Thinking ahead to April

Well, that was summer. In the midst of an enormous burst of work, and some personal obligations, I managed very little in the way of printing. So thank goodness for the Ottawa Press Gang and specifically Steve Quick of Weathervane Press, who came up with the idea to do a calendar project for 2012, hoping that the various Ottawa presses would do a month each. I chose April, the month of my own birth. I had the black done some time ago, but our busy work schedule prohibited printing the red until just yesterday.

Originally I considered doing something in lino to do with rain, you know, the usual April cliche. Then Holly gave me a quote from one of the Brother Cadfael mystery books that mentioned April, and that led me to medieval calendars. The size of the project (to fit in a CD case) would not allow me to do a real medieval calendar, which did not number the days of the month, but I found a website that converted Julian calendars to Gregorian, which gave me April, 1145, or more accurately the 10th year of the reign of King Stephen, which is the era in which Brother Cadfael solves his mysteries. That year, April had the same weekly configuration as 2012. (Click images to see larger)

I have very little blackletter type. I even had the quote above set in the house font, Italian Oldstyle when I discovered a unlabeled tray of 18 point. Even setting the headings over the calendar was touch-and-go. I hasten to add the only reason I have any blackletter at all is that Holly thought she might use it in her art work! But now I’ve got a couple of ideas for using it, and may borrow some blackletter typefaces in the future. That happens sometimes when you settle into a particular face on a particular project.

You may note the figures on the calendar are Italianate, not Northern Gothic: I would have needed 13 figure 1’s and 13 figure 2’s to complete it…. Not even close. As the saying goes, I was out of sorts, so one must use the resources one has at hand. Let’s call it a transitional calendar.

Explore posts in the same categories: Letterpress printing, Ottawa Press Gang, Typography

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