Michael Denker Memorial Keepsake

Lead Graffiti was involved in a project for the APHA Chesapeake Chapter to help memorialize the life of Mike Denker who recently passed away. Mike had been a critical part of the success of the Chapter, and a group of us wanted to do something for his family and ourselves.

Chris Manson did a nice woodcut portrait of Mike. A group including Greg Robison, Stan Nelson, and Donald Farren wrote the piece. Lead Graffiti was asked to contribute the binding. Roland Hoover handset the text in metal type.

Mike, a letterpress printer at heart who had collected wood type since he was 13, owned a construction company and we want to connect all of those elements in the piece. We took book cloth and wadded it up and ran it over a belt sander to roughen up and provide some texture for the surface. We printed an A-Z alphabet with each letter in a different wood typeface, printed mainly in hand-rolled black with some white included to add a bit of texture. Mike’s name was tipped into a debossed rectangle. Each of the three inside pages was wrapped around book board, and then those boards were glued to the hard cover trifold piece.

It turned out splendidly, and the week we spent working on it was nice because it kept a good friend’s life right at the front of our minds.