Archive for the ‘09_361_sp_ProMat’ Category


April 15, 2009

Allegra was the last field trip of the semester and it was a great one! I know I have said that about all of our trips, but I mean it every time. There is just so much to see when touring a print facility and I feel like I learn something new every time.
Todd Oates at Allegra was very cheerful and enthusiastic about our tour. He took us around to their various stations. We stopped first at the graphic design station. (Yes, Allegra can offer design services!) Next we got to see a printer that had become obsolete because of highest number of dpi possible has changed and they are about to replace it. We went from there out to the floor and saw comb binding in action.
Then we got to see a Heidelberg press in action. Looking at the dots it printed up close was also neat. Todd made sure we got to see everything demonstrated. We saw a scoring machine and a folding machine and the paddy wagon used to glue. We also saw a vinyl sign being adhered to a piece of metal.
After we had finished the tour Todd took us back to the conference room for some swag. I was expecting paper samples, but Todd had something instead of paper samples and we were all quite surprised! See?
Todd gave us coffee mugs, sharpies, ball point pens, two different size pads of paper and 2 gig usb drives, all emblazoned with Allegra’s logo. It was surprising and amazing, I still can not get over it! Thanks to Todd’s kindness I will definitely have Allegra in mind for future print projects!
photo by megan humble


networking with the ick: all day adventure

April 15, 2009

Wednesday night Natalie generously offered to let me spend the night with her so that I would be closer to green|spaces for our morning adventure, that started at 7:30, on account of us volunteering to help set-up.
We both arrived on time and to our surprise everything was already ready to go. We saved our seats and prepared to mingle.
I talked with some of the other juniors and said hi to people as they came in. I was excited when we finally took our seats.
Cindy Li‘s presentation mentioned working to show your employer you are dedicated and also various networking sites that can affect your job. I know I was definitely listening in on this because Leslie called me out on my twittering over spring break. So now I am trying even harder to remain a professional through social media.
Cindy was funny and engaging and hearing about how important networking is was good for me. Getting out and mingling is very important and it is something I neglect because social media makes me want to avoid being friendly face-to-face, but the connections you make in real life are just as important, and sometimes even more so than the ones made online.
After we heard Cindy talk at green|spaces, we headed back to UTC for a more intimate Q&A. We got to chat more with Cindy about being a design professional before taking a small break to have lunch at Easy Bistro courtesy of Medium.
The food was delicious and in addition to the great food, Vanessa stopped by with proofs from Williams. I was completely excited to see them one step closer to being in print.
After lunch was over I had a bit of a break while Cindy looked at senior portfolios, but at 5:30 we left UTC to head down to Create Here for Cindy’s next lecture. Cindy is so funny, I laughed a whole lot during this second presentation and afterwards I mingled with the audience. Cindy gave out name tags and told us to put our names and two things we like to make it easier to talk to people. It was really great talking to various people and then to Cindy. She was a hoot and I loved hearing about her escapades with a Darth Vader mask.
photo by megan humble

national print group

April 15, 2009

Process and materials is an amazing class. Leslie arranges some of the most exciting field trips I have had the privilege of going on. This was another one of those mindblowing “Chattanooga does what?!” moments.
National Print Group has the WORLD’S LARGEST eight colour printer. Seriously! This printer has its own team of German specialists. And it is huge by the way, like as big as my house huge.
Since they do have the largest eight colour printer in the world, it would also make sense that they are the largest screen, litho, digital, large format point of purchase, and Out-of-Home (outdoor signs like billboards, taxi tops) printer in the world.
If you have ever seen the building wraps in Las Vegas, those are there thanks to NPG!
They work for a variety of clients, finding creative solutions for point of purchase stands. They make them simple and very very easy to put together. (we were told that simple to put together was a crucial point in the point of purchase actually being used… they said that if it was not, many companies would just throw them away!)
This was another very informative and fascinating tour. Just seeing the world’s largest printer would have been enough for me, but NPG was kind enough to let us walk around their facilities.
We also found out they have so much shipping business, that at around Christmas, mail trucks line up outside their doors for miles.
National Print Group was amazing, and though you probably are not like to need a building wrap, if you need a point of purchase, or even something smaller, check them out.

continuing the book

April 15, 2009

In my loopiness I took Leslie’s joking about Fabio seriously and ending up doing a photoshop painting of Fabio to put on my book. I was seriously excited about it. I put rectangles of Fabio on the title page and table of contents. I used his whole portrait for the cover. He was grand and glorious, but ultimately he did not work out in the way that I anticipated. I ended up liking my table of contents waaaay more without him. I wanted him on the cover because my portrait was pretty great, but that really ruined the cohesion of the pieces. I decided to can him (much to the relief of my classmates) and ended up using the white and grey squares of the “transparent background” setting on photoshop. I was inspired by Fabio’s flowing mane and ending up free handing some blue lines that flowed across my book cover. I duplicated the blue lines for the title page and table of contents. I kept it super simple and I really liked the results. The font I used was futurist fixed width, which is one of my favourite free fonts from
I am beyond stoked to get my book back from lulu. I think this is definitely going to be something I keep around long after class has ended.

design elements

April 15, 2009

The first of my duotone examples is a vintage Empire Strikes Back movie poster. The poster is black and yellow; the duotone effect is used on the central image. I picked this as an example because Empire Strikes Back is my favourite Star Wars movie.

