Touring, trimming & stellar sampling at Typecraft Wood & Jones

[Alyson Kuhn] David Mayes has been with Typecraft Wood & Jones in Pasadena, Calif., since 1999. His office is a personal archive of paper treasures. And down the hall, the sample room’s “design library” is one of his initiatives. Mayes files fresh samples by first name, since that’s how he thinks of his designer clients, from April [Greiman] to Tracey [Shiffman]. Mick [Hodgson, of Ph.D, A Design Office] is right in the middle.

The names jotted on the cards that Mayes tapes to the protective plastic bags are not just a “who’s who” but a “whose what” of projects being printed at Typecraft Wood & Jones. The design library visually sums up the discernment of the clientele before you pick up even a single sample. My particular quest was the USC School of Architecture poster I wrote about earlier this week. Mick Hodgson’s two-sided design was intended to transform itself, via hyper-precise trimming, into a quintet of accordion-fold brochures.

Freshly trimmed brochure samples hadn’t made it to the sample library yet. They were waiting for me in Mayes’ office, whose walls are positively papered. Much of the “decor” was printed at Typecraft Wood & Jones, but some pieces — like a Neil Young poster from Hatch Show Print — are things Mayes has admired and acquired.

Agustin Garza (designer, photographer, past president of AIGA Los Angeles) used the Photosynth app on his iPhone to capture David Mayes surrounded by paper treasures.

Since Mayes had the USC School of Architecture poster taped to his door, I could refer to it while he explained the trickiness of the trimming: “Our bindery worked out a way to take off a double 1/16 inch between each brochure ‘strip’ when we cut them, in order to eliminate the chance of there being unwanted borders. In other words we took a shave off of the top and bottom of each brochure, due to the cut being on an ink line. The bindery cut them to a three-up and a two-up form that then was folded and slit to the five different pieces. The folded brochures were then guillotine cut to final size and packed. No scoring was necessary as the poster is on 80-pound text.”

Hodgson specified uncoated Mohawk Options Smooth 100% pcw White 80# Text for the poster. Mayes comments, “Options performed excellently on press, as always. The ink holdout makes the images look sharp and crisp, easy to match to the proofs.”

The 80-lb. text offered the ideal combination of opacity (think: two-sided brochure with bold type and large images) and suppleness (think: poster that needs to fold three times in one direction and four times in the other).

I left Typecraft Wood & Jones with several exquisite samples. No surprise there … but I was amayzd to learn that next year Mayes will celebrate a decade on the board of AIGA L.A.

Happy client and designer: Lee Olvera (left), director of Communications, School of Architecture, University of Southern California and designer Mick Hodgson reflect on their first collaboration.

In 2009, we featured a pair of art catalogs designed by Stefan Bucher, printed at Typecraft Wood & Jones for L.A. Louver gallery: one for a Deborah Butterfield exhibition and one for The East Yorkshire Landscape, a show of new oil paintings by David Hockney. David Mayes also contributed a feature about a very personal collaboration with Bucher, The Zero-Tolerance Factor, a book of Mayes’ deceased father’s poems and photographs.

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