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.


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!!