CR January: Made in Brazil

The artwork for our January issue cover was produced at Gráfica Fidalga in São Paulo, one of the city’s last remaining letterpress workshops. Here it is on press. Read on to find out how it was done

The artwork for our January issue cover was produced at Gráfica Fidalga in São Paulo, one of the city’s last remaining letterpress workshops. Here it is on press. Read on to find out how it was done

There’s a feature in our January issue (out 18 December) about São Paulo gallery Choque Cultural and its attempts to keep the tradition of letterpress Lambe-Lambe posters going by using Gráfica Fidalga to produce books and prints. We thought it would be interesting to ask the workshop to create the artwork for our cover. Choque’s Baixo Ribeiro designed a layout using text supplied by us. We also gave him an EPS of the logo which the guys at GF made a stencil from and then routed out of a piece of wood

The logo was then set along with GF’s unique woodblock type:

And the poster printed on GF’s Johannisberg press, dating from 1929, using the traditional lightweight Lambe-Lambe papers in yellow, white, cyan, pink and green

Here are (left to right) printers Cláudio, Carlinhos and Maurício, joined by Baixo Ribeiro (second from right) with one of the finished posters:

They sent a few over to us, we had one scanned and here’s how it appears on the cover:

Thank you to Felipe Lopez for all the photos and to Tristan Manco.

For prints by Choque Cultural artists, check out the UK website here

UPDATE: Check out this film shot at Grafica Fidalga by CISMA

Cisma’s Lambe-lambe 2004 from CISMA on Vimeo.

  • Christopher Darby

    best cover since January 2006 (the Hamish Muir one)

  • Fernando

    That’s a good question. What’s your favorite CR cover ever?

  • Flavio

    I loved this one!

  • Michael Preston

    Part of me is wondering why it was neccessary to use a printer in São Paulo. Are there now no good letterpress printers in the UK who produce outstanding work? Given the currently über tough market that UK printers operate in, it would have been nice to see some support for British artisans.

    The cynical side of me wonders if the decision to use a Brazillian company is possibly more about a jolly to São Paulo for various staffers on CR rather than an apparent lack of talent slightly closer to home.

  • Patrick Burgoyne

    @Michael.. err, if you read the story you’ll see that the point was to tie the cover in to a feature in the magazine about Lambe-Lambe and the work done at Grafica Fidalga. CR has been covering the work of “British artisans” for nearly 30 years. As for your second point, what on earth makes you think that “various staffers” from CR would need to fly to Brazil to make this happen? There was no “jolly”. We did it all from right here in sunny Euston. It’s amazing what you can do with email and an ftp connection.

  • Ian C

    nice. a limited edition hand printed wrap around cover would be good…

  • baixo ribeiro

    Congratulations to CR team for such a cool work!
    It is amazing to do such a nice collaboration even if we never saw each other. I am really touched. You are helping us to keep alive that amazing letterpress print shop. The best thing that they have is the fonts, the types all made in wood blocks. And I think that is not so important if we are doing this in São Paulo or London or anywhere.
    By the way, you are (officially) invited to visit us here in São Paulo.

  • cisma

    This is a really special place in São Paulo. Back in 2004 Baixo Ribeiro and I recorded a small video there,if you like the cover, it’s worth to take a look:

  • Patrick Burgoyne

    @Cisma – thanks. I’ve embedded that in the post

  • action man


  • jon meade

    Very cool, and great press…Hatch, in Louisville is equally impressive and one of the original preses in the states still remaining, but this takes it…especially the photography of the guy drilling in the CR design..he’s all marked up and it almost appears he’s tattooing the wood!..great shot.

  • Bruno Porto

    Greaaaaat idea, respect!

    Abraços from Shanghai!

  • nathan Hotten

    i love letterpress print, i like its ‘unevenness’, especially now that design is very computerized and perfect spaced, letterpress needs to make a comeback.