“Printing posters… if only (work in progress…)”

The “print brief” was one of my bigger projects, as I love getting my hands dirty, and printing can be a great opportunity to do so.

We were supposed to pick a place, an event, or just about anything that interested us as the  subject of our poster—just as long as it was located in our “local universe” area. After some time spent searching for the right idea, I eventually found one. My posters were going to be inviting bypassers  into an amazing Brick Lane chocolate shop called Dark Sugars. They were to be placed on the windows, with their text further elaborating on the context and ethics of the shop. I chose to do four of them, each being different colour, and with a different size or a combination of sizes of cocoa beans prints. Each of them would communicate a different point, or part of the “motto” of the shop, revealing interesting facts.

Exterior.
Exterior.
People involved in running the business.
painting of the people involved in running the business.
Plenty of yummee (although expensive!) choice.
Plenty of yummee (although expensive!) choices.
Cocoa bean.
Cocoa bean.

After photographing the shop and the beans (hanging inside) in order to determine the colours, fonts, and the general feel of the posters, I started experimenting with different media to utilise the information I gathered. Since I just bought a new Gelli Plate, I was eager to try it out. It basically creates mono prints, and is a very versatile and exciting addition to my home studio. After much experimentation (and heaps of fun!), I eventually found a way to give them that textured grungy look that I really love. I ended up with four great backgrounds (and a few more “backups”) for my A3 posters.

A turquoise gelli print with my sketches and texture-making tools.
A turquoise gelli print with my sketches and texture-making tools.
Putting paint on to a gelli plate.
Putting paint on to a gelli plate.
Pulling off a print.
Pulling off a print.
My messy studio! It's been changed around now, but still seems to be messy most of the time, even though I'm a pretty neat person…
My messy studio! It’s been changed around now, but still seems to be messy most of the time, even though I’m a pretty neat person… sometimes I wish I had four desks.

Next came the image—cocoa bean(s). I lino-printed different sizes and colours of them, and had a great time doing so.

Forst bean shape being cut.
First bean shape being cut.
The next one…
The next one…
Yeaaaah!
Yeaaaah!
Love the colour!
Love the colour!

Lastly, I focused on the text. After some experimentation with different fonts, I decided to scan the tiny shop gift card that I received with my chocolates, and extract the actual font they used in the shop. I printed it out, copied it on to a tracing paper and cut it out with a scalpel—then used it as a stencil for my spray paint.

Trying out my bought stencils first, but it didn't work for me.
Trying out my bought stencils first, but it didn’t work for me.
My own…
My own…
Stencil made.
Stencil made.
Experimenting with different types of text.
Experimenting with different types of text and media.

All the posters had the same title—name of the shop. The rest of the text was going to be handwritten, but since I wasn’t sure about the best approach, I decided to bring what I had to the class to get some feedback. The teacher advised me to go for the letterpress instead of handwriting, which I thought was a good idea actually. She also advised me to start using Photoshop instead of doing everything by hand, to save time. I thought this was a great idea too! It is kind of meditative, but also debilitating (when you have deadlines), because if the last step goes wrong, you have to start again. So at the end, the text is still to be added, hopefully next week as today the campus is closed. I’m planning to spend a day in a letterpress room, and will sure blog about it. There’s so much character in that room, that I’m looking forward to the photos already!

Getting there. Wet prints—took about a week to dry completely!
Getting there. Wet prints—took about a week to dry completely!

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The posters are nearly finished, I just need to find a way to make them look “beanie”, as some of them look more like lemons than beans—perhaps by adjusting the colours digitally. I also need to scan them in and add the letterpress text. Then I want to take them to the actual shop and offer it to them together with a tote bag design in case they are interested! Got to find time for that though, so probably not until this academic year is over…

 

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