Color-Coded Song Lyrics a.k.a. Color Language a.k.a. Figure It Out.


When I went up to Boston in April, my main reason was to print a series of 10 14-color letterpress prints. I ended up printing 8, which makes me happy, but also makes me want to print a whole bunch more (which I will at some point). Each print is in a limited edition of approximately 20.

So here’s the deal.


Each print has 14 colors, and was run through the press 8 times. Each color represents one of the most frequently used letters in the English language, also known as ETAOIN SHRDLU. Gray squares represent the rest of the letters in the alphabet and black makes up punctuation.


Each print is a short section of different song lyrics. Song lyrics are very personal, frequently used and recited and heavily copyrighted. This was my way of addressing all of that while attempting to make something that was more visually appealing than just the words written on paper. I have nothing against words, obviously, but I felt like lyrics are more than just the words they make up, and I know some of my favorite songs might be ridiculous to others.

Everything you need to figure out what the lyrics are can be found in the colors. So go, figure it out and report back.


Read about my time at the Boston Paper Collective Here.

View Images of all the Lyrics: Here.

Purchase Lyric Posters: Here.


You Are My Sunshine

While I was up in Boston, I was able to work on a project very close to my heart. My cousin Missy contacted me after her sister, my cousin Jessica, passed away from colon cancer asking me if I could make her a set of posters based on the song ‘You Are My Sunshine.’ It took me awhile to come up with a design I felt good about, and when I realized once I knew I was going to Boston, that I could print these exactly how I envisioned.

The first of the two Sunshine posters took 4 runs through the press, a white undercoat, a pressure print, a linoleum cut and some wood type.


The second also took 4 runs, the same linoleum cut, more wood type in two different colors of blue and a pressure print over the top in a very light blue.


These two prints are in honor and celebration of my cousin Jessica, and a portion of the proceeds of each limited edition poster will go to the Colon Cancer Alliance in her name.


The 2 Poster set can be purchased here for $75 with $25 going to the CCA.

Individual Posters can be purchased here & here for $40 with $15 going to the CCA.

Boston not Bust!

So I am currently waiting on my friend Regina to show up at my studio. I still have to pack, I still have to cut paper that still hasn’t arrived, but I’m going to Boston! 

I’m still $20 short of my goal, so everything in my etsy shop will stay on sale until I leave my studio tonight! After that, the shop will be on vacation until after I return, so hurry up and buy your cheap goods now!

Boston or Bust! (update)

With just around 10 days left before I hope to leave for Boston, I’m short just $145! That’s basically my plane ticket! So, I’ve decided to mark down some more posters in my etsy shop in hopes of reaching, or getting as close as possible to my goal. Later today all 11×14 posters will still be $15, and all 8×10’s will be $10. I have never priced stuff this low, but I really want to make this trip possible, and I didn’t have the time to do a second kickstarter!

I also realized I didn’t go into much detail about what this money is going towards… so here it goes…

I’m trying to raise a total of $450.

-$70 will go to helping pay my portion of gas on the way up to Boston.

-$130 will go to my plane ticket back to Atlanta

-$150 will be my food budget, which will be $10/day (This won’t cover all food costs, but it will help)

-$100 to purchase the paper needed to print the actual posters!

This is a project I’ve wanted to do for a few years now. And it’s very exciting that I’m finally getting the chance to do it. The project itself will be a total of 10 different prints, each in editions of 25. Each print will have 8 colors (and a lot of transparency) to create 12 colors, a light gray and a black. Each color will represent one of the most frequently used letters in the english language: ETAOIN SHRDLU. Each print will have a section of song lyrics presented in these 12 color blocks. I will not be divulging what the song lyrics are (they are kind of like a word game with colors) but as my mother has proven, you can break the color code and figure it out. 



The reason for the song lyrics? Well, I love listening to music, I love making posters and I would love to make posters with song lyrics. I don’t, however, want to deal with copyright infringement. I also find music to be really personal, and I know that I’m not about to put the lyrics to my favorite songs, word for word, visible to all, on my wall. 



I printed a test version of this poster idea, and I know now that I can’t get my press (a poco proof press) to have the tight registration required to print these posters the way I want. Going to Boston allows me to be a visiting artist at the Boston Paper Collective and through them and access to their press, I’ll be able to print these posters the way I want with the close registration required. 

While in Boston, I will also teach two workshops at the Boston Paper Collective. One will be a general intro letterpress workshop and the other will be an alternative class on how to print using materials other than type, linoleum and photopolymer. 

In order to do all this, I’m selling my previously printed posters for a price I would never normally sell them for. AND if you buy one of my sale posters, you will also be first in line to purchase one of these super awesome prints, but you will also get $5 off. That’s a pretty sweet deal. 

Boston or Bust!!




30 for 15!


That’s right, I’m marking all 11×14 posters down to $15 each until I can sell 30 total. I have never marked prices down this low… so why now, you ask? Well, I’m trying to fund a trip up to Boston to teach a workshop and print a whole new series of posters!

This new series is one I have been pondering for some time now, and I really want to get them out of my head and onto some paper. This past week I used my Poco Proof Press to attempt to print one of these posters. I wouldn’t say it was a disaster, but my lovely Poco is just not equipped for printing something like this. With a large print that needs insanely close registration, and will be printed in 8 runs, I really need to use a press with a built in registration system… like, say, a Vandercook?


My super awesome friend Regina, who is the print shop tech at the Boston Paper Collective will be driving down South during the first part of April and, if I can get a little more money in my pocket, I can drive back with her, teach a letterpress workshop at the Boston Paper Collective AND print this new series of posters on their wonderful Vandercook.

Between applying for Grad school, studio bills, and general living expenses, this trip can’t happen without a little help from all my friends. If I can sell 30 posters for $15 each, I can make this happen. If you buy a poster, you will also be the first to be able to buy this new round of posters and for $5 less than their retail price (of $35/each). What a crazy awesome deal!!!


This new series is somewhat secretive and sly, and takes a little bit of explaining. Each poster will contain multiple colored squares (at 36pt). Each color represents one of the twelve most frequently used letters in the English language: ETAOIN SHRDLU. Punctuation will be set in 36pt. Franklin Gothic. Each print will be a short portion of lyrics from different well-known songs. I will not divulge what songs are represented, that is up to the viewer to discover.

If you would like to help me in this endeavor, go to my etsy site and buy some prints! 

Thanks for your support,

Megan L. King