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Gal Ram Art Print

Continuing the series that Galzelle began, Gal Ram is one of the first screen printed art prints produced after we relocated to Austin, Texas. Since then, we’ve relocated again to Houston, Texas. After I gained access to a proper studio space and worked at improving my printing skills via an internship in the field, I was eager to try a more complicated print. This edition’s texture comes from a sampling of wood grain, which was then translated into several stochastic dot patterns to form the background of the figure. I really like the resulting effect, and I think this print does a better job than Galzelle of bringing the source material into its own.

It’s important to think a little about the differences between stochastic and halftone screenings when planning out a project. Overall, we recommend clients to consider their source materials in order to stay true to those aspects in a print. Working from an irregular pattern like wood grain, as we did with this art print, is served best by using an irregular dot pattern. These dither, or stochastic, patterns follow a form of stippling to translate changes in tone into a pattern than can be printed by screen printing. On the other hand, if you’re trying to replicate a more measured, regular transition between areas, halftone dots are the clear winner. Their measured pattern is forced along a grid, and stays cleaner and better defined throughout a run, and relies on an optical illusion to translate the appearance of gradual tone to a work. This technique is great for subtle transitions between areas because of this.

This print is a 5 color screen print on 100# Cougar Opaque Cover Natural. It measures approximately 20″ x 26″.

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“God is Cat and Cat is Good”

Cat Screen Prints! This edition of 4 separate color-ways marked one of the first complete editions ever produced in our career. Our obsession with cats has yet to wane in the years since this edition was completed, but we sure seem to print a lot less cat related art these days.

Fairly rough around the edges, this print was primarily an early experiment in working with ink mixing and registration techniques. Without many guidelines on the process, I found myself jumping right into the process to learn as I went. Currently, my technique is to build up layers for printing digitally, in order to easily prepare separations and also have a means of checking out alignment between layers before printing. But, at the time of this print’s creation, we were using enlargements from Kinko’s as our film positives. You just needed to apply vegetable oil to the bond paper to make a translucent medium. Of course, you couldn’t store any of your past “films” without having them go rancid. That was one way to ensure edition integrity!

Although our later work benefitted from additional practice and training, there’s still a soft spot in me for this early series. Maybe the naiveté is part of it? Or maybe it’s just a good gauge of how much ground has been covered in the proceeding years? It could be time for an update in this series of cat screen prints!

Each print was printed on heavy-weight Bristol paper with waterbased ink, and drew heavily on a series of illustrations from a medieval guide to alchemy. As per our original love of a good non sequitur, each color used across the 4 color-ways was picked to experiment with transparency, overprints, and interaction of complementary colors.

This edition of cat screen prints is sold out. Thanks!

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Why are those animals on a bike?!

With our screen printed art print series, we are trying to experiment with a combination of techniques. Amberlith or Rubylith is a form of masking film that is used to transfer a stencil to photo emulsion. It’s easy to use– the red hue of the material blocks the transmission of UV light to the emulsion, which causes the emulsion to wash out easily during development with water. At this point in time, it was my first time to work with any sort of masking film. In this particular print, I used amberlith to compose the large solids of the exclamation and question marks in these prints. Using a film, or even a solid piece of cut paper, in this way can eliminate the need for expensive toner when composing film positives for screen printing our art prints.

This series of animals on a bike came out of a desire on my part to get a little more intricate with my use of antique cuts in my art prints. And honestly, I had just adjusted to my new surroundings in Austin, Texas, and found studio space at Coronado Studio, so I really wanted to just make a print at that point.

Using a hand-cut, rubylith exclamation mark and question mark, I decided to create a split edition by printing half of the prints with cyan and the other with magenta. Eventually, I revisited the project with orange and green color ways.

This edition is sold out. Thanks!

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NMASS Passes

Ever wondered about combining letterpress and screen printing?

Over the past few months, we’ve been lucky enough to collaborate with Austin’s Church of the Friendly Ghost to provide posters and various ephemera for their concert series. For those not familiar with this organization, C.O.T.F.G. is a nonprofit organization located under the Salvage Vanguard Theater’s umbrella. 100% volunteer run, and focused on organizing concerts for experimental musicians, the gang at the church are definitely the kind of group we like to offer our services to… did we mention this is all pro bono? Sounds like a great opportunity to test out a hybrid letterpress and screen printing project!

The New Media Art and Sound Summit, or N.M.A.S.S. is an upcoming festival organized by the church, and we were super excited to have a chance to provide a little hand printed ephemera to commemorate this inaugural year. Printed on 100% cotton Lettra, this limited edition of 300 festival passes is a combination of a slate gray letterpress line art and bright red screen printed text, which is actually drawn from an 1898 Hamilton Wood Type specimen book.

Although not illustrated in this example, screen printing and/or offset printing can be used in tandem with letterpress to supplement some of letterpress’s traditional weaknesses as a medium. Need a consistent flood of color? Try designing for an offset flood, and then have us add a deboss on top to give it a letterpress feel, with really clean results!

Now that we know that screen printing and letterpress can work together in harmony, expect to see a lot more in the future that takes advantage of this combination of hand printed techniques!

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Classic Invitations

This is a legacy post from our work as Vrooooom Press. We are now known as Mystic Multiples, in Houston, Texas.

Sitting down with Christine to discuss her wedding invitation project, two things were clear. We needed to print a design that would look elegant for a traditional wedding, and we needed to throw some contemporary ideas into the mix.

Ultimately, we were able to satisfy both requirements while working with a strict budget. Saving on costs and tipping our hats towards more commercial print processes, we elected to design and create a traditional invitation with a not-so-traditional combination RSVP, save the date, and informational card that could be perforated by the recipient. I was really surprised at how easy it is to run a perforating rule on the N-series Kluge, as this project was the first excuse I had to test out the process. Using a 10 tooth-per-inch rule in two successive press runs, we perforated the reply card so that it could be filled out and returned in a separate envelope. A little extra accent was added to the project with a second run in green, which added extra ornamentation to the black text’s smooth curves and serifs.

Printed on 118# Reich Savoy cotton stock with rubber and oil based inks, we’re really taken with the final results, and think it gives a good indication of the kind of fine type-work that can be printed on photopolymer plates. Enjoy!