Things are happening in the studio! The studio is also my living room and dining room, but I’m not talking eating and watching television. The last couple of weeks I have failed to write my regular Tuesday updates. During that time I’ve been seizing every moment to create content and haven’t had time to write about creating the content. So this update serves bridge the gap.
For reference, here’s the last released work in progress of my UFO poster:
Here is a look at my updated UFO poster for the Love Poem series:
The overall size is 18″ x 24″. The top and bottom margins are a little larger than the side margins. If you compare this to the last version you’ll notice quite a few changes (the color discrepancy is not intentional and has more to do with how the images are saved for the web). The flying saucer has changed proportions slightly and received a few upgrades. The mountains in the background have gone from a simple line drawing to one sketched out in a soft lead pencil and made into halftones for the poster. To add to the hand drawn feel, the frame borders and the beam from the spaceship have received a hand drawn edges with a pen or pencil instead of perfectly straight lines. The yield sign has been distressed a little less uniformly. See the enlarged detail of some of these elements below.
Overall I’m much more pleased with this new version. If there is one thing I like a little better about the previous version it might be the text boxes. They are bigger, easier to read at a distance, and feature much less of my natural handwriting style (which tends to be printed capital letters). So that is something I may consider changing again in the next couple of hours. Also I may add some smaller flying saucers in the background as in the previous version.
And now for something totally new:
If you’ve followed the process posts you may feel that this is completely out of nowhere. You would be part right. One of my very first attempts at putting these words on a poster was strictly text. The thing is I am not a typographer and it wasn’t going very well so it changed focus a few times. Over the last couple weeks I have handwritten this poem dozens of times on custom lined paper, with markers, paint pens, and thin line pens. I’ve typed it on a 1940’s Smith-Corona typewriter. I considered going back to the letterpress route and even got some quotes on it, mostly to learn that my designs were not quite conducive to the letterpress process.
The above is a digital mockup of a 3-color silkscreen print on kraft style paper. As I’m not a typographer I didn’t mess with things like kerning and word spacing, but did monkey with line spacing. To my surprise and delight, it just started coming together. You may have to zoom in to read all of this on a phone or mobile device, but I feel like on an 18″ x 24″ poster in a room you could read the whole thing from several feet away. Below are a couple of 2-color variations, omitting the white ink. It’s essentially the same design on two different papers.
This is real close to finished, but still not without some flaws. Most notable0 is the grammatical error I found. In the line that reads: [Love] Says, “It’s not just quarterly earnings & dollar amounts it’s our customers, employees, and long-term prosperity that counts!”, I’m pretty sure that the last word should be “count” instead of “counts”. One thing counts (as in matters) and many things count (as in matter). Someone correct me if I’m wrong. In that same verse I’m not currently pleased with the alignment of the words “dollar amounts,” but I think I’ve found a solution.
As I was working on this layout and calculating spacing of boxes to ten thousands of an inch, I had to reel myself in and remind myself that this is going to be printed by hand and basically eyeballed on the press. The minor imperfections are what make hand pulled screen prints so neat. Furthermore, even if I don’t find the perfect solution to the alignment of two words, a little wabi sabi goes a long way.
Also, just because this is the version of the poster I’m going with now, doesn’t preclude me from doing some other version (with pictures or hand lettering) in some other process (offset printing or letterpress) in the future.
These works have been in progress for quite a while. I’d considered turning to crowdsourcing for funding at various points and now that my bank account is dangerously low, it’s pretty much been decided that is how the printing of these will be funded. On Monday February 2nd, I intend launch the “Love Poems and Flying Saucers” campaign on Kickstarter. That gives me just two days to complete the following:
- Record a pitch video
- Create a spreadsheet to outline the costs associated with manufacturing and distribution
- Tweak these final designs to show off to a world of potential backers
- Set reward levels, prices, and potential stretch goals
After the campaign goes live I’ll be concerned with getting the word out there about this project and getting people interested in it. I have never been very good at saying, “Here is this awesome thing I made, please buy it!” so I’m really hoping people will take to the concept and help me promote it. In the meantime I have some work to do. If you have any comments or suggestions before Monday, I’d appreciate them sooner rather than later. And if I don’t say it enough, thank you for tuning in here and reading what I have to share. You can keep tabs on the progress through Facebook, Twitter, and most recently on Instagram.
EDIT: The Kickstarter Campaign, Love Poems and UFOs, is live now through February 28!