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Play Days: the Design Bridge London Juniors go on a screenprinting adventure

One of the great things about working at Design Bridge is the ‘Play Day’ programme for the Junior Designers in the London Studio. A series of events that runs throughout the year, it gives us the opportunity to try something new and, 2 days a month, we get to experiment, be inspired, and develop our creative skills in different ways.

Our previous ‘Play Days’ have included going behind the scenes on a photoshoot and spending time exploring exhibitions around the city, but the latest one has been my favourite so far: along with my fellow juniors Estefi, James, Nathalie and Jake, we left the studio for half a day to go to a screen printing workshop.

Hosted by designer and screen printer Dan Mather at the Fedrigoni Studio in central London, we had the opportunity to learn all about the screen printing process before getting hands on to design and print our very own poster.

London_PlayDay_Screenprinting_setup

We worked with a stencil that Dan had used in his ‘Interference’ poster, part of the Fedrigoni Plus campaign.

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London_PlayDay_Screenprinting_FedrigoniPlus

By pairing different stencils together, each of his 1,440 hand-printed posters is unique, created by physically moving each sheet as they pass through two colours. This detailed process leads to quite dramatic results – it’s exciting, innovative work that pushes the boundaries of flatbed screen printing.

It sounded like a pretty high benchmark. Did we reach it? Probably not, but that was never the intention. For 3 hours we experimented with selecting different angles, orientations and colours, all within the parameters set out by Dan.

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London_PlayDay_Screenprinting_Estefi

London_PlayDay_Screenprinting_pinkpaint

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In a way, this process was very much like our everyday work – working within parameters set out by the brands we design for – and exploring a new medium was not only an opportunity to build team spirit, but it was the perfect demonstration of how 5 individuals can take one technique and concept and create 5 completely different, unique pieces of art.

London_PlayDay_Screenprinting_TEAM

I think the 5 prints we created represented all that a Play Day should – experimentation, personal development, and inspiration.

We had a blast in the workshop and, while the outcome may not quite match Dan’s work, it certainly got our creative juices flowing. The challenge for each of us is now is to harness this new skill and let it inspire our future work.

As Junior Designers we work on a huge range of tasks across a variety of different brands, and I really believe that the insight and experience we got from this workshop will help us going forward.

Bring on the next Play Day!

Written by Ella Smith, a Junior Designer at Design Bridge London. If you’d like to join Ella and the team, check our Careers page for the latest opportunities.

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