Friday, 2 May 2014

Printing - Day 3

Today was my final scheduled day of printing and I was quite stressed mainly because I knew I had to wash, emulsion and expose a screen which is a long process again. But as I had done over the past few days I got to the print room at 9am which gave me about 7 hours of printing time (not including breaks). 

I washed a screen to start with and then whilst waiting for it to dry I printed the blue boxes onto the box nets. I prepared the box nets last night and tried to mark out where the printed box should go. 

For some reason these didn't print very well and I only got one print that was pretty much perfect out of the four, so hopefully when printing the other elements this one goes just as well. 

I then went back and emulsioned my screen and then again when waiting for this to dry I went back to printing and got the text ready to print inside the box. As with the other screens I used the parcel tape to prevent the other exposed designs from printing and then put plenty of ink onto the screen.

I printed this onto the trugrain and this printed fine, but then when I printed onto the card I couldn't get a strong print at all, there were bits that wouldn't print at all then bits then bled as I tried to pull the ink through several times. 

My first thought was that the ink was too thick and was drying in the screen, this was all I could think of as the first print onto the trugrain worked perfectly. I also knew that my ink was quite thick as I had purposely not added a lot of binder as I wanted the ink/text to be more tactile and be felt when on the paper. But when I showed Andy the black ink he said it was definitely the reason as it was very thick. So I added a lot more binder and the text then printed fine. 

I lined each net up using the trugrain registration marks as I didn't want to risk using the masking tape and then some not being perfectly aligned. 

After this I exposed my emulsioned screen so the front cover was then ready to print. 
After taping the screen you can see I dotted the ink onto the screen, I used quite a lot of ink as I really wanted this print to go right. 

I could see as I pulled the ink down that it had covered all the white areas. 

You can see how the ink blends together on the squeegee. 

Below you can see the print, I was really pleased that this worked first time but I didn't really like how the end letters in 'dont forget about' were mainly the orange as I felt it impacted the reading somewhat. 

So I planned to print another later in the day. 

The next thing I needed to print was the front of the belly bands for the postcards and stamps. 

Because there wasn't a huge surface area these stuck to the screen when printing so I had to peel them off, this wasn't a huge issue but has left a slight texture on the prints. I don't feel this negatively affects the prints in anyway though. 

Following this I printed another front cover design just incase I went wrong in any way when binding later, but also because I wanted a little less of the orange in the text. 

The final thing to print was the logo on the front of the box. As this was the final stage I was quite nervous as if this had gone wrong I would have had to start the boxes again and I didn't have time for this as it was already about 3pm! 

I was really careful when lining the nets up to ensure I was printing the logo the correct way up and in the right place! 

Thankfully these prints all went smoothly so I was finished with the printing process!

It was almost surreal after spending three and half days in the print room to have finished completely but I was really relieved!

I now need to,
  • Cut out the front cover and bind book
  • Build up the box nets
  • Stick stamps into the belly band
  • Digitally print address label
  • Attach pen label to a pen
  • Put everything together & photograph!

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