All the leaves are brown…

After printing the bold headline in yellow on Wednesday, today was the day to print the explanatory body copy on my California Typewriter poster.

I didn’t really want to print this in black, both because I wanted to avoid a honeybee colour scheme, and because I was afraid that the density of the black would detract from the sunshine of the yellow.

How about grey?”, I asked myself.

I don’t have any grey ink, but I do have both black and white.

So I put a dollop of opaque white on the ink disk:

Photo of a dollop of white letterpress ink

And then I added a tiny, tiny, tiny amount of black. So tiny you wouldn’t believe how tiny it was. In this regard I had the helpful Making the color gray forum topic from Briar Press to guide me, especially:

Don’t forget adding your colour to white should be done in tiny amounts slowly building towards what you want. If you go to dark there’s no going back, by adding more white!

The result was a very pleasing, dare I say “smokey” grey:

Photo of mixture of black and white letterpress ink to make grey

Letting the rollers of the press have at it, a couple of minutes later I had a lovely grey ready for printing:

Letterpress ink disc covered in grey ink

The type for the body copy is relatively new foundry type, for both faces, and so there was very little need for makeready; here’s what one of the first prints looked like:

Photo of finished poster, showing grey print

It’s hard to get a sense, from that photo, of how not-intense-black the grey is.

Here are the final posters, drying stacked:

Photo of California Typewriter posters drying

You may have noticed, if you’re paying careful attention, that I’ve organized a screening of the documentary California Typewriter for Sunday, December 9 at 1:30 p.m. at City Cinema. Please spread the word. And watch for the posters around town.


Jeff Macklin's picture
Jeff Macklin on November 2, 2018 - 16:20 Permalink

California Typewriter is an interesting film - i was left wanting more about the little shop - less about celeb typewriter love-ins. Met Martin Howard last year at the Bound, Book Arts Fair at Arts and Letters Club in Toronto. Then, again in the new year - as the film screened at ReFrame.

Oliver Rukavina's picture
Oliver Rukavina on November 2, 2018 - 20:10 Permalink

as the title is "The Mamas & The Papas' California Dreamin'" the previous was "Coldplay's Yellow".