I have always considered myself a Jill of all crafty trades for the most part. There are a few things still on my ‘need to learn’ list like soldering, knitting and screen printing. The last item on this list came a little bit closer to actualization when I received a copy of Print Liberation: The Screen Printing Primer by Nick Paparone & Jaime Dillion with Luren Jenison. This trio of Philadelphia residents share a love of typography, screen-printing and graphic design all of which come through in their work.
First of all the layout and the graphics in this book make you questions whether you should put this book on a shelf in your craft space or set it out on the coffee table in your living room . It’s no wonder that Urban Outfitters carries this book. Designs like E.T. with a Mr. T beard, the infamous ‘Don’t Give Up’ slogan sans razor blade and examples of hand screened wall paper that would make the prissiest of interior designers want to get ink on their hands.
Beyond the colorful graphics and hints at hipsterdom is an amazingly informative book on screen printing. A book that makes it seem like I could actually make and burn my own screens. Once I saw all the clear step-by-step pictures and read all the easily understandable instructions I wondered why screen-printing ever seemed so mysterious to me in the first place.
As we all know I am an instant gratification crafter and am currently pretty smitten on the ease and convenience of my YuDu, but I think it is important to understand the basis of screen printing. Plus Print Liberation is still a handy manual to have no matter what kind of screen-printing you are doing. Explanations of film positives, photo emulsion and how to reclaim a screen. The glossary alone is worth the price of admission. For the more daring and advanced screen printer there is also a section on printing a 3-color image which I am working up the nerve to try.
Other added bonuses of the book include a history or screen printing time line and a chapter on screen-printing as a business. I love how-to books that are more than just here is the project here is how you make it, rinse wash and repeat. In the back of the book there are transparencies for you to use and burn your own screens with. One of which is for a two-color screen.
If you happen to have a copy of Print Liberation on your shelf your boyfriends band would no longer have to pay to have gig posters made, you could redecorate that back bathroom that has been bothering you with custom wallpaper and you could cancel your subscription to Threadless because you would be screening your own witty T-shirts. Well maybe not all of these things, but Print Liberation will definitely inspire you enough to think all these things and more are possible.