State 12: Delaware

Newark, Delaware, U.S.A. | November 30-December 01, 2017

Video by: RJ Miles


ARTIST: Ray Nichols, Lead Graffiti
ARTIST: Jill Cypher, Lead Graffiti
INSTAGRAM: @leadgraffiti


WORKSPACE: Lead Graffiti
PARTNERS: AIGA Philadelphia



Husband-and-wife creative duo Ray Nichols and Jill Cypher designed “Untold Stories,” an illustrative expression of the missed opportunities of their fathers to share their experiences serving in WWII before they passed. Jill’s father, Hugh Cypher, took part in one of the most gruesome and longest military conflicts in modern history: the Battle of the Bulge, whereas Ray’s father, Raymond Nichols, is believed to have drawn the artist conception of the atomic bomb while stationed in New Mexico. For reasons unknown to them, neither of their fathers shared any of their experiences despite the impacts both of them may have had in such historical world events.

Ray and Jill were initially inspired by the concept of redacted text, but even more so, they shared the desire to encourage the exact opposite of that: openly shared information. Owners of the letterpress studio Lead Graffiti, they began experimenting with their vast collection of letter blocks on their antique letterpress machines to create a design that could motivate Veterans to share their untold experiences with their loved ones. Even though most Veterans don’t directly engage in combat, each Veteran has a unique experience and perspective from serving that their sons and daughters, like Ray and Jill, would love to hear to help better understand and appreciate their service.

In collaboration with Alpha Industries, the designs from the 50 States: Veterans + Artists United tour are produced into a limited number of thirty-six t-shirts and embroidered patches. Click the product images below to purchase Ray and Jill’s collaborative letterpress design exclusively on

SHIRT: $30.00

Size Shown: Large (Unisex)

PATCH: $17.00

Patch Width: 4.0in

DECAL: $5.00

3.0in x 2.2in


Written by: Kendra Clapp Olguin | Photos by: Tyler Way

We arrived into Delaware the day before the project and then left the day after the project, but that’s meant to be a diss on Delaware. I’m sure there’s things to do and see, we just didn’t have the time. The little time we did have was spent on some much-needed Fall cleaning, including a drawer that Noel quickly filled, as any cat does…