Traditional Techniques – Printmaking

Traditional Techniques – Printmaking
March 27, 2017 Brigid Johnson
Printmaking techniques

As a creative studio specialising in illustration we take pride in our ability to offer our clients bespoke, handcrafted artwork from an in-house team of highly skilled artists, illustrators & designers.


Printing is a medium we consistently consider on our projects – in fact, it comes into consideration in every project, as most end up being manufactured as printed packaging. With the initial design concepts however, the print room is never far from our minds.

Print making
Print making

Printmaking can sometimes take our work that extra step further. We’ve worked on projects where we’ve been able to dedicate the time to making one-off plates to be printed. When working on the logo for the Made for Life Foundation from Spiezia Organics, we made a beautiful hand-carved tree woodcut and printed it using a traditional printing press. The Made for Life charity uses natural therapies to help relax, rejuvenate and heal people who have or are suffering with cancer – the woodcut of the tree signifies the hands-on growth and support they provide.

Recently we have been developing a range of labels for a new client on the Isle of Man – the Foraging Vintners. The decision to develop these labels from beautifully detailed etchings grew organically as the designs developed.

As a studio we work seamlessly together as a team. Each person has their own strengths, so we pass artwork and concepts between each other to achieve the most successful packaging and design work for our clients.

One of our designers created a beautiful original pen illustration. This was then taken on by another of our team, applying their own details to a copperplate etching.

Our design team visited the John Howard Print Studios, based in Penryn, to work on the etching and create the print. A great resource which we highly recommend. John is a professional printmaker, brimming with knowledge, offering patient advice and hands on help.

Print making

Not every project needs the whole printing process of copperplate etchings or woodcuts, and sometimes there just isn’t the budget or time. We’re influenced by a range of printmaking styles and can digitally incorporate our hand done print textures and illustrations into designs.

The Isla Natura logo has been designed to have a woodcut style. With simple, almost naively created line work, we created a simplistic printed aesthetic that would express the tone of the brand and the story behind their products.

Isla Natura work with the local Mapuche tribe on the island of Chiloé to harvest fruit. In the design we draw on the history of the tribe and the island harking, referencing mythology and tribal patterns. This illustration style has been applied across their product range and marketing material to create a cohesive product line.

Isla Natura packaging

We love to look at vintage posters and paraphernalia for inspiration, which can be seen in the labels for Atlantique. Created digitally, we have layered illustrations with textures to mimic the look and feel of a screen-print. Selecting a colour palette and illustration style that echoes 1930s travel poster design. Using inks in the studio we keep ourselves well stocked with a bank of patterns and textures for our projects. We create these with monoprinting techniques, using different materials to create a rich collection of markings.

Atlantique wine