SVA Writing Contest Bookmarks

A few months ago, I published an entry about the poster that I designed for the 1st Annual SVA Writing Program Writing Contest. Before the winners were announced, I was asked to design commemorative bookmarks with excerpts from the 1st Prize winners from each of the five categories.

Since I was asked to prepare a design that would be suitable for letterpress, I stuck with the pencil motif from the original poster, but created something much cleaner, with only two colours – one dark grey, the other a striking vermilion based on the SVA logo – and a classic serif font. I was also asked to design a border, so I decided to integrate the tapering of the pencil into the actual thin lines that went around the edges of the bookmark.

Writing Contest Bookmark v2

I had intended for the back of the bookmark, which only contained information about the contest and the Writing Program, to be a flood of vermilion, so that it would be a nice contrast from the more subdued front. However, there were a lot of problems printing such tiny details – the pressure exerted by the press caused the ink to seep into the text. That was a harrowing experience but inevitable when it comes to experimenting with printmaking. Finally, we decided to just go with orange text on the cream paper, rather than printing the negative.



Here is Shannon (who is always the printmaking counterpart to my designs!) using the guillotine to cut the bookmarks to size. We printed two of each design per sheet of 11×17 paper.


The finished stacks! We printed 120 of each design for a total of 600 bookmarks.

And here’s a better image of the final product:

DSC_2806 small


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