Awesome article here showing all the press content we’ve had!
It’s been a hectic few weeks at Printed By us, we’ve been back at Sheffield Print Club working on nine different designs for the Pete McKee exhibition. Titled “This Class Works”, the art represented an exploration and celebration of the working class and offered a personal perspective on the work and life of the working class. McKee aimed to celebrate the spirit of this class; the pride, tenacity, hope, fight, passion and resourcefulness which he witnessed growing up.
As part of the exhibition known artists in Sheffield created different designs about the working class. We were honored to print these designs for them which are limited edition and there is only 10 available of each.
Printing for this exhibition marked a lot of firsts for us as James explains, "it was a challenge because of the complexity of the designs, because we have never printed artwork with four colours before – but it was definitely a very rewarding experience". It was a learning curve for all of us having to work with such detailed designs, but thanks to the expertise of Hannah and Heather at the Sheffield Print Club, we were able to develop our screen-printing skills.
In the end, we spent over 35 hours at the Sheffield Print Club, and everyone pulled together to make this exhibition a success. James, Andrea, Amy, Russel, Kamran and Lee all got involved with the screen printing, with the guidance of Hannah F. and Heather, while Hannah S, Terry and Daniela took pictures and made endless cups of tea for the team.
It was a great honour to work with the artists and print their fantastic designs and we all commented on how surreal it was to then attend the private exhibition and see our hard work displayed. Our invitation simply said 'Printed By us + 16 guests' and it was great to see the team arrive promptly at 92 Burton Street, some in our PBU shirts and others wearing flip-flops (talking to you Terry).
Just a few months before the exhibition, James became a first-time father to three beautiful boys. He was worried that he was not going to be able to attend the launch party, however as we are a big family here at PBU, we were all happy to give our fair share of cuddles. We even printed them matching PBU baby grows.
The whole team enjoyed an amazing evening at the exhibition, seeing the nine brilliant prints proudly displayed – the achievement of many workshops which were both fun and challenging for everyone involved.
It was great to meet Pete Mckee and the artists who's work we had printed and just enjoy the rest of the brilliant exhibition.
We want to thank Hannah and Heather from the Sheffield Print Club for their never-ending hours at the workshops teaching and guiding us. Thank you also to the nine designers (Dust, Nick Deakin, Cafeteria, Nick Bax, Kid Acne, Patrick Murphy, Peter and Paul, Field Designs and Jon Cannon) for giving us the honour of printing their designs. Finally, thank you to Pete McKee for giving us the opportunity to showcase our printing talent at this event.
Check out our social media for more behind the scenes of the prints!
We were back in the workshop again printing a new design ‘C’est La Vie’ design from the distinctively quirky and surreal local artist, Tom J Newell. When we first saw the design idea Tom sent through to us we loved it, but I wasn’t sure about the message. ‘C’est La Vie’ after all means; ‘That’s Life’ - which on the face of it seems quite passive, quite negative. After discussing it with the team however, James had a counter point.
“For me, realising that “That’s life” was actually a big part of moving forward with my recovery. Before that point, I was blaming other people for the situation I was in, which meant that I wasn’t taking responsibility for what I could do”.After this profound statement from James, we knew we had to print this beauty.
After this profound statement from James, we knew we had to print this beauty.
One colour prints are usually fairly straight forward, but the additional challenging factor in this print was that we were using metallic silver ink which is more translucent than standard coloured ink, which means that Robbie needed to pull the ink through the screen three times or ‘triple pull’ as it’s known in the trade.
We caught up with Robbie, to hear what he thought about his first workshop...
“I found the printing really rewarding, I felt a real overwhelming sense of achievement. I really enjoyed working with Will (from the Sheffield Print Club) and overcoming the different challenges we had when printing, such as the screen drying up. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it and how quickly the time flew as we were printing. I was learning from scratch so to have gone into the room without a clue what to do and then learning a new skill and seeing the finished print looking so good was so rewarding.”
Our C’est La Vie A3 print is available from our online shop but we only do short print runs so don’t miss out!
Well after the success of our first printing workshop, we were raring to get printing 3 new designs to print from three other super talented local artists. James and Hugo had gained a lot of confidence from the first workshop and Cameron and Robbie were two new keen learners.
First up was a three colour print 'House Plants' from Sarah Abbott. This was a real challenge because aligning 3 separate colours is tough enough for a seasoned professional screen printer, let alone people who are new to the game.
"We certainly had our challenges and it required a lot of persevere, but we got there in the end and created a beautiful print. . In the past I've come up against challenges and just given up at the first hurdle, but this has shown me that everyone has challenges and it's good experienced trying to think of creative ways to solve a problem because life never goes smoothly " said James, one of our printing team.
Next up was the vector shape design from the brilliant Laura Knight, inspired by the simple bold shapes of the playground of the original Park Hill flats, found in photographers taken by her father back in the day.
