Wednesday, 15 May 2013

OUGD505 // What is Good // Invitations

Within the project i set out saying that i wanted to use some printing techniques and experiment with ones that i havent used before. For the invitations for the opening night, i wanted to create something that was unique and had a hand crafted quality to them to give them the extra value and feel. With them being hand printed each one would be slightly different and it makes it more personal to the invitees.
Design sheets:

Design sheets showing different ways which I could format the invitation and make it something different to send out to the invitees.

After choosing the format and idea that I wanted to use, I further explored the aesthetics that the invitation could take.

Back design of the invitations, here I have concentrated on keeping the design simple and only having the necessary information on them as I am going to be screen printing this part of the design and the more detail the harder it will be to do. Also the use of the logo and type needs to be included to show that it is still part of the promo and branding of the exhibition.

So to create the invitations i decided that i would and use emboss and screen printing to make them. In order to get a good emboss and make it as crisp as i could, i thought making a copper plate would be the best way and to get the best results. In order to make this copper plate i had to have my artwork ready so that i could be created from it.

These were the orignal designs and the ones that i used to create the invitations.

I created the copper plate down in the print room at Vernon Street, i had never done this process before so it was a good learning curve and a new skill which i would require.

Creating the copper plate was a fairly long task. The design had to be in black and white with the anything i wanted to be in relief in black.

Initially i sanded the copper down to get rid of any implications on the copper surface, from this a light sensitive film was placed over the top of the copper which i had to roll through the rolling machine to make it stick throughly to the copper. This was then placed in the light box to expose the above design onto it.
Once the design had been exposed onto the copper, i had to wash it in a chemical to remove the film that wasn't exposed. This left the design above exposed onto the copper and ready to be put into the chemical bath. This had to be left overnight for it to react and create the emboss plate.
The next day i went back down to finish the copper plate, which entailed of me remove the degraded film and hardening the copper plate. This was the plate finished, once i washed it, it could be used to emboss.

I want the invitations be thick and sturdy and using a high gsm stock will also provide a good emboss on the stock. I opted for using mount board. To get the gradient on the front of the design, i would have to ink the copper plate up and then press it - this would transfer the ink to the stock at the same time as embossing it, so this part of the process was fairly easy because it was quite quick.

To create the gradient i used stock acrylic paints and rolled out the gradient until i was happy with it, i then transferred this onto the copper plate. Laying the mount board on top of the plate, meant it would stick to it because of the ink, which helped when embossing it because it wouldn't move whilst doing this.

Using the nipping press, i was able to apply a lot of pressure to the stock and create the emboss and the print the gradient too.

Unfortunately as i was so involved in the process and really got into the process of creating the gradient, inking the plate and embossing it, i didn't get any photos, which would have been good to illustrate the process.

At the start when i pressing the first lot of invitations i went for a more pastel and faint colour to the gradient because i felt this would work better with the digitally printed material.

But as i went on making the invitations i experimented with the vibrance and intensity of the colour, as found the more vibrant the gradient was the better the emboss stood out and it nicely popped out of the design which i was really happy with

All in all i managed to print 16 invites, some of them weren't as successful as other but as a whole i created a good amount of them which i happy to show and use within a portfolio. I think this embossing process has worked really well and looks really good within the design. From doing this it made me want to do more print material and i think i am going to try and screen print my posters, but not for submission because there isnt enough time.
Experimenting with this process has definatly opened my eyes to what i can create and what is possible to create.

For the back design:

As the front was more complicated and did take more time than i thought - it was definatly worth it though. I changed the design of the back to make it easier to print, i decided to print it all black instead. I think this was a wise decision because it makes it all one colour and more legible to read - nothing stood out more than another. The important information is still highlighted by the use of the lines and a slightly bigger font.

To create the back of the invitations i decided to screen print them. Initially i was going to digitally print them, but as i took time over the front and the outcome of it was really good i thought to stick with the print techniques on this product to make it the best it could be. Again the idea of a hand printed invitation makes it more personal and i think has a much nicer aesthetic.

This was the design which was exposed onto a screen and after mixing the black ink with the binding liquid, i could start to screen print them.
It has been a while since i last screen printed so i was a bit loose on my technique when i first started, which shows on some of the first couple of invites as the print isnt consistent throughout and has some lighter patches in places where it didnt print properly.

As i kept going on i just had to keep the pressure applied throughout the printing process and eventually i started to get them printing consistently through the whole design, once i got the first one right the rest followed and it was a really quick process to do, this was partly because i i decided to only print in one colour - this both saved time and in my opinion was the better option to get them spot on and looking professional - if i started to play around with a second colour it would have made it more complicated and possibly started to make mistakes etc.

With the embosses and printed front to invitation and the screen printed back side, i was really happy with the end product. I think it stands out well and is very eye catching, you can tell that time has been spent on them and the printing technique can be seen through them because of the finish of them. This is the result i wanted and has shown the application of printing techniques within my work.

It was good to get feedback on them which was positive from everyone i asked, they were all amazed with the technique and the embossed feature on them - this is the reaction i wanted and i knew i had done them well form this. The front of the invites sets them off nicely and gives that wow factor as soon as you see them.

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