We have a new project up on Kickstarter that we'd like you to know about. It's the first comprehensive illustrated biography of the great master of letterform and design, W.A.Dwiggins. I hope you find it of interest!
Our vendors’ holiday schedules continued to be a challenge since our last update, we received partial shipments of calendars last week and at the beginning of this week, and the last of them became available today.
With the partial shipments we made a few local deliveries and got most of the overseas orders out by the end of last week. They started arriving in Europe yesterday. The mailing house was closed for two days this week and we dropped the last of the non-local domestic orders this afternoon.
We realized today that many of our local backers will be at the publication party tomorrow afternoon, so we decided to bring the local orders to the library since they'll be in your hands soonest that way (if you can make it). The balance of the local orders will drop on Monday.
Do join us if you can:
And, if you like Dwiggins, come at 2 for this:
We'll definitely start waaaaay earlier next year to keep production well away from the holidays...
Thanks for your patience, hope you like it when it arrives.
The good news: we finally got on press yesterday, and I'm pretty happy with the result. My goal was to capture the physical reality of each piece, so you feel like you could pick it up off the page. I think we've come close, the stochastic screening is remarkably lifelike.
The holy grail of print reproduction has always been continuous tone, and through the years I've published projects using the best technologies of the twentieth century: Color collotype at Max Jaffe in Vienna for a portfolio of prints by Lisbeth Zwerger; Facsimile reproduction by the Akademische Druck for a manuscript by Marie Angel, and very early 300 line offset by Meriden Gravure for a book about Lance Hidy's Posters, to cite just three examples.
This is the first project I've produced using stochastic screening, and it's the best tech yet, with an unprecedented combination of butter smooth gradation and incredible edge resolution. On the back cover of the calendar, which is comprised of 220 small details, you can actually read everything! Having said that, there was a steeper learning curve than I expected, and I now understand why some printers are reluctant to do it.
We ended up on press nine days later than I predicted in my last update, a delay caused by my perfectionism compounded by missing press time in December, which is like trying to get on another plane when you get bumped during the holidays. I am truly sorry for the delay, because it means that we'll be unable to deliver before Christmas. I hope when you see the result you'll feel that it was worth the wait.
The sheets are drying today, and go to the binder tomorrow. We may be able to get a few copies before Christmas, but the bulk will ship in the week between Christmas and New Year's Day.
For those that planned to give a calendar as a Christmas gift, I'll do whatever I can to mitigate the situation: • If you're in the Bay Area, I'll try to get you a calendar in time even if I have to deliver it in person. • If you're not local, I can supply a PDF of the complete calendar, or perhaps a printable prospectus for presentation on Christmas day. • If you ordered more than one, we'll be happy to drop ship your gift(s) so the recipient will have them in hand at the beginning of January.
Let me know what you need, and I'll do my best to accommodate you.
After recovering from the insanity of the last few days of the Kickstarter, I jumped right into production mode, figuring out how to make the best damn calendar possible!
It turns out that the final budget enables three significant upgrades. On Wednesday we signed the contract with Watermark Press and confirmed the schedule, so I can now reveal the final specs, including the following improvements:
My captures are good, but hers are the best, which enables the next upgrade:
2. We'll be using stochastic screening for the photographs, with a 20 micron dot size. This will provide the best possible reproduction of the fine details and texture in the original masterworks.
3. We've added a four page appendix on the typefaces, including modest showings of the faces and bios of the designers.
There are two additional changes to report:
1. I've changed the title to “Artists of Letterform” which gracefully embraces the featured artists, the birthday artists, and the type designers.
2. Since the run is shorter, there will only be one front cover design. The Dwiggins was both my initial choice and the top vote-getter, so it's the one.
We are scheduled to be on press December 9th, and plan to have the bulk of the shipping completed by the end of that week. We expect all domestic orders and most overseas orders to arrive before Christmas. The survey emails requesting shipping addresses are going out today. Please write us if you have any additional comments or instructions that the Kickstarter form cannot capture.
When I started this 24 hour marathon, I'll have to admit I was a little worried. Now I'm just excited and grateful. In the last 16 hours we have added 46 Backers and $2,400, meaning we need just 30 more backers or $1,200 in the next 8 hours to reach the goal.
I think we're ready for a stretch goal, and I have just the thing. As this project has evolved, I'm ever more excited about the typefaces, and a little concerned that they will not be showcased adequately. Sure each face has a month all to itself, and perfectly complements the artwork, but it's really a series of rather subtle variations on the theme of a calendar timeline.
So here's my stretch goal: I want to add two pages to the calendar all about the typefaces, including a modest showing, designer bios etc. We can add this to the production for a cost of about $750, so our stretch goal is $10,750.
All I need from you is, if you like the idea, tell some people about it. You don't have to pay more, we just need to attract about 20 additional pledges above the funding line.