Again this 2 colour design required a lot of precision and perseverance, but the final result was well worth the effort.
For a bit of variety, we printed Sleepover on two different coloured card...
So workshops 3 and 4 were a real challenge and required a lot of perseverance to create these beautiful prints. Quite a few things didn't quite go to plan but the ever positive David Gasi from Sheffield Print Club was so impressed with the can-do attitude from James, Hugo and Kameron – great work guys!
Well after months of planning and preparation, we were finally ready for the very first Printed By us screen printing workshop. It's quite surreal when something you've been thinking about and imagining for such a long time is actually happening. I'd spent most of the previous night dreaming about all the various ways in which it could go wrong but hopefully everything would go to plan on the day.
The wonderful David Gasi from Sheffield Print Club was leading the workshop and introducing Danielle, James and Hugo to the craft of hand screen printing. David taught me how to screen print a few weeks ago and so I was on hand to help out.
David with his disarming Aussie twang was a really friendly and engaging teacher which gave everyone the confidence to get stuck-in and give it a go.
"I thought I'd be rubbish at [printing] because I'm terrible at DIY – don't ask me to put up a shelf for you...But I actually picked it up really quickly and it's really fun to do" said James as he was pulling some immaculate prints.
I was amazed at how quickly and naturally everyone seemed grasp the technique and after a few test prints on scrap paper we quickly got into printing onto the high quality card and the prints were coming out beautifully.
It was great to take a step back and just watch Danielle, Hugo and James all really working as a team; taking turns, helping each other get the paper correctly aligned, printing, quality checking and then placing the print to dry on the drying racks. In a way, it was like a mini production line, but the room was filled with laughter and positive words – everyone was taking joy in seeing the work of their hands producing the beautiful prints.
It was a long, exhausting day but an incredible first workshop. Everyone enjoyed themselves, learned a new skill and was proud of what they had achieved – which is the real value of the workshops. On top of that, we now have a short run of superb prints ready for the people of Sheffield and beyond to buy and support future workshops.
"This morning I was trying to think of an excuse not to come today because I don't like new things. But I'm so glad I turned up – I've learned so much" saidJames as we were all cleaning the screens and tidying up. For me this sums up everything I hoped that Printed By us would be – something that is fun, encouraging and life-giving to everyone involved.
David also had a few words to say about the day:
“The tentative initial steps we sought to take with Mark and the Printed By Us project quickly turned into giant strides. Seeing the confidence in Danielle, Hugo and James lift throughout the day was a real joy. Apart from producing top quality prints, they were brilliant students, full of questions, good humour and eager to learn. We’re just so pleased to be involved with such a wonderful project and can’t wait for the next workshop."
Exclusive prints from the first Printed By us workshop are now available from our website Shop.
So there you have it: Printed By us workshop number one. The first of many I hope.
Mark Musgrave – freelance designer and doer
Right from the get-go we want Printed By us to be something that is co-created with the homeless and vulnerable people who are going to be making it all happen. So we decided to run regular group activities to get input, ideas and feedback throughout the process of starting this exciting project.
So we gave an intro to the Printed By us idea and openly admitted that we have no idea what we are doing. Thankfully we’re working with uber talented local artists, and have the expertise of Sheffield Print Club to teach us the screen printing skills.
The next step was to start thinking about the Printed By us brand values and visuals – what people should think and feel when they come across anything that we do. Our website, our logo, our social media, our prints – everything we do should communicate what we are about.
So we did a couple of brand workshops to help form the creative direction for creating the Printed By us brand
Card sorting workshop
The first workshop was about agreeing what words we would want people to use when describing Printed By us. So we started with 200+ cards each with describing words on such as; fun, serious, luxurious, cheap, modern, retro, etc.
So some of the words are we want the brand to be like, and some are not . One end of the table has a sign saying “YES” and the other side “No".
So everyone got involved and arranged the words to each side of the table depending on what they thought Printed By us brand should be like.
As a group, we then talked about the placement of some of the different cards that we thought were incorrect at each end of the table – moving a few cards around.
Out of the 200+ cards, each member of the group picked a card which thought was the most important. So the group thought that Printed By us should be:
And should not be:
Dot voting workshop
Taking the words from the previous workshop, the next step was to look at how these words can be translated into the visual aspect of the Printed By us brand. We started by all looking at a table full of examples of different flyers, posters and leaflets from various organisations.
Each person in the group was given two green sticky dots, and two red sticky dots.
We then had to stick the green dots to the favourite two examples that we thought Printed By us should be like, and the red dots to the two examples that we thought Printed By us should not be like.
From this workshop, we agreed that visually, Printed By us should be:
Fun, simple, colourful, bold, friendly, young, hand-made, and have lots of white space.
So from these workshops, the next step is to start creating some logo and brand ideas...
Mark Musgrave – freelance designer and doer