there is some serious effort at preserving it.

For this show, we built a new set of frames designed specifically to hold the tour posters, and painted them awarm grey. The 14.5″ x 22.5″ posters are printed on Somerset Textured White 300 gsm paper, which is lush and sexy. The frame shown below is the wooden version which we have hanging in our studio. The frame slightly curves the poster which helps keep it locked in and also creates a slight angle change which helps show the impression we get from letterpress. The posters are works on paper, and we like them to feel like it.

All of the work (except for the date / stage / signature block in the lower left corner) is printed from handset wood and metal type. Many of the runs (Majka wink wink! above) are handrolled directly on the type to produce a more painterly quality.

Here are some photos from the exhibition taken by Lead Graffiti friend, photographer and letterpress lover, Lauren Rutten. Special thanks to Lauren for letting us share her photos.


Lauren Rutten with the opening panel of the exhibition.


A grouping of some of our favorite colorful posters from 2014. The labels explain how the events in the stage helped form the visuals for each poster.


Another group of favorite broadsides from 2013.


Yep, that’s the way Ray Nichols would suggest hanging the broadsides—a long line running at high speed. It looks like the museum did a great job of getting them straight, drafting one another just like the peloton headed across central France.


Another gallery view from a little less acute angle.


A closer look at the opening panel with our Lead Graffiti logo.