Revealed: The official apron of the 2014 Pillsbury Bake-Off Contest
Letterpress printing and baking don’t have many ties – unless you count the official apron of the 47th Pillsbury Bake-Off Contest.
When 100 finalists compete in the Bake-Off Contest next week in Nashville Tennessee, they’ll be wearing aprons designed by Hatch Show Print, one of America’s oldest letterpress printing shops.
Hatch is located in the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum building which is connected to the Omni Nashville Hotel where the Bake-Off Contest will take place.
Each letter, number, star and boot on the country-themed apron originated from a wooden block or metal plate.
Heather Moulder, the designer/printer who worked on the apron, explains the process.
“Everything you see is either wood or metal type that’s set one letter at a time backwards. The imagery is either etched out of a metal plate, or we carve it by hand out of wood or linoleum. Everything that is printed onto a poster is a physical object, and all of the posters are printed one color at a time, hand cranked one color at a time. So everything is totally low tech as far as the process goes. What made the apron kind of fun is there was a little digital aspect when it came to the end, but everything that went into the apron was physically printed onto a page before it ever got into a computer.”
Moulder made sure the artwork reflected the classic looks of Hatch and Nashville and, of course, included the Pillsbury Doughboy.
“I was here doodling the shape and testing it on everybody. It was pretty recognizable … We transferred it and actually carved it on a block of wood, so that was kind of fun seeing him through the process.”
All of the artwork was printed in black and colored digitally before being sent to the apron printer.
“I think it’s really interesting that it’s going to eventually become a dimensional format, and that it’s going to be wrapping around somebody. You’re thinking more than just a flat space on the wall. You have to think – and this is something that was really new to me – How are the stars going to wrap around? Where is it going to sit when it’s on a person?”
This year’s apron brings, or strings, together letterpress printing and baking one more way. Moulder notes both activities require aprons.
“We have aprons hanging around the shop, too.”
The official apron has been a hallmark of the Pillsbury Bake-Off Contest since the first competition back in 1949. Over the years, approximately 40 aprons have been created.
Editor’s note: We’ll be at the 47th Pillsbury Bake-Off Contest on Nov. 3, and bring you coverage here on “A Taste of General Mills.”
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