AIDS LifeCycle cards, the L letterpress Epic, and plates from Boxcar press

I received the Epic combo kit from Lifestyle Crafts for my birthday and I thought it’d be a cool AIDS LifeCycle fundraising idea to create some custom plates based on my photography.  Designing and creating the artwork took much longer than expected, but I ended up choosing to create something based on this photo that I took from a ride last month:

I decided to create a 2-color print.  I did the color separations in Photoshop and then used Illustrator to create some cross-hatching patterns to give the image a more interesting texture.  It took a long freaking time (I used Illustrator’s live trace.  This was nice, but created a bunch of paths and points.  When I compounded that with the cross hatching swaths, there were even more paths and points.  This made it hard and slow to edit.)

 

Here’s a preview of what I expected things to look like:

 

 

I ordered plates through boxcar press and received them this past week.

The above photo is of one of the plates from Boxcar press.  It’s a flexy plastic material with a bit of hardness to it.  This one is partially inked with the yellow/orange speedball block printing ink that I had purchased.  I was surprised at the resolution that the plates could handle.

 

above:  Brayer, with ink.

 

I tried varying amounts of ink to see what would look better on paper:

 

 

 

 

 

above: blue ink for the second plate

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

above: This is what it looks like when you run a plate through the press.  It’s basically some rollers that apply a lot of pressure to the paper and the plate.

 

 

 

above: an unevenly inked blue but still pretty cool

 

 

I didn’t have enough time to play around too much,  but here are some of the prototype cards:

I think I’ll make sure there’s more ink coverage for the next set.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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