As the one designer in his band, Lord Mandrake, Spencer Charles set out to design and produce their second album. Not happy with the somewhat cookie-cutter outcome of their first title which was laser printed, the band settled on silkscreen and the best choice for their aesthetic needs and budgetary restrictions — and they would, of course, do it themselves. But I will let Spencer tell you a little more about the experience:
I did the illustrations in Adobe Illustrator, exposed them on to the screens using a poorly built light table in my serial-killer basement, and did all the printing on my kitchen table. I encountered more problems than can be counted, but there are a couple of lessons I learned that I would like to share with anyone new to screenprinting:
- Be prepared to make big mistakes. It never goes as planned, make sure you are flexible and have many different options in case something goes wrong.
- Be prepared to spend most of your time planning/problem solving. The actual printing stage goes very quickly, it’s setting everything up to run smoothly that will take up the majority of your time.
- Have access to a pressure washer. Cleaning a screen by hand is next to impossible.
The amount of work involved in screenprinting can be staggering, but if you have the time and persistence, you can end up with a very cool, cost effective product.
By looking at the final result I do not get the sense of many problems encountered, so I have to give kudos to Spencer for finding ways to overcome his obstacles and put out a quality piece that does not reflect his troubles.
FPO (For Print Only), is a division of UnderConsideration, celebrating the reality that print is not dead by showcasing the most compelling printed projects.
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UnderConsideration is a graphic design enterprise that runs a network of blogs, publishes books, organizes live events and judged competitions, and designs for clients.
Brand New / Displaying opinions and focusing solely on corporate and brand identity work.
Art of the Menu / Cataloguing the underrated creativity of menus from around the world.
Quipsologies / Chronicling the most curious, creative, and notable projects, stories, and events of the graphic design industry on a daily basis.
Speak Up (2002 – 2009) / Discussing, and looking for, what is relevant in, and the relevance of, graphic design. Archives Only.
Word It (2003 – 2010) / Encouraging creative diversity in the community through monthly, one-word challenges. Archives Only.
Brand New Classroom (2010 – 2011) / Providing a space for critique and opinions on student identity workArchives Only.
Department of Design / Designing corporate and brand identities and full development of printed and digital matter for clients.
The 2010 FPO Awards / 2011, self-published.
The 2010 Brand New Awards / 2011, self-published.
Flaunt: Designing effective, compelling and memorable portfolios of creative work / 2010, self-published.
Events & Judged Competitions
Brand New Conference / A one-day event on the development of corporate and brand identity projects by some of today’s most active and influential practitioners from around the world.
Brand New Awards / Celebrating the best identity work produced around the world.
FPO Awards / Celebrating the best print work from around the world.
Graphic Design, Referenced: A Visual Guide to the Language, Applications, and History of Graphic Design / 2009, Rockport.
Women of Design: Influence and Inspiration from the Original Trailblazers to the New Groundbreakers / 2008, HOW Books.
The Word It Book: Speak Up Presents a Gallery of Interpreted Words / 2007, HOW Books.