Golden Gate Bridge alternates

Black Ink / The Original / Blue Angels / Night Mode

I love exploring alternate versions of my artwork. But it's a complicated affair. Conjuring alternate designs is the easy part. I could do that all day. Printing, storing, getting the US Navy to respond... well that's another matter altogether.

Here are some alternates I'm considering for the Golden Gate Bridge in Letterpress Type with caveats at the end.

All Black

Bridge in black ink on white paper
Detail showing one tower with birds, one tower with rocky shore in the foreground

All black ink. This is how most of my posters have been printed. But given how iconic the Golden Gate orange is — er, "Golden Gate Bridge International Orange" that is — I decided before I even put the first letter on a blank canvas that the Golden Gate would be printed in two colors.

That said it's hard to argue with the allure and timelessness of a monochromatic print in black ink. Paired perfectly with black tee and Wayfarers of course

Night Mode

Bridge in orange ink, rocky shore in silver ink, on black paper
Detail showing one tower with birds, one tower with rocky shore in the foreground

Orange and silver on black. The only other poster I've done with a night mode edition is the Colosseo and that was pretty popular (and limited to just 50 copies). The idea here is orange & silver ink on buttery-smooth charcoal paper. Not paper made of charcoal but charcoal color, folks.

It's questionable if orange ink would be as vibrant as silver on black — some outcomes are impossible to predict until it comes off the press. But still, maybe it's an option.

Blue Angels® aka The Moonshot

Bridge showing 4 F/A-18 Blue Angels in flight

Four F/A-18 Blue Angels in flight over the bridge. Every year during SF Fleet Week the Blue Angels put on a stunning performance with the Golden Gate as their backdrop including a few tower flybys. So why not offer a limited edition Blue Angels® print?

Well, for starters a registered trademark means I can't just throw some blue & yellow F-18s in the artwork and call it a day. I need permission to do proper licensing and this requires contacting the US Navy. I've started this process but I anticipate it will take a few months for approval, if ever granted. We'll see!

The Original

The original artwork, orange and black ink on white paper
Detail showing one tower with birds, one tower with rocky shore in the foreground

The artwork you've seen from day one. This is the version customers are guaranteed to receive regardless of the options above.

So why not offer all the alternates?

Metal plate used in the printing of one of Cameron's posters

For one, printing is big deal. I wish it were as simple as pressing the Print button and a color laser printer cranked out your copy in seconds. Actually, I don't wish that at all! Letterpress printing is far superior. It requires inking a metal or polymer plate for each color, and sometimes we need separate plates for each color. Bryce Knudson (printer) sometimes spends 1-2 hours just getting the plate in position for each run. And with something as intricate as this artwork the plate has to be cleansed in between color changes to remove the existing ink.

Storage is also an issue. My 100,000-foot warehouse has only so much room (haha just kidding!). All inventory is stored in my humble home. This is the 8th poster in my Structures in Type series, so I have a few thousand copies stored throughout my home. Each alternate requires separate storage. I need some room to sleep and cook, friends :)

Economies of scale. As soon as we start doing additional colors, paper, and print runs the cost of printing goes up and the economies of scale go down. As much as I love doing this as a passion project, it still has to make sense financially.

Secure your copy of the Golden Gate Bridge in Letterpress Type and you'll be the first know about any alternates I'm offering for exchange, upgrade, or discounted pricing.