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A typographic letterpress celebration of the 150th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address. Limited editions of 150 copies.
A typographic letterpress celebration of the 150th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address. Limited editions of 150 copies.
493 backers pledged $24,711 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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UPDATE: Two limited edition print options added with black ink and metallic silver ink on Lettra Ecru stock.

UPDATE: To help show the appearance/contrast of the metallic silver ink on the Lettra Pearl and Lettra Ecru stocks, I pulled two proofs and have included pictures below.

Lettra Pearl and Lettra Ecru color references with metallic silver ink
Lettra Pearl and Lettra Ecru color references with metallic silver ink

Best to all Kickstarters! My name is Craig. I'm a designer who is passionate about words. In the case of this project - the words of the Gettysburg Address.

The words Lincoln spoke in November of 1863 hold as much significance today as they did 150 years ago. They should never be too distant or out of sight.

"...dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal."

"...we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain."

"The world will little note nor long remember what we say here..."

It's that last statement that I'd like to address (no pun intended) with this project. I'd like to craft tangible pieces printed via letterpress that help to spread Lincoln's words in 2013.

I was fortunate to acquire my first letterpress equipment four years ago from a retired printer in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. What began as an unanticipated purchase has grown into a print shop with several presses and hundreds of cases of metal and wood type.

The print shop has functioned primarily as a weekend workshop space for students and friends. I'd like to try to extend its reach a bit farther with this Kickstarter project.

The History

I live and work in a historically rich region of the United States. This past summer I was asked by a local writer to identify five design-minded things/places in central Pennsylvania that go unnoticed by most people. After several days of careful consideration I reacted with a list of five cemeteries, one of which was the Gettysburg National Cemetery; I have authored two blog posts about the topic on the RockPaperInk design blog:

http://www.rockpaperink.com/content/column.php?id=599

http://www.rockpaperink.com/content/column.php?id=670

My recent fascination with the design of memorials and cemeteries has rapidly grown into a heightened awareness of just how little attention we pay to the lessons of our shared history.

The Gettysburg Address in Lincoln's Handwriting (Library of Congress public domain image)
The Gettysburg Address in Lincoln's Handwriting (Library of Congress public domain image)

I'd like to revisit the slower, hand-crafted letterpress printing techniques of the Civil War era. I desire to print pieces that will not only help to breathe life into the presses in the print shop but will also help spread the meaningful messages of the Gettysburg Address well past its 150th anniversary.

The Inspiration

I have visited the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. and have made several trips in recent months to Gettysburg. My desk and messenger bag overflow with research. There are three core elements that sparked inspiration for this project:

1) Lincoln's promising and powerful statements within the Gettysburg Address;

2) Visits to historic sites in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania;

3) The hand-carved typography of the full Gettysburg Address sculpted by Evelyn Beatrice Longman on the south wall of the Lincoln Memorial.

Gettysburg Address on the South Wall of the Lincoln Memorial (Library of Congress public domain image)
Gettysburg Address on the South Wall of the Lincoln Memorial (Library of Congress public domain image)

The Prints

The finished typographic composition of the entire Gettysburg Address will be printed by hand on a vintage Vandercook cylinder press. There will be two color options for the 12"x18" artwork: 

1) Black Ink on Crane Lettra Pearl or Lettra Ecru paper stock;

2) Metallic Silver Ink on Crane Lettra Pearl or Lettra Ecru paper stock

Black and Metallic Silver on Lettra Pearl
Black and Metallic Silver on Lettra Pearl
Black and Metallic Silver Ink on Lettra Ecru
Black and Metallic Silver Ink on Lettra Ecru

The font used will be Goudy Trajan Pro which is based on drawings from Frederic W. Goudy, one of the most prolific American type designers. The forms of the characters align well with the hand-carved inscription on the south wall of the Lincoln Memorial. However, its similarity in form to the inscription type is not the only reason I've chosen this font. There is serendipity in the fact that Lincoln, Illinois is the geographic midpoint between Springfield, IL (home of the Lincoln Presidential Library) and Bloomington, IL (birthplace of type designer Frederic W. Goudy).

