Wednesday, 16 October 2013


I started creating my concept by listing print related problems that I have faced during my time at Leeds College of Art.

Below are a list of what I believe to be the most important problems;

  • The workshops are brief and only offer students a quick introduction to specific methods.
  • Moreover, the workshop sessions task students with retaining a lot of information in a short amount of time.
  • Students are not really introduced to the different digital print processes and so have little knowledge of how these processes work.
  • Print related terminology can get confusing if terms are unknown.
  • Students are only briefly introduced to finishing techniques and don't always know whats achievable. 
  • Inks can take differently to different stocks which affects colour and quality, students should be introduced to this restriction in more detail.
  • Mixing two colours to create a third darker colour can get confusing, and the results can vary in quality, a guide to this could help.    
  • Students from other creative subjects don't have as much focus put on learning the different print processes which means they cant utilize them.
  • Even after completing the workshops parts of the process can get confusing/hard to remember.

After creating the list of problems I spoke to one of the second year Photography students and asked them how much of an introduction to the different print techniques they have had, if they feel confident enough to complete them alone, and if they think knowing more about the print techniques would be beneficial.

"I have had no timetabled introduction to any of the print processes other than the one for the digital print room with James, but I missed it.  I think I could really benefit from learning more about the different methods, it is something I am definitely interested in"


Next, I made a short survey to see if other creative students had encountered the same or similar problems. To get the most reliable results I wanted to disseminated the survey to a large audience of students so I mailed Tom the link asking him to send it to all the students in college;

My initial list of questions.

Question Refinement 

  1. What subject are you currently studying?
  2. Do you create work that goes through some stage of the print process?
  3. Have you attended any print workshops while you have been at Leeds College of Art?
  4. What print methods do you think are most relevant to your practice?
  5. Would you feel confident enough to complete this print process alone? 
  6. Do you feel it would benefit your practice if you understood the print process better?
  7. Are you aware of the technical specifications associated with print? For example, spot and process colours?
  8. Have you been introduced to the finishing techniques available?
  9. Would you like to know more about the finishing techniques and how they can benefit your work?
  10. The workshops act as a good introduction to the different print processes. However, at any point after the workshops do you feel further support is needed to help you understand the process thoroughly? 

I used the website 'Survey Monkey' to host my survey online, this enabled me to disseminate it to a large target audience with relative ease.



Next, after collecting the results from my survey I browsed over the fine details and analysed the data, the aim of this is to see what conclusions I can make about students and their interaction with the print process.

  • 98% of students who participated in the survey create work that goes through some stage of the print process.
  • Silk screen printing and Digital printing are the most common printing techniques used by students.
  • 92.6% of students believe that their practice would benefit if they know more about these print processes.
  • Only 45.5% of students know what finishing techniques are available in college....
  • And 90.6% of students who participated in the survey want to know more about the available techniques and how they can be applied.
  • Although the majority of students attend print workshops while they are at Leeds College of Art, 76.5% of them believe that further help is needed after these to help them completely understand the process.
  • Students from certain subjects like photography have little or no knowledge of the different print processes, but feel that it would benefit their practice if they knew more.


After analyzing the results from the survey I felt confident that I had enough information to start developing my concept. I started this process by creating spider diagrams for the following categories;

  • FORM.


Finally, I refined my concept and made it more specific, this will help me be more focused when collecting research and aesthetically developing my outcome.


The target audience of my outcome will be creative students who prepare work for printed outcomes, my primary research shows that the majority of students who completed the survey all prepare work of this sort. Moreover, due to the informative content of the outcome I believe that it will have a secondary audience of creatives and creative practitioners who create work that will go through some stage of the print process.


The purpose of my outcome will be to act as a reference guide for creatives who are preparing work that will be printed. The final product will It will inform and educate the audience about;

  • Relevant print processes & how to do them, start to finish.
  • Illustrate different pieces of equipment and show how and when they should be used. 
  • The technical terms associated with different print methods.
  • The colour modes and how they should be applied.
  • The cost of different processes, both digital and analogue.
  • Stock choices, paper sizes and how ink reacts with different papers.
  • Finishing techniques & how to do them, start to finish.


To achieve the informative nature outlined in the purpose of the concept the outcome will include things such as;

  • Print method guide with illustrations and examples.
  • Finishing methods guide with examples.
  • Cost guide.
  • Colour modes diagram.
  • Size conversion chart.
  • Stock examples
  • Print examples (prints on different stocks).
  • Printed examples of different DPI's.
  • Paper size charts.
  • How to set up work for print (bleeds etc).
  • Technical terms glossary.
  • Printed line and text weight examples
  • Colour charts.


The form that my outcome will take is very important as to how effectively it will achieve its desired functionality. As highlighted in the 'purpose' section above, the guide will act as a reference guide that students can quickly look back at while in the print room. Therefore, the product needs to be relatively small in size so that it is easy for students to carry around or put in a pocket. 


The outcome will inform and educate the audience about the different print processes, finishes and other associated information. Furthermore, it will act as a reference guide, allowing the audience to referrer back to relevant information at various stages of the print process.

WHY? -

The results collected from my survey indicated that although the print workshops offer students a good introduction to the different processes, further support and guidance is needed to ensure that the audience can complete the processes independently and to a high standard. 

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