Task 1: Printmaking Techniques

Woodblock Printing:

diamond-sutraThe first printing process to be discovered was the WoodBlock printing process which began in 618, in  the year 868 the Diamond Sutra was printed using this technique and it became the first full length book in history. Chinese woodblock printing is one of the earliest known forms of printing, they carved patterns into blocks which were then dipped in ink and pressed onto the surface they wanted to print on.

This is a relatively cheap and sustainable form of printing as it doesn’t require many specialist materials and can be printed in either oil or water based inks.However, the quality of the finished print is usually worse than other techniques used as it can be difficult to carve patterns onto the small blocks and wont always be exact due to human error.

Offset Printing

Offset printing is the printing process factories and businesses use today, the process uses the CMYK colour model. The image is split up into four different base colours; Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black.offset-printing

Water is fed onto the water rollers and ink is fed onto the ink rollers, the plate cylinder is dampened by the water rollers before the ink rollers paste ink onto the cylinder. The plate cylinder then prints an image onto the offset cylinder, the paper only comes into contact with the offset cylinder and the impression cylinder therefore giving it a neater finish than if it were to be printed directly from the plate cylinder.

The paper is rolled along to the next unit where a different colour (from the CYMK model) is printed onto the image. The process is repeated in Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black before the printing is complete. When all the colours have been printed the pages are stacked on top of each other and separated with a thin coat of powder so that the pages can dry without smudging the ink or sticking together.

The process is expensive to use initially but becomes gradually more valuable than other processes as the quality is the best and the ink consumption is low.

Digital design could be used as an aspect of this process by creating a design digitally and then printing it off to fit the impression cylinder.


This poster was designed for the Bauhaus exhibition in Wiemar in 1923 by Joost Schmidt.

Only three colours are used in this poster, black, yellow and red, The font is black and bold so it stands out from the background and is stylistic to the time period. It is also in alignment to the graphics to draw the viewers eye to the design. The diagonal tilt of the design leads the eye to scan the poster from the top left to bottom right, with Title and logo at the top and ending with the location and date.

Adolphe Mouron Cassandre

Cassandre  was a poster designer during the the 1920’s-1940’s he made many of his popular posters using stencils and airbrushes to give his posters a unique feel (at the time). Most of his work is advertisement he would often use a large geometric shape in the middle of the design and base the poster around that shape, He liked using Bold fonts and highlighting certain words and characters with capital letters.

Made in 1935 ‘Normandie’ was perhaps Cassandres most famous poster it was advertisement for the new transatlantic cruiser at the time. Cassandres design is giving an impression to the viewer by using scale;In the center of the poster is an enormous ship that takes up most of the design space. Near the bottom left of the image you can see a flock of birds, that would normally fly high above a ship, flying next to the ship to give it perspective. This could also be seen as reassuring the passenger as the largeness could link to the safety of the ship. Cassandre has used a colour gradient to achieve a curved, shining effect on the ship, showing how its new and once again re assureing the safety of the passengers. Cassandre uses bold text with a colour that contrasts the background so as to make it easier to read and sticks out from the rest of the poster.

Contemporary Poster; Vikings:

The composition of this poster immediately draws youImage result for vikings poster to the main character as he is in the dead centre of the image with the horizon at either side of his waist, it also draws your eye to the title as it is in the middle and directly above the main feature. The font used is quite simplistic but effective when paired with the series logo, the font has been given a metallic colour and shine to portray the weapons that the Vikings use in the series (hence the blood splatter on the logo) Another feature of the poster that gives us insight to the content is the blood red water that Ragnar (main character) is wading in. This reflects the main story line of the series (vikings raiding the shores of England) but also implys the religious and historical aspects that the series includes (with ragnar holding the cross necklace).

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