I lost my mom a few days ago; she passed away after suffering from Parkinson’s Disease for several years. It robbed her of her health, leaving her unable to walk or speak or to recognize loved ones. It’s an insidious disease that wreaks its havoc over years. It leaves in its wake such suffering, heartache and grief that I was almost grateful when she was released from its ravages.
Not to dwell on the moribund, I needed to find solace in some kind of creative act. And as cards and tributes started to arrive, I knew that my little print shop, my haven, was the place to be. Printing some thank-you cards for friends and family allowed me to keep busy – and to feel like I could do something useful.
In the days after, it was a small mercy to escape to the type cases, to select and proof some different typefaces until I found the combination that felt right. The ATF Bank Script (72 pt) is vintage, designed back in the 1890s: the serifs and extenders are so chipped and damaged that I had trouble finding enough sorts to print this modest card. The 12 pt Chevalier (or Engravers English?) has long sat unused in the case, but its simple elegance seemed perfect combination with the larger Script.
Originally, I intended to print the cards blind, going for a deep impression. But the type I used reminded me of the Victorian era mourning card, printed in black, usually banded with strong black borders. For paper, I used Crane’s Lettra, eschewed the deep impression, and opted instead for a light kiss, no borders and a simple message.
Since our family, like many in Quebec, have friends and relatives who speak English or French, I decided on a bilingual front of card, with blank interior for a personal message.
It’s the kind of thing my mom would have appreciated. So, a limited print run of 30 cards – and a chance to hide from my grief for a few hours.