So yesterday’s blog was a little bit sour on print, so I figured now would be a good time to revisit a talk from Marcroy Smith I attended. A great deal of talks I attend usually result in just being information that you could probably find with a quick internet search, but Marcroy gave perhaps my favourite talk I’ve attended this term, despite specializing in print, because he shared his experiences, opinions and philosophies, as well as a few heartfelt tips.
After graduating from Brighton in 2008, Marcoy was shipped to New York and worked an unpaid internship at Urban Inks and Post Expose Studio. This was Marcroy’s interesting point, while we’re usually taught to never do any work for free ever out of respect for our own progression, Marcroy suggested that if the experience is a good enough opportunity, then it shouldn’t always be turned away.
Marcroy has since furthered his company People of Print, started the quarterly magazine ‘Print Isn’t Dead’, worked for Levis and Mastercard, and even had his work stolen by Crystal Castles. He attributed much of his early success to his work in New York that helped him expand his passion for screen printing, and launching him deeper into the industry.
It’s certainly reassuring, what with the sheer number of horror stories graphic designers are told about unpaid work robbing them of potential thousands in royalties – it’s good to know the dream of working free for the experience can sometimes be a success story.
In 2011 People of Print were in Berlin with Mother Drucker, and brought with them enough screen printing gear to fill a disused swimming pool, and used it to fill a disused swimming pool. My understanding is only two colours were used, Cyan and Magenta, which any designer will know produces a fantastic retro effect. Despite my favour towards digital media, screen printing can produce some incredibly great stuff, and can produce great looking prints onto a great deal of different materials very quickly, and I’m envious of those who can work the gear with such confidence.
What I love most about People of Print, however, is the store (Department Store). Marcroy explained that if you send him an email, and he thinks your work is cool, he’ll pretty much always put your stuff up on the store, providing a great platform for designers who work with print. While that isn’t typically me, there’s some really fun stuff up on there backed by a great philosophy when it comes to selling work -I always get an itch to purchase something when I visit.
And I think that really just goes to show, while I ranted about the sheer time it takes to use traditional printing media, the care and attention that has gone into something letter pressed or screen printed makes it feel that much more genuine to the touch, and encourages you to cherish it in a way that a digital print might not offer.
I decided as a little bonus I would print out a short publication that featured the background illustration from Crossing to the Cold valley, and it’s great to see how well some of the illustrations have transferred onto the printed page. Since I emulated a brush and canvas for a lot of my drawings, it only makes sense to see them as print. It’s a digital print, but I chose an almost watercolour paper to print on to give the publication some texture that helps the images sit on the page and, in a simlar vein, just suggests you handle it with slightly more care than had it been printed on standard A4. It’s a strange irony that I work digitally but deliberately make my work look analogue, but this goes to show that it can still translate between these two very different realms of working.