Enrich your design: leaflet printing from Solopress

30 November 2012

Proper BBQ by Tom Hayes

Crawling through Behance I decided to choose my new favourite London-based graphic designer for the first of a regular Friday feature I’m officially branding VisArt Friday where we will choose a favourite UK-based visual artist every week to share their work and why we like them. To kick off the first article in this brand new series we love the look of graphic designer Tom Hayes’ Proper BBQ branding.

There are several reasons as to why Proper BBQ has made its way into today’s VisArt Friday, one of which being the nostalgia you get, reminiscent of the stereotypical Old West, when looking at the font design and variety of textures it has been printed on.

Hayes has specifically targeted what he defined as “gentlemen” in his creative work and it has successfully captivated the men behind Inspiring Print. Perhaps it’s the masculinity associated with BBQs that has contributed to our undivided attention or maybe it’s the brilliant and simple design that we desire.

The mixture of metal, glass, twine and Hessian look and feel like very raw materials, which have been allowed to speak for themselves because of the very simplistic design approach utilising typography and border styles similar to the era they represent.

It is unclear whether or not these products are available to buy, as our online searches have been unsuccessful so far. One thing we’re certain of though is that these would be great sellers to BBQ blokes across the UK. It was only yesterday that BBC Radio 4 were discussing the stereotypes of men in the kitchen and that we’re more likely to buy ALL the gear involved with a cooking project because of our perfectionist nature compare to women who supposedly improvise.


Overall we massively enjoy the visual delights of Tom Hayes’ work here. The composition of the materials work nicely together with the simplistic design approach to create something that 21st Century cowboys of the barbeque world would be delighted to lasso off the shelf and into their kitchen cupboards.
To view Hayes’ Proper BBQ on Behance visit: http://www.behance.net/gallery/Proper-BBQ/3662161.

28 November 2012

The History of Printing Techniques in Video

Print is an amazing thing that has evolved over centuries from its first recorded evidence at around 3500BC when engraved cylinders were used to make impressions onto clay through to our modern day digital printing techniques, which involve no manual labour whatsoever.

Seeing as print has such a long history and takes a massive amount of time to explain how each of the processes works, we’ve decided to create a collection of the best videos we could find that explain each of the printing processes in the simplest ways possible. We’ve also presented them in chronological order with the dates of when the techniques were first conceived so that you can visualise the evolution of printing from its humble beginnings to now.

Let us know what your favourite printing technique is in the comments section at the bottom of this article.

Woodblock Printing - Year: 200

Bookkake Woodblock Printing from stml on Vimeo.

Movable Type - Year: 1040

Upside Down, Left To Right: A Letterpress Film from Danny Cooke on Vimeo.

Printing Press - Year: 1454

Letterpress from Naomie Ross on Vimeo.

Etching - Year: 1500

Mezzotint - Year: 1642

Making the plates:


Aquatint - Year: 1768

Lithography - Year: 1796

Die Kunst der Lithographie from Max Negrelli on Vimeo.

Rotary Printing - Year: 1843

Offset Printing - Year: 1875

Lithography from Richard Masland on Vimeo.

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Hectographic Printing - Year: 19th Century

Hot Metal Typesetting (Linotype) - Year: 1886

"Linotype: The Film" Official Trailer from Linotype: The Film on Vimeo.

Screen Printing - Year: 1907

Moleskine Silk Screen Printing from Moleskine ® on Vimeo.

Spirit Duplicator - Year: 1923

Dye Sublimination - Year: 1957

Laser Printing - Year: 1969

Thermal Printing - Year: 1972

Inkjet Printing - Year: 1976

3D Printing - Year: 1986

3D Printing: A Time-Lapse from Liz on Vimeo.

Digital Printing Press - Year: 1993

The dates of these different printing techniques have been sourced from Wikipedia’s article on The History of Printing which can be found here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_printing.

23 November 2012

This Year’s Christmas Wish List

This week the family have been asking the question that comes around once a year and that is “what would you like for Christmas?” As an amateur visual artist I can say that most of what I’ve been looking at has either been design or photography related so I’m going to share the three items I want the most this year.

Sorry to any young eyes reading this blog who believe that Santa will be bringing them their gifts this year. He doesn’t visit my house sadly so our parents get us presents instead :{P

Anywho here’s my three wants for the year, any of which I’d be ecstatic to receive:

Peleng 8mm Fisheye Lens

I’m a big fan of my Canon 1000D and have enjoyed taking photos with it for the past three years but I’ve recently wanted to do some cool wide angle shots at our local skate park. To get that cool effect that they show on the Extreme Sports channel I’ll need an extra wide lens like the Peleng Canon fit 8mm fisheye lens.

If I later decide to upgrade the camera to something more impressive like the 5D I’ll be able to film cool skate clips using this lens which will be great.

Current Price on Amazon: £198.00.

