Material/Process/Print: print sample book.

I originally was really excited by this little project, the idea of picking different types of paper, in different weights and colours and thinking of an obscure printing method.

The papers I picked were a khadi mulberry at 25gsm,  newsprint 50gsm, meadow grass paper 120gsm, hahnemuhle 130gsm, marlmarque 200gsm. But having spent my whole budget on nice paper I had to think of a cheap way to print that wasn’t digital and that I could easily do at home. So I decided to monoprint.

 

I created several versions, one using tape that was quite grided, however, the ink kept drying up before I had time to print. So I moved on to just painting the letters on the vinyl, but that kept coming out really blotchy and looked terrible.

 

From here I really didn’t know where to go, the method that I thought would be quite fun wasn’t giving me the results that I was looking for. So I was rapidly thinking of the printing methods that I could do with the things I already had at home, I came up with the idea of making a stamp out of card and pieces of foam. I created a pattern, as word proved to be too difficult, and started printing all over the pieces of paper.

 

After having fun experimenting with the stamp on each piece of paper, I remembered that I had to put these into a booklet in a presentable way. I settled on using bulldog clips to bind the pages, as it allowed me to look at the paper in its larger format. I considered a saddle stitch but that felt too permanent.

The booklet itself could have used a lot more attention and consideration, I realise that. But I decided to focus more of my time on experimenting with the paper itself, it’s definitely something I’ll take forward and make sure to focus on with the next booklet because I enjoy the assembling of the book, it’s just I could be more aware of how to do it and the best ways to do it.

 

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Material/Process/Print: Critical and Design Thinking

Within critical and design thinking we look closely, we analyse, we observe and we see what can be improved. Critical thinking involves thinking factually, vertically, rationally and convergently. Design thinking involves speculation, thinking laterally, emotionally, subjectively and divergently. We focusing on these processes and taking them into our studio practice and applying them to our current projects.

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For our first session, we did a few exercises to help us think outside of the box and recognise where we might be boxing ourselves in where it’s not necessary. The pictures above and below follow how we take instructions and box ourselves in rather than taking these instructions and seeing how far we can push them. For instance, we were asked to draw what a book looks like. I think we all drew a book that resembles the one above. However, books can be in any shape or form they’re not restrictive.

With the exercise below we were asked to design a book out of an A4 piece of paper, and by this time most of us had caught on to the fact that we can be quite expressive with the things that we create and that we create restrictions that aren’t there. So I based mine of a couple of things I’d seen before and made something I think could be quite interesting.

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Ellipsis: GF Smith visit

GF Smith wasn’t what I expected, I didn’t quite realise it be such a showroom. It was such an amazing display of the types of paper and services they provide, which also included a bit of their history and paper samples dating back to the late 18th century.

Our tour started off in the GF Smiths pop up shop, which was a result of the worlds favourite colour, Marr’s green, which is a type of jade/blue-green. Its a really beautiful colour that is becoming the 51st colour in the GF Smith colourplan paper collection. Colourplan paper is like cashmere, it’s so soft and vibrant, the pigments sit on top of the paper fibres to give the paper more vibrancy. Colourplan is also put through several tests to analyse it’s colour, texture, and robustness.

 

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We were then shown what else GF Smith has to offer other than their paper. In the picture above you can see that they provide booking printing, there isn’t a huge variety of options they offer but what is available is absolutely beautiful. They have 3 different sizes A3, A4, A5, in a thick card like stock, gloss or matt, and a range of cover options. I’d say they’re more for your portfolio. They also have framing and larger format printing available.

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Then we got a view of their exhibition space, in which they had some pieces that were made for the Hull City of Culture, they had 6 artists/designers use their paper to create sculptures in their respective styles. The gridded colour spectrum was made by Made Thought who do all of the current design work for GF Smith.

I managed to have a look at some of their archival pieces, a paper sample book from the 1960’s which had raw edges, which I found quite funny because today their samples are immaculate and clean. There were also a few images of what the offices looked like after they had been destroyed in both world wars. It was so cool to see these artifacts, although some of them may not be that old they tell a story of how GF Smith came to be where it is today those are the kind of stories I love to know.

Ellipsis: Benwells visit

We managed to visit Benwells printing company, to give us a look into the different types of printing methods out there. It was amazing, I knew of some of them like embossing/debossing and I could kind of guess what foil blocking was.

We had a tour of all the printing facilities and got to see how some of them were done, our first look was into foil blocking. It was explained that foil blocking is the process of putting a metal or foil-like texture onto the paper, this is done by heating a die and transferring the foil onto the paper. This was such a cool process to watch as I really had no clue how it was done, or even why it was done. Below is a picture of all the different coloured foils they have.

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Next, we had a look at embossing and debossing which I thought would be a fairly straightforward process,  in a sense it is but there’s just a lot to consider when doing it. For instance the type of paper and the weight of it, 270gsm was the paper they were demonstrating with which gave a good emboss. But with around 100gms you have to be careful as the paper may cockle in the process and leave it looking messy and if it’s too thick the emboss/deboss won’t be clear enough. You also have to consider the height/depth of the emboss/deboss if it’s too thick it might pierce the paper, so a shallow emboss leads to cleaner lines.

