Screen Printing

| Carol Liao

The art of screen printing dates back to as early as 960 AD in Asia, but the rise of western screen printing is generally associated with the 1960’s when Andy Warhol’s famous prints became iconic visuals representing the era.

You might wonder what is a post about screen printing is doing on a digital agency’s blog. As makers and artists, we’re always looking back to our fine art roots for inspiration. Designers in all industries will often say there’s something uniquely fulfilling about producing physical work. We like to keep a balance of both in our daily lives. We’ve acquired a silk screen, some ink and squeegees, and have a plethora of ideas waiting to be printed. If anyone has DIY screen cleaning advice for a small studio with no power washer, we’re all ears!

Harmen Liemburg’s Sikkens Prize Invitation

Dutch designer, artist, and screen printing maestro Harmen Liemburg designed the award-winning Sikkens Prize Invitation and program booklet in 2012. This piece is comprised of six 10 colour offset printed posters folded into a 24 page booklet.

Last summer, I visited the Gerrit Rietveld Academie for a tour and workshop with Liemburg, and got the opportunity to see the booklet in person. Its vibrant pages are filled with stunning colours and compositions that draw inspiration from glass prisms, rainbows, and lava lamps. It instantly became one of my favourite examples of screen printing as well as book design. A must see, if you can manage to get your hands on one of the few 600!

Print fabric with light

Another great product with its origins in Kickstarter. This process allows its users to custom print T-shirts easily at home, without expensive equipment or any knowledge of screen printing. Founder Jesse Genet started this project when she found a unique dye formula from the 1950’s. After two incredibly successful Kickstarters and a lot of R&D, Genet and parter Stéphan Angoulvant have modernised the formula and now produce it in a kit called Lumi. Check out the sun printed gallery.

Mobile Print Power

Mobile Print Power was a workshop that used screen printing as a medium. Held over the course of a few months in 2013, artist Patrick Rowe in co-operation with Immigrant Movement International (IMI) created a mobile screen printing cart and brought it to the streets of Corona, Queens. Using a grass-roots, hands-on approach, he invited locals to participate in a think-tank for immigrant issues. The project was part of a larger scheme by IMI working for the advancement of immigrant rights, and advocating for progressive immigration policies. Learn more about the project.

National Poster Retrospecticus

It’s always a shame when you can’t view beautifully crafted posters up close in person. One of the many splendours of screen printing is the physical qualities of the ink and paper, which is often lost in its translation to the computer screen. The National Poster Retrospecticus solves this problem by bringing hundreds of hand printed posters from prominent designers to cities across the US. The traveling show was started in 2012 by poster designer JP Boneyard and is currently on tour! See if they’re visiting a city near you.

Prettig weekend! (Have a good weekend!)