Wacom Bamboo Pen and Touch Graphics Tablet

For some time I’ve been drawing freehand with a good old fashion pen and paper and recently I’ve used a flatbed scanner to digitise my work just for personal enjoyment. I’ve now decided that for Christmas I’d like to receive a graphics tablet made by Wacom so that I can draw straight to PC.

I know many readers will be thinking why didn’t I choose the ones that are similar to an iPad yada yada. Reason 1 being they cost a lot more and reason 2 being I’d like to learn this way first as many professional digital artists have done this for years. After all I have a monitor in front of me to see what I am drawing.

Current Price on Amazon: £69.99.

Gig Posters Book

Last but not least is a book I’d love to get my grubby mitts on that will provide me with some inspiration for my own gig poster projects. The name of the book is Gig Posters: Rock Show Art of the 21st Century v.1.

I love the originality of the American gig posters and how they always seem far more impressive than the boring formulaic ones used for nightclub venues. I love it when a poster can make someone stop in their tracks and read on in awe. That’s what a poster should do!

Current Price on Amazon: £16.19.

I guess its fair to say that I don’t ask for a lot. For my last birthday I was asked what I wanted and I simply asked for the Jungle Book on DVD. Random I know! This may not be the expert graphic designer’s wish list of 2012, however, it is definitely similar to one of an amateur looking to learn.

22 November 2012

Anaglyph 3D Photography and Film

It’s been a while since we’ve posted something on Inspiring Print so I thought I’d share a recent purchase of mine with you that brings an old form of visual entertainment into the current day.

Last week I was having a browse through Flickr to learn from other peoples’ impressive photos by studying the EXIF data of those that had it available. I learn to shoot a lot of different styles with my DSLR by studying photos and how they were put together before playing with the settings and adding my own twist.

As I was searching I came across several 3D images that needed a pair of glasses with a red lens and a cyan lens, otherwise known as anaglyph 3D glasses, in order to appreciate the 3D effect. In true spontaneous style I jumped onto eBay and ordered myself a pair of them – 2 pairs for £2.

Since they arrived today I have spent a good portion of the morning looking at the different types of 3D images that are on Flickr and videos that have been uploaded to YouTube and Vimeo using this anaglyph style of 3D image recording.

Overall I am impressed at the wealth of material available to admire online, considering that 3D viewing of this kind went out of fashion for a while until Real D came into cinemas with their polarization systems, which you’ve undoubtedly used within the past 5 years if you have watched a 3D film in the cinema wearing passive glasses.

There is one major problem with the anaglyph glasses though and that is that the colouration of your picture isn’t as true as it would be using a pair of Real D’s polarised glasses because of the different coloured lenses. On the other hand, you do need a 3D source such as a 3D monitor or cinema screen in order to benefit from using the passive polarised lenses, therefore, if you’d like to create a 3D video that is viewable through all devices then anaglyph is the only way to go for now.

5 Cool 3D Photos

If you’re fortunate enough to have a pair of your own anaglyph glasses then have them at the ready as I show you five of the most impressive 3D photos I’ve come across today on Flickr.

1. A telegraph pole that looks real enough you could climb it:

2. All aboard the HMS Victory, you can almost smell the sea air:

3. Take a trip to the Thames and see the London Eye from the comfort of your armchair:

4. Feel the warmth of a big bonfire through your red and blue glasses:

5. Be careful not to roll down this wicked spiral staircase as you peer into the concrete tornado:

Anaglyph 3D Videos

After looking at 3D photos I decided to spend a little time on Vimeo to find an impressive 3D video that I could share with you. This one of some robots playing football was the best one I came across:

There are plenty of others to watch, however, you will notice if you browse for yourself with a pair of these glasses that video quality is an important factor in the success of the 3D effect – the sharper the better. Pixelated videos just look like a mess, twice!

DIY 3D Anaglyph Images/ Video

There are a bunch of lenses and cameras on the market that you can buy to achieve this type of 3D image or video (Amazon: http://amzn.to/UUvH8d), however, there are tutorials available to teach you how to make your own 3D anaglyph images using one camera.


It is preferred that the subject you are taking a photo of is stationary to make the 3D effect work. The process involves taking two photos (one from a left eye perspective, the other from a right eye), which can be offset from one another using a software package like Photoshop and involves further editing. You will of course need to be wearing your red and blue glasses whilst constructing it.

A handy tutorial to learn this from can be found here: http://www.diyphotography.net/create-3d-anaglyph-images. Judging by the author’s 3D image portfolio, this tutorial should be a simple method that provides you with tight and impressive 3D results.

All in all I’ve enjoyed my little trip down memory lane to when I remember being a young one and using the paper version of these glasses at my local cinema. I am pleased that this has improved with the help of Real D though because of the colouration issue.

I will be trying the DIY tutorial in an attempt to create my own 3D photo, which I will post on here if successful. Tweet us your own attempts if you decide to at @inspiringprint.

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