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Then we got to see the lithograph in action, litho works by having each colour on separate plates and then coming together on a different roller which then imprints the image onto the paper or card. There is much more to it than that, but it’s quite complicated. They explained that this lithograph, in particular, has 14 rollers which are changed every 12 months. It uses Pantone colours which they can mix together to create other colours, or if its a special order they can have a colour mixed up for them. Another thing that was mentioned was that litho actually look over from letterpress as it gave much clearer edges and was more efficient.

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In addition to having a look into Benwells printing processes, they allowed us to take a few samples. Which couldn’t have filled me with more joy. I managed to take samples from all the different techniques and a range of different colours too.

Matierial/Process/Print: Real Review analysis

The Real Review is a publication initiated by the REAL Foundation (an architectural foundation) using analysis and inquiry the magazine evaluates what it means to live today. A collaboration between Jack self, the founder of the REAL foundation and the Real Reviews editor-in-chief, and OK-RM (Graphic designers). 

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The magazine itself was designed by OK-RM, the illustrations by Nishant Choksi, the typeface used is Gestalt, 118x260mm at its smallest, made with a thin coated paper at about 40gsm, and printed by PUSH print.

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The magazine was designed with the user in mind, to be efficient, economical and readable. They recognised that magazines are often folded in half for ease and there for presents the magazine in a pre-folded format. With this in mind, they’ve numbered each quarter. Although I think the design is interesting and innovative, whilst reading the magazine I’ve come across some things I think that could be improved. For instance, when reading some of the articles and holding the magazine as seen below, when you’ve finished reading the left side you find yourself having to unnecessarily maneuver the magazine. But then this kind of works in their favour when it comes to the imagery as it creates these almost collaged creations.

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Overall the shape may be annoying at first but as OK-RM predicted: “readers would create a unique relationship with.” I found a way that feels quite natural to read this magazine, so maybe it something you have to persevere with and if you get frustrated a the very beginning maybe the magazine wasn’t for you anyway.

Material/Process/Print: Publication analysis and Photography.

As our first project is all about the printing process and the materials we use to print, we were set with the task to analyse a small booklet or magazine. We looked at who printed the publication, who designed it, what were the colours used, the type of binding etc.

We also focused on how the publication made us feel, what impact did the type of stock used on have on us, the way it was laid out, what was the intent with the publication, did it fulfill its intent.

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The publication I decided to analyse was the Designers in Residence 2016 pamphlet from The Design Museum. It was perfect bound with a french fold that has a serrated edge so the user can slice the pages to reveal some beautiful illustrations. There were 18 folded pages which meant there were 38pp in total. The publication is 165x234mm in size. It was risographed and digitally printed on a fairly

The catelogue gave me quite an uplifting feeling, the weight of it wasn’t too heavy so it was straining to read, the colours were warm and inviting and encouraged me to pick up and read it. It’s also quite a fun catelogue with its interactive pages. It left me feeling light and enlightened.

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Movement: Screen printing prep

Yesterday we were given the task to make a pattern that we would eventually screen print with the intention to use it as the back to out leaflet/poster. To start off I looked at space age patterns and it was coming up with really generic and basic patterns that although speak to space age I didn’t want to be so direct.

 

I see a lot of atom like patterns in conjunction with space age , so I thought I’d try and do something along those lines.

 

This is my final pattern, as we’re doing stencils I’m not going to do the whole thing but I wanted to print it like this to get an idea of where and where not to cut.

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Movements: Screen printing

I managed to cut out my stencil in a way that I was finally happy with although there isn’t much to it. I went with three of the most space age colours I could find, a dark jade, light sky blue and a deep orange. In doing my research on Space Age these were a few of the colours that kept popping up.

Sadly my prints didn’t come out the way I had hoped, the lines were probably too thin and as it was a stencil the paper kept moving about and closing the lines. The only pat that came out well was the green blocks, which are nice but on there own they don’t really speak to Space Age.

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CIP: Kickstarter screen printing

As we decide to move away from hand painted t-shirts and do screen printed t-shirts instead seeing as they would be more cost effective and take up less time to make. We did a few testers prints to present to accelerator. They came out so beautifully and clean, and they were so easy to make even thought the process can be a bit arduous. Here are a few pictures of the process. This helped us work out that it would take about an hour to 40 t-shirts.

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CIP: Kickstarter notes

We were set with the task to start a Kickstarter campaign for our Market Ready product, we as a group thought that it would be best to expand our brand if seeing as we need to raise money. We decided that we have tote bags as well as t-shirts as this would appeal to our target audience.

These are just a few notes that I made after we were introduced to the brief:

  • A campaign last for 30 days
  • Rewards are given for each donation £5-£100
  • There need to be a video explaining your company and idea
  • You want to put why people should care/donate to your company
  • The most popular donation is £25
  • You want to link to social media and possibly have a newsletter that goes out to each pledger
  • Stickers/badges/card are a good reward fro small donations
  • You want to keep the video short and sweet