Chandler's Letterpress Central Looks to Kickstarter to Launch Zombie Calendar

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A new year means new things. New opportunities, new perspectives and most important -- or at least tangible -- of all, a new calendar on which to track them.

Chandler letterpress studio Letterpress Central has created a mockup for a zombie-themed 2014. The 12-page calendar features images of the walking dead, decaying trees, gravesides, and the synonymous corpse-hand reaching skyward from the ground. Each hand-made copy features a background of vibrant color -- which means more templates, more letterpress trays and, most of all, more money.

See also: Changing Hands Bookstore Seeks Donations to Build Phoenix Location

Owner Cindy Iverson turned to crowd-funding website Kickstarter to raise the necessary cash for the initiative, citing the success of other small businesses and her own personal experience. The two-year-old studio previously printed a line of cards for Safwat Saleem's "Greetings From Nowhere" line, also made possible by contributions from users via the website.

"It's expensive to print a calendar," Iverson says. "[But] we think -- we're confident -- we will get funded."

Iverson thought up the calendar concept as recently as November 5, and within a day or two she had all the images designed, she says. The zombie theme, admittedly a popular one these days, came after she found herself hooked on AMC's cult hit The Walking Dead after binge-watching the series on Netflix.

Her favorite month, at least on the calendar, is February, featuring a silhouetted undead couple in front of a distressed pink heart. She says the image was a reaction to another creation: a vintage-esque, pink-on-ivory heart conceived as a print for the same month for a different project.

"I thought, what's the opposite of that?" she says. "Zombies."

The wall calendar will be printed by hand on Letterpress Central's vintage printing presses, which are between 60 and 70 years old. Buyers can choose between the old-school allure of kraft chipboard or white, 100 percent cotton fine art paper, both of which provide strong backgrounds for the colorful details and depth that comes from using a letterpress machine. The finished products will be wire-bound with a punched hole for hanging, and measure five-and-a-half inches wide by eight-and-a-half inches tall.

Other incentives for campaign contributors include a selection of four undead-themed letterpress greeting cards with messages like, "Safety Tip #38: Never Open the Door to Strangers" and "Safety Tip #27: Strike Head, Run Away Fast," the latter of which features a bow-legged zombie and a threatening axe. Each blank card comes with a color envelope and is printed on cotton paper.

Pledges from $5 to $15 earn either one greeting card or the entire set of four, while calendars are available for those who donate either $20 or $25.

Those who spend $75 or more will receive a zombie care package complete with the calendar, the set of greeting cards with envelopes, and a 12-by-18-inch zombie wall poster on kraft chipboard proclaiming "zombies in the house."

Once funded, the zombie collection is expected to ship to hungry hipsters and letterpress lovers by the end of December.

As of the writing Wednesday, 50 backers have pledged a total of slightly more than $1,500 -- approximately 75 percent of the $2,014 goal. However, the zombies will only see the light of day if the difference is donated by 11:59 a.m. on Sunday, December 15.

See also: Printing Napkins with Cindy Iverson of Letterpress Central Letterpress Is All the Rage -- And Part of Its History is Being Preserved in Arizona

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