When you sit at a computer all day every day, doing something a little bit messy is a welcome opportunity. Luckily for me, the guys from Print Club London asked if I’d like to join in one of their workshops and I jumped at the chance of course!
It had been a while since I’d been in the print room printing something that I’d designed myself. Recently it’s become quite trendy to have screen printing at events so I’ve pulled a few squeegees but it’s not quite the same as doing the complete process from start to end. Before the workshop I was excited but also had no clue what I wanted to print – typical me! In the end I decided to create something mixing Graphic Design, social media and trends, so using Pantone chips as a base I created a spoof (Pantonique, obvs), but with hashtags and popular ‘millennial’ buzzwords; think mermaids, girlboss and #goals.
I’ve never been on a Screen printing workshop before, having learnt as I went along in the print rooms at college and Uni, so I wasn’t really sure what to expect. I knew the basics but with PCL being screen printing gurus I was open to learning the tricks of the trade.
After our images were formatted correctly for printing (bitmaps), we each grabbed a screen and began the process by coating our screens in light sensitive emulsion. I felt a bit spoilt at this point because the screens had always been prepped for us at University, but was more than happy to get stuck in of course! Whilst we waited for the emulsion coating to dry onto our screens we were given a bit of theory & history of screen printing, which I thought was really good. I hadn’t expected this to be part of the workshop but actually knowing about the thread counts of screens, difference between paper and fabric printing and the colour theory etc is pretty crucial knowledge if you want to screen print seriously. As a designer, I was more than happy to chat about CMYK processes but felt like this part of the workshop was a really good foundation for the newbie creatives of the group.
Want to learn more about the process? I filmed the day, so watch what we got up to (and don’t forget to subscribe to my Youtube channel where I’m making videos EVERY WEEK):
After washing away the excess emulsion to reveal our designs on our screens, it was time to think about colours. With my design being quite ‘on trend’ I had envisioned it being a blend of pastel colours – what else for a Pantonique chip of Mermaid? Being the keen bean that I am, I’d also brought some of my own paper (GF Smith samples) along so took that into consideration and settled on a blend of two blue hues: a cornflower & a teal. Thought they’d work nicely together….
With everyone hard at work on their prints, I took the opportunity to explore the print room – the squeegees, paint splatters and screens. Don’t forget to watch my video to see what I found 🙂
And then it was my turn – of course I was the last to print, and so the pressure was on as I worked against the clock. Because I’d chosen to blend two colours together, that complicated things slightly, but I managed to power through my print run with a little help from my lovely assistants.
Of course no blog post about printing would be complete without a smiley shot of me holding my printed goods. I miss having the opportunity to screen print & experiment – maybe it’s time for me to cash in the boyf’s offer of buying me a kit!
After we’d packed everything away we headed into the PCL gallery, which showcases some of the fruits of the print room. It’s good to see the different styles and approaches to screen printing next to each other – I think it helps people to understand the possibilities from paper to skateboards and books! The guys from PCL also explained how you could become a member and book into the print room to get your print on.
I really enjoyed getting back into the print room and wish I could be there everyday – that would be a dream. If you’ve never printed before I think the PCL workshop is a good course to book yourself onto (and I’m not just saying that) for a fully rounded print experience. With Birthdays, Anniversaries and Christmas not that far away, there will ALWAYS be an excuse to treat yourself to some creative time away from your computer.
Have you been to a workshop before – What was your experience like? Or maybe you’ve never printed before… well now’s the time to get into that print room and get your hands messy!
Thanks to Print Club London for having me & to Gabby from Design Curator for being my lovely assistant videographer/photographer – it’s what bloggers do best after all 🙂