Letter March

One linocut letter a day in March
This is an experiment in carving one linocut letter per day in an attempt to complete an entire alphabet by March 31st. Chosen typeface: Champion Gothic by Hoefler & Frere-Jones. Lightweight was chosen based on a deep rooted affection with its ampersand.

Aymie Spitzer is a graphic designer located in Brooklyn, New York.
  • August 23, 2011 9:55 am

    They’re Alive!

    I’ve finally printed the completed set of blocks. Dan from The Arm graciously assisted me in setting up and printing. The experience overall was absolutely amazing and I’d highly recommend taking a class at The Arm because they are super nerds about everything from printing to making actual lead type at their type foundry. On top of that, they are solid dudes!

    So, I have a few prints for sale if anyone is interested. This project truly was a journey in learning and collaboration, which are two of my favorite things. Many friends have helped me along in this process and it’s opened up a few opportunities that I would not have found if I had never done this. I encourage everyone to take up a project that challenges you! Make a font! Make a wooden canoe! Make something and share it with the world. It’s an awesome feeling to figure it all out on the way. You just gotta dissolve that fear and jump in. Thanks so much for following along with me. See ya’ll soon! 

  • April 25, 2011 11:45 pm

    Trim the blocks: check.

    This past Saturday night I had the enlightening experience of using a Hammond Glider saw to trim my blocks. Dan from The Arm letterpress studio suggested Bryan Baker could possibly help me out since he so conveniently has a saw made specifically for trimming wood type. Lucky for me, Bryan agreed and taught me how to use the beautiful machine in the basement of his studio. It was a complete success and to be honest, it was one of the coolest things I’ve ever done. (I’ll post photos and a detailed write up as soon as I re-shoot, since I lost the photos from Saturday night.)

    Reason #25 why this project has been awesome: Building new relationships with wonderful people.

  • April 7, 2011 9:15 pm

    (If you are a fan of metal type, click here.)

  • April 2, 2011 10:04 am

    March is over. What’s next?

    Now that A-Z is completed, I’ve decided that my set is complete. This weekend is about finishing test prints. Next comes the tedious task of trimming each block down to reflect the most accurate measurements of side bearings, head, and foot height. Figuring out a way to print the specimen set will follow that. In short, I don’t expect the prints to be complete for a few weeks at least. Also, I have another little project in the works. Thanks for checking in with Letter March! I’ll be sure to post updates as I have them. I have a strong feeling the trimming and printing process is going to be slightly frustrating, but here I go! 

  • March 27, 2011 7:06 pm

    I decided to make a time lapse video of Z. Hope you enjoy it. 

    Letter March, Z from aymiespitzer on Vimeo.

    Thanks to Skylar for photographing Z and to Myungsun Jang for filming.

    (Also, mega thanks to Caribou for not suing me for using Sundailing)

  • 4:25 pm

  • March 24, 2011 6:48 pm

    X means I’m nearing the end!

    Can you tell I have other things on my mind? There are some deep chunks around this guy but the lines themselves are pretty straight for the most part. It’s all about what it will look like printed. Oh, the next couple weeks will be such fun! 

  • March 23, 2011 5:53 pm
  • March 22, 2011 10:29 pm

  • March 21, 2011 10:28 pm

  • March 20, 2011 10:26 pm

  • March 19, 2011 5:54 pm
  • March 18, 2011 4:16 pm

    Workshop turned into Woodshop today!

    Josh Stewart had a sweet tip for me today. Using a bench hook! How obvious. This morning we scavenged through the building’s palettes of trash, collecting wood scraps (note the left over glue marks) which we recycled into the perfect little device! What a difference it made!

  • 11:52 am

    Upon starting this project, I admit that I have made a *few errors. Learning is why I approach most projects, especially those which require skills that are somewhat previously nonexistent. That being said, Q is a perfect example of learning by doing things backwards.

    Adding to the newbie-carving-letters mistake pile, I failed to notice that Q’s tail hung below my baseline and actually off of my block. My first reaction was to simply purchase a larger block. I also thought about redesigning the Q, the way a punchcutter might adjust details of a typeface design to fit technical constraints, by looking at the non descending tail of Champion’s younger brother Knockout. In the end, I decided it was best to just use a larger block. Plus, Q’s tail is ready to party and I couldn’t bear busting him for curfew.

    Mega thanks to Jesse Ragan and Andy Clymer for your guidance and wisdom detailing Q. 

    *probably over 10, but who’s counting?

  • March 17, 2011 10:49 pm

    Test prints

    How entertaining! The improvements from where I started March 1st are galactic. Learning technique and functions of nibs, lighting conditions, and music selection all harvest variants of quality. It truly has been an experience in learning what works and what does not. When slicing long, straight lines, “Steady As She Goes” by Raconteurs often repeats in my head. Little habits like this have evolved into vernacular. Still, I am no where near supreme type carver or typographer, just a little lady enjoying a fun little experiment.