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A Pine Cone for Ponderosa.

It’s so apropos that the first project of this nature involves a pine cone.

Pine cones are pretty neat to look at, but they’re also pretty clever in terms of design and function. They are like armored vehicles for seeds. And seeds are all about new beginnings.

This batch of journals was designed and built for my friend Vince at Ponderosa Cyclery + Tour in Omaha, Nebraska. It is the first project that I’ve designed, carved into linoleum, printed on the Vandercook with handset type and built into books. This was the perfect way to give the whole process a try after dreaming about it for years. Simple, attainable and spot-on for Ponderosa.

I started with a simplified pine cone graphic and added the signature spines of a ponderosa pine cone.

Then carved it on a linocut block and did a quick test print.

Once I was happy with it, I set it on the letterpress and added some type for the back cover. As a newbie to letterpress, this part was challenging but I loved the Tetris, the math and the planning involved. It's easy to lose track of all the variables.

After the test prints were satisfactory, the actual printing of the covers was a breeze.

The next part of the operation was old hat. And then there were books.

Follow @ponderosacyclery on Instagram to find out when they're ready for order and visit to pick one up!

After a couple years of hauling and restoring the Vandercook, it was literally a dream come true to see the whole process through. It's definitely a start of something new for Mordecai Book Building. I've already completed another batch of letterpress journals for another client and excited to do more on the press soon. If you’re interested in a run of custom letterpress journals for your shop, brand or bridal party hmu!

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