Hull’s Admiral signs and Orion printers
In our course we have always been told that as well as visiting graphic design studios, printers are another place to find out more about the industry. As a graphic designer we will be working with printers to deliver a final outcome to our clients and its a good idea to learn about how they operate. Today I was lucky enough to visit two of Hull’s printing firms thanks to one of Danielle’s relatives, also accompanied by fellow graphic coursemates James and Tom.
The first was a printing firm called Admiral signs visual imaging and we were given a guided tour of the offices and work areas, where we watched as 3D and LED signs were in progress. One thing that I was surprised at was the spec sheets that they were given to work from, or lack of. One of the signs they were working on they were only given a mock-up of what the sign would look like and admiral signs had to do the rest. After having a talk from A1 printers in nottingham, who drilled into us the importance of a good spec sheet, it was a suprise to see.
One thing we were really interested in having a look at was screen printing and they couldn’t seem to understand why. As technology has advanced mostly all screen printing has been replaced by digital printing. This was kind of sad to hear, but we would later understand why this was and how our idea of screen printing was slightly different from the commercial reality. Here are a few pics from inside the workshop:
After looking round Admiral Signs we were taken over to Orion printers were screen printing still makes up the majority of the work they do. However it was clear when we saw the kinds of prints they were producing that they didn’t look that much different from the ones that were being digitally printed. It was then when we realized the real reasons we liked screen printing so much, it looked screen printed. The effect that screen printing gives when its been misprinted or two colours have been mixed to create a one-off print is why we like it so much, its arty, traditional and nostalgic. But it’s both more expensive and takes much longer than just sending it digitally. Comerically it’s not all bad though, there are some benefits such as the variety of materials that can be printed on, you can’t just inexpensively buy a printer that prints onto metal and plastics. Also the inks are pigmented differently and a much thicker quantity is used when screen printing so the print weathers much better and doesn’t fade in sunlight.
Another interesting conversation topic was the conflict between graphic designers and printers. Their main issue it that most designers think that they’re so much better than printers, putting in their extravagant orders and complaining when what they want cant be achieved. Really it all boils down to a communication issue. If more designers and printers just talked about what they wanted to achieve and what was and wasnt possible designers would get what they wanted and the printers would be challenged to create something new and exciting. It’s definatly something to keep in mind for the future and it was well worth the visit, so thankyou Danielle for setting it all up for us.
Whilst traveling to Hull from Lincoln we went over the Humber bridge and decided to stop and we went for a walk by the shore line. I took a few shots…