Future Knowledge :: silkscreen print on paper

Future Knowledge :: silk screen print on paper

Future Knowledge :: silkscreen print on paper

Future Knowledge :: silkscreen print on paper

Dear fans,

I created another typographical based silkscreen print on paper titled “Future Knowledge.” This is mainly an experimental project to test out my newly acquired screen printing machine Yudu, which enables me to create more detailed stencils using the photo emulsion method.

As you may already know, I work as a web UI designer during the day in a start up company. When a feature is proposed to be built, my coworkers and I will brainstorm on what the ideal user experience would be, how to develop it on top of our code base and we will go through many iterations of the design until we settle on something that is good and viable. Although this is largely a collaborative process in which we are all doing our best, sometimes I just have this instinct that, somehow, there are better solutions out there than what we’ve come up with, but I don’t know what it is.

I wish I knew. I wish I could channel myself in 5 or 10 years and ask her what to do now. I wish I could get some future knowledge. However, I know that whatever I’ll know in the future, I am learning it right now through all these mistakes. So…alas, there is never, ever, future knowledge to be obtained!

Matching this theme, the process of creating this image was also full of mistakes, failures, twists and turns.

1) Using the Yudu I purchased this machine because of its ability to expose my design onto a screen that is coated with light sensitive material, forming a stencil that can be way more complicated than what I can cut with a knife on contact paper. This is generally called the photo emulsion method. I didn’t know that one day I would purchase such a hobbyist kind of product to pull prints (Sorry, Larry), but look what I can do in my bedroom!

the yudu machine

the yudu machine

2) What the font I experimented with an exciting range of new fonts that I wasn’t able to use before, but since this is kind of a test piece, I settled on something that looks cool but not too delicate or complicated–Pixcel Vertical Scan.

experiment with fonts

experiment with fonts

black on white and white on black

black on white and white on black

3) Making the photo positive a photo positive is basically the design printed on a transparent sheet of plastic which in the exposure process will block light and create a stencil.

photo positive

photo positive

4) Exposing the design with Yudu’s emulsion sheets the emulsion sheets that came with the machine were very hard to use, and were costly, about $10.00 per sheet, and I ruined them so fast it’s not even funny.

yudu emulsion sheets

yudu emulsion sheets

 

5) Using the Speedball Diazo kit this kit is the most available photo emulsion products on the market and I can understand why, because it works! It was way easier to apply and the result was much better.

 

Speedball Diazo photo emulsion kit

Speedball Diazo photo emulsion kit

Exposing the screen with Yudu

Exposing the screen with Yudu

There were still some blemishes on the text, but I think it’s from my lousy laser printer that wasn’t dark enough.

the stencil made with diazo photo emulsion kit

the stencil made with diazo photo emulsion kit

There was a small hole where the stencil didn’t cover, so I used the Screen Filler fluid to cover it.

using the screen filler to cover small holes

using the screen filler to cover small holes

the final screen to be printed

the final screen to be printed

6) What comes out I didn’t see this coming from the computer design at all, but the resulting print is pretty boring. I decided to add a background.

text only

text only

7) Adding a background to quickly remedy the bore of this image, I used some masking tape and some body powder to create a geometric, grungy background.

using the masking tape to create a design

using the masking tape to create a design

body powder for some texture

body powder for some texture

the background screen

the background screen

printing the background

printing the background

Many things went wrong on many pieces of paper.

background proofs

background proofs

8) Rescue my heart sank even deeper after I printed the background. Because of the grunge, gold background, the entire image lacks a visual focus and the text is now hard to read. I thought this image was done for, but I decided to do one last try, making some mockups on photoshop to see if adding anything else would salvage this image.

with background

with background

In the end, I decided that rescue option #2 would be worth a try.

mockups for salvaging options

mockups for salvaging options

 9) Printing the translucent layer since this layer is just some rectangles, I decided to use the old trusted contact paper to make the stencil.

Something cool about the Yudu machine is that when it is not an exposure unit, it can also be used as a light table, which I used to create the contact paper stencil.

Using the Yudu light table

Using the Yudu light table

printing the translucent layer

printing the translucent layer

There were many pieces that were too dark, too runny, not enough ink…etc. As I was running out of paper feeling hopeless, wiping sweat and ink off of my forehead, I cried out in my heart, “Larry! What do I do now!?” and then, just like that, everything began to get better!

More trials and errors

More trials and errors

Because of the translucent ink has a lot more ink body than the pigment, it is very wet on the paper.

a very wet layer

a very wet layer

The few that are good

The few that are good

10) Finally, after all these fails and mistakes I arrived at something that I can honestly accept.

I now possess the future knowledge that I wish I had known at the start of the project!

Future Knowledge :: silkscreen print on paper
 

 

Rest screen print on paper

Rest :: silk screen print on paper

Rest screen print on paper

Rest screen print on paper

Dear fans,

This is a new typographical print on paper titled “Rest.” Yes I rested from posting blog posts for 4 months!

Recently I’ve been practicing restorative yoga a lot, almost everyday, sometimes twice a day, once after waking up, and once before bed. During a restorative class, some things are mentioned repetitively, like “relax,” “breathe,” “settle down,” “be comfortable” and “be sweet.” It is truly a challenge to totally give in and not push either my body or my mind. Surely I can’t improve without working hard.

I often doubt myself right after a restorative class, “Did I stretch enough?” “It was so lazy!” But I would feel feather light for the rest of the day during work, workout and home time. Everything becomes easier, it is the strangest thing! What is happening inside during the time I breathe and basically lay on the floor?

I guess…Rest? :D

Here’s how the print was made.

1) Picking a font I wanted to experiment with some fonts that I don’t normally get a chance to use, some more exaggerated display fonts, and I ended up choosing fat, cute Kada. It is also a stencil font so it turned out to be perfect for stencil cutting.

Choosing Kada font

Choosing Kada font

 2) Designing in Illustrator making a simple prototype design in Illustrator to see how it will look.

designing in illustrator

designing in illustrator

3) Cutting the stencil I printed the design out on paper, then using that to cut contact paper stencils.

cutting out the letters on contact paper

cutting out the letters on contact paper

 4) Printing since there’s only one layer and one color, the process is pretty straight forward.

setting up the screen to print

setting up the screen to print

I was going to use this gold metallic ink on the right, but it turns out to be too dark and earthy, so I ended up using the bright pearly yellow that I’ve been using in lots of previous prints.

gold versus yellow

gold versus yellow

5) Runny ink and changing direction Since I can’t do a perfect job on cutting the stencil, there’s sometimes holes that the ink would run through. In this case, it was fixed by simply turning the screen and squeegee from left to right instead of from top to down.

two holes on the stencil

two holes on the stencil

ink running out from the holes

ink running out from the holes

Talking about rest, I was rocking a wrist plaster myself while still doing the printing, without giving my wrist a rest. Oh well, something to work towards. But here, simply dragging the squeegee from left to right prevented the ink from running out the holes at the bottom of the R.

squeegeeing from left to right

squeegeeing from left to right

As always, lots of test proofs before there’s a good print.

proof prints

proof prints

the run!

the run!

Voila! That’s it. It was a small and simple project, restful, sweet, no sweat.

Rest screen print on paper

Rest screen print on paper