To work close to the printing processes of the 1800s I am planning to print the completed art with a copper plate.

The Notebooks

Handset metal type will be used to imprint key phrases from the Gettysburg Address on Moleskine® Cahier notebooks. Printed by hand on a vintage Chandler & Price platen press.

Metallic Silver Ink will be used on three notebook colors: Black, Civil War Blue, and Civil War Gray - make sure to pay close attention to the color options if you select notebooks as your reward.

Moleskine Cahier Notebooks in Three Colors
Moleskine Cahier Notebooks in Three Colors
24 pt Spartan Heavy Italic metal type
24 pt Spartan Heavy Italic metal type
30 pt Century Gothic Bold metal type
30 pt Century Gothic Bold metal type

The Rewards

All of the rewards are being printed as limited editions of 150 pieces to correspond with the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address.

Early Bird options are available.

Your order will be packed carefully. Shipping costs included for rewards that ship to U.S. addresses.

The Thanks

Gratitude to everyone who considers supporting this effort. This project has already helped me find much greater appreciation for the sacrifices and selflessness of all who have served our country.

Risks and challenges

Barring equipment malfunction or damage, I feel confident all the pieces will be able to ship in December.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    One BLACK Moleskine Cahier custom-imprinted notebook (3.5"x5.5" w/blank pages) with handset 24 pt. Spartan Heavy Italic metal type with "ALL MEN ARE CREATED EQUAL" in metallic silver ink.

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    One CIVIL WAR BLUE Moleskine Cahier custom-imprinted notebook (3.5"x5.5" w/blank pages) with handset 24 pt. Spartan Heavy Italic metal type with "ALL MEN ARE CREATED EQUAL" in metallic silver ink.

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    One CIVIL WAR GRAY Moleskine Cahier custom-imprinted notebook (3.5"x5.5" w/blank pages) with handset 24 pt. Spartan Heavy Italic metal type with "ALL MEN ARE CREATED EQUAL" in metallic silver ink.

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    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    EARLY BIRD - SET OF 3 A set of three Moleskine Cahier custom-imprinted notebooks (3.5"x5.5" w/blank pages) with handset 30 pt. Century Gothic Bold metal type with "OF THE PEOPLE," "BY THE PEOPLE," and "FOR THE PEOPLE" in metallic silver ink on Black, Civil War Blue, and Civil War Gray covers. One phrase on each notebook.

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    A set of three Moleskine Cahier custom-imprinted notebooks (3.5"x5.5" w/blank pages) with handset 30 pt. Century Gothic Bold metal type with "OF THE PEOPLE," "BY THE PEOPLE," and "FOR THE PEOPLE" in metallic silver ink on Black, Civil War Blue, and Civil War Gray covers. One phrase on each notebook.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    EARLY BIRD - BLACK INK. One 12"x18" print of the Gettysburg Address with BLACK ink on Crane Lettra Pearl paper stock.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    EARLY BIRD - METALLIC SILVER INK. One 12"x18" print of the Gettysburg Address with METALLIC SILVER ink on Crane Lettra Pearl paper stock.

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    Reward no longer available 50 backers
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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    BLACK INK. One 12"x18" print of the Gettysburg Address with BLACK ink on Crane Lettra Pearl paper stock.

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    Reward no longer available 100 backers
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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    METALLIC SILVER INK. One 12"x18" print of the Gettysburg Address with METALLIC SILVER ink on Crane Lettra Pearl paper stock.

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    Limited 85 backers
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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    LETTRA ECRU Paper Stock with BLACK INK. One 12"x18" print of the Gettysburg Address.

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    Limited 13 backers
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  11. Select this reward

    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    LETTRA ECRU Paper Stock with METALLIC SILVER INK. One 12"x18" print of the Gettysburg Address.

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Funding period

- (19 days)