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Ideas and Concepts

After reflecting on my work so far, I decided I wanted the text to be the image, to do this I wanted to try letterpress. I had lots of ideas to discuss during my online consultation. I wanted to create large A2 posters using bright coloured ink to incorporate my love for colour, but above all I was just really up for learning g a new skill.

I’ve had this picture in mind that I took at the start of the year. I think this is what Jeremy Deller means when he talks about street galleries. I wanted to come up with a poster that could be used as a flyer and added to a street gallery or maybe put on a billboard.

East London, January 2020.

I was so excited to try letterpress, I took my sketchbook along with a few phrases and words in mind to create some posters. I was thinking of playing with shapes and trying to come up with something using my “Manchester Powerhouse” idea. This would probably mean using the smaller lead type. However once I saw the drawers full of lovely large wooden type that was it! I knew this large type would be perfect for the kind of striking posters I wanted to produce. I soon found the largest type, size 28 Cheltenham font. I did a test print using the phrase “Level Up” in black ink.

This worked well so I was keen to use a different phrase and more colourful ink. I went to look in my sketchbook and I was really drawn to the phrase “Kindness is Power” (See earlier post for poster mock up.)

I wasn’t planning on using this phrase as I thought I didn’t want to work with a phrase so positive, I wanted to pick a phrase more critical of the time we live in/ government. However the more I thought about it the more I loved it. I feel it’s a statement a declaration, it’s something that really got me(and others) through the majority of 2020.

For this poster I picked out size 24 Latin Elongated font. I opted to size down as the previous type didn’t quite fit the size of the paper. Whilst it gave the feel of the phrase “Level Up” moving upwards, it wasn’t the look I wanted for this poster. However just to add, movement of words and letters is something I would like to explore with letterpress. I went for a bright ink “sonic red”. I learnt what to do to the back of a letter if it didn’t print, I asked to be shown different techniques such as glitching and was really excited about the idea of producing illegible, abstract shapes. I can not express how much I enjoyed learning letterpress, except to say I was printing away on my own, with the dulcet tones of Shaun Keaveny for company and it was a moment of pure happiness!

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