Every year for the past 15 years, Brian (for those of you unfamiliar - Primer) and I collaborate on an artistic Halloween greeting. It began as a fun thing to do for family and friends and over the years it has grown into a highly anticipated event that includes our clients and associates in the creative world. Last year was the first year we missed doing it because of our work schedules and it was a total bummer.
But this year we are back! With what we think, and what we hope that you think, is one of our coolest Halloween greetings to date! We decided it would be a great idea to fire up the old 1872 Geo P. Gordon platen press that lives at Primer and do some hand letter pressed vintage Halloween theme illustrated cards.
Brian has used the press for several fun printed pieces in the past with much success but this was my first time learning it. And it was the first time that either of us tried printing more than one color. It was A LOT of work: time consuming, super messy and you have to be really careful lining everything up, keeping everything clean while making sure the press is oiled, and not getting fingers or (or hair) stuck in the moving press! Because of the nature of this old press everything is done by hand and it was really hard to get each plate to line up correctly. Everything shifts around constantly, and for inexperienced pressmen as myself, it's a lot of stopping and starting over. In the end, some things lined up and some things didn't BUT the off register color and the sometimes not-quite-opaque black adds to the whole vintage feel of Halloween past.
Below, you can see some photos of the process and the finished prints. Some of the black ink on the owl and the cat prints had to be double hit which made them dry really slow. We used pretty much every available space at Primer to dry them over night. Enjoy!