Workshop Four & Five

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.

 
Proud as punch. Our lovely smiley scotsman Robbie holding his freshly printed C’est La Vie.

Proud as punch. Our lovely smiley scotsman Robbie holding his freshly printed C’est La Vie.

 

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.”
 
Freshly printed metallic silver ink on Black 300gsm G.F. Smith card.

Freshly printed metallic silver ink on Black 300gsm G.F. Smith card.

Framed C'est La Vie print

Framed C'est La Vie print

 

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!

Workshop Two & Three

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.

House Plants

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.

Hugo carefully lining up colour 3 of the House Plants prints.

Hugo carefully lining up colour 3 of the House Plants prints.

"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.

 
House Plants by Sarah Abbott

House Plants by Sarah Abbott

 

House Plants A3 print is now available from our online shop. We only did a short run of 30 prints so get em whilst they're hot.

Park Play

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.

Jame's pulling the pastel green first layer.

Jame's pulling the pastel green first layer.

 
Hugo printing the dark blue layer of Park Play print

Hugo printing the dark blue layer of Park Play print

Again this 2 colour design required a lot of precision and perseverance, but the final result was well worth the effort.  

 
Park Play by Laura Knight.

Park Play by Laura Knight.

 

Park Play A3 print is now available from our online shop. Again only a super small print run so you snooze – you lose.

Sleepover

Last, but by no means least, we printed this fun 1 colour design from the uber talented Mr Ian Anderson of Designers Republic. 

Teamwork makes the dream work as they say. James, Hugo and Kameron working together to print Sleepover.

Teamwork makes the dream work as they say. James, Hugo and Kameron working together to print Sleepover.

 
A close up of the freshly printed Sleepover design by Ian Anderson

A close up of the freshly printed Sleepover design by Ian Anderson

For a bit of variety, we printed Sleepover on two different coloured card...

 
Sleepover (Charcoal) by Ian Anderson

Sleepover (Charcoal) by Ian Anderson

Sleepover (Forest Green) By Ian Anderson

Sleepover (Forest Green) By Ian Anderson

 

Our Sleepover (Charcoal) and Sleepover (Forest green) A4 prints are now available from our online shop

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!

Workshop One

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.

Left to right: David from Sheffield Print Club showing James, Hugo and Danielle the ropes.

Left to right: David from Sheffield Print Club showing James, Hugo and Danielle the ropes.

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.

Left: James preparing the designs ready for the screens. Right Danielle pulling a hand print.

Left: James preparing the designs ready for the screens. Right Danielle pulling a hand print.

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.

A close up of James screen printing our Strong and Northern design.

A close up of James screen printing our Strong and Northern design.

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.

Danielle and Hugo knocking some high quality prints out. Teamwork makes the dream...happen as they say.

Danielle and Hugo knocking some high quality prints out. Teamwork makes the dream...happen as they say.

Hugo inspecting one of his freshly printed artwork with help from Danielle.

Hugo inspecting one of his freshly printed artwork with help from Danielle.

Our Strong and Northern A4 print ready for hand signing by Artist and printer.

Our Strong and Northern A4 print ready for hand signing by Artist and printer.

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

First things first

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.

Card sorting workshop

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:

Positive
Quality
Forward thinking
Social
Cool
Inspiring
Imaginative
Hopeful

And should not be:

Guilt tripping
Expensive
Busy
Formal
Controversial
Traditional

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.

Dot voting workshop

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