Watermarx Graphics had the pleasure of hosting a Designers on Tour (DOT) visit in September this year. The enthusiasm from these curious graphic designers was inspiring as we showed them what we get up to here at Watermarx HQ. In this interview, we chat to Jane Leonard, from Savvy Graphics, and her daughter, Ginni (an up-and-coming creative), about their excursion into our print shop and what they learned.
What was your reason for visiting Watermarx Graphics?
JANE LEONARD :: My aim with Designers on Tour is to introduce young designers to the world of print and press techniques so they understand the huge creative options that are available to them. As designers, we need to gain as much knowledge as we can about our craft so we can call ourselves ‘savvy’ and, importantly, to offer design solutions that are superior or just different to our competitors.
GINNI LEONARD :: I am part of a group called Designer’s On Tour, and our aim is to learn about all aspects of the design and printing industry so we can present our clients with the best possible outcome. I found the experience to be very informative, run by a brilliant couple with a passion for letterpress, and the vibe is infectious!
Did you learn anything you didn’t know before?
GL :: Everything. Being reasonably fresh out of study (3 years), I firmly believe that every day from here on out will be a learning curve. Watermarx proved my theory! The technology that Watermarx has patented to get the best letterpress finish is mind-blowing; to see such detail and precision in the finished product was beautiful.
JL :: No matter how much you think you know about print techniques and embellishments, and no matter how many years you have worked in the industry, there is always something new to learn. The pure fact that the technology is constantly progressing, means that there is always something new (or a different way of doing it) around the corner. As designers, we need to know the extent, difference, and the limitations that these techniques offer. I have had almost 30 years in the design industry, yet every DOT visit there is something new for me to learn. I had no idea there were so many colour choices available for foiling!
Was this the first time you had worked with Watermarx?
GL :: Yes, the company was recommended to DOT by a mutual friend, Angie Millin from Millin Sparks Creative, who had used Watermarx in her work before. I went straight back to the office (after the visit) and searched for a client that I could use the Watermarx services for.
What do you think letterpress adds to a design job?
JL :: It the difference between a throw-away print job and a keeper. Letterpress is for keepers. Like invitations, gift cards or beautiful packaging.
GL :: Letterpress is such a refined hands-on process, that each job is filled with the beauty and rendering that only true love for an art can produce. Al and Ange live and breathe the process.
As a designer, do you think there are a few rules or tips to keep in mind when using embellishments like letterpress, embossing/debossing or foiling?
JL :: Too many designers forget that the paper and the print technique are design elements in themselves. Keep art simple. You don’t have to do much to make a beautiful letterpress job, so stick with minimum colours and clean design… and leave the job to Ange and Al.
GL :: With the ‘traditional’ letterpress technique, detail was always a big factor; however Watermarx CLIQX technology has altered that. I think probably the biggest rule would be not to overdo it. You don’t need to apply all three or four embellishments to one project. Use it as a highlight; a subtle emphasis.
What do you think of the finished product?
GL :: It’s an all-senses-aroused kind of experience. The way the paper bends, the ridges the emboss creates feels magical as you run your fingertips lightly across the stock, the lingering smell of ink… letterpress, emboss and foiling are all individual art forms, and ones that should be embraced.