My other duotone example is the cover of The D-Day Experience. The cover features the image of soldiers unloading on the beaches at Normandy. The colour accompanying black in the duotone is army green.

My first example of varnish is of the spot varnish variety. The spot varnish is used a shoebox lid. The lid is black with designs spot varnished on the top and the inside. I picked this box because my favourite pair of shoes came in it.
The second example is the inside cover of Batman: The Animated Series DVD box set. The cover is black with varnished image of Batman swinging through Gotham city. I picked this as an example because it houses my favourite cartoon series.
I chose two examples of large die-cuts because they live in my room and I see them everyday. The first example is a die-cut of Jango Fett from Star Wars. The die-cut is life size and follows the shape of Jango’s armour. The second is a Jurassic Park promo cut-out. The brontosaur’s head and the logo are die-cut. The velociraptor and t-rex at the bottom are also die-cuts attatched with cardboard so that they pop off the cut-out.

“Je suis tombée, oh Churchill! Où es-tu? Où sont tes soldats?” is the text on my second die-cut. The die-cut is propaganda cut in the shape of a leaf and dropped by the Luftwaffe on the French, blaming the British for the war. (The translation is “I fell, oh Churchill! Where are you? Where are your soldiers?”) I picked this as an example because I think this is an unusual piece of propaganda.
My first example of embossing is the front of the box my Lego Imperial Star Destroyer was packaged in. I chose this as an example of embossing because I was trying to stray away from the many examples I found on my bookshelf. I also chose it because I found it to be a very delightful and creative use of embossing. The Lego Star Destroyer on the front is embossed and you can feel the bumps of the blocks, as if you are touching the product itself.
My second example of this design element is the debossed cover of In Advance of the Landing. I chose this example because the book is about folk concepts of outer space, which I would associate with tabloids and gross grainy photographs of supposed UFOs.
However, the cover of the book is very simple and unassuming; despite being hardback the book has no jacket. The text on the cover is created by the debossing; no other effects have been applied to it. There is no colour or foil in addition, merely a debossed surfacing denoting the title.
My first example of thermography is a card I got for Valentine’s Day from my parents. The greeting on the front uses thermography.
My second example is a business card for All Star Auto Glass. The entire card utilizes thermography.
For perforating I chose a Princess Leia card. The card starts out as a rectangle, but the perforation allows it to be popped out to resemble RD-D2.

My second example uses perforation and scoring to enable the user to fold a paper Land Speeder. The stock is heavier to allow the Speeder to hold together properly.
For creative folds, I chose a Star Wars pop-up book. I picked it because it is probably the coolest pop-up book I have ever laid eyes on.

I have a spiral-bound church directory as my first example of binding. The spiral is black plastic and was probably chosen because the spiral binding allows the directory to open flat so nobody gets their picture and/or name stuck in the gutter.
My second binding example is the saddle-stitch binding in my copy of The Kolb Brothers of Grand Canyon. The book is very short and well suited to the saddle-stitch bind.
Foil Stamp
My first example of a foil stamp is a Spongebob Valentine’s Day card. The card features red foil stamping around the edges of the card and three red foil stamped hearts.
My second example of foil stamping is a holographic Pokemon card. The card is foil stamp with the words and outlines of the Ancient Mew printed on top of the foil.

My first example of packaging is a Victoria’s Secret gift card holder. The package keeps the gift card hidden until you pull on the pink tabs, then the tabs pull out on both sides. One side holds the card and the other has a place for writing who it is to and who it is from.
My second example of packaging is The Star Wars Vault. The vault is a massive book with slots for papers, stickers and other Star Wars memorabilia that came packaged in the book.

book design

March 17, 2009

After researching area and internet printers, the next step is to design book pages to compliment our research. In order to connect it to the work we have already done, we will be using our word pairs for each page design. For my word pairs, if you remember, I had wet and dry. The printers I researched were and Chattanooga Printing and Engraving.
The pages should reflect the word we are using and help to inform/enforce its meaning.
In addition to designing two pages, we were tasked with designing a book cover, title page and table of contents because we are going to utilise the print on demand service, lulu to have a guide printed to showcase the pages we made along side the works of our classmates.
I have never printed a book before, but in the past I have been asked to design a book cover. The book cover, title page, and table of contents need to look like they were designed by the same person and should all be cohesive. The pages we designed will not be next to each other and should not reflect that they were designed by the same person. The pages do not have to be legible save for the url, name of the print company and possibly the phone number.
I am excited about seeing my own work printed in a book!

williams printing

March 17, 2009

Last Thursday we got the privilege of touring Williams Print Company. The field trip was arranged for us by one of the members of Leadership Chattanooga.
Before the tour, we got to hear about some of Williams’ capabilities from David. Afterwards, Bubba took us on a tour of the facilities. Williams has a variety of services in printing, they can do die-cuts, folds and binding.
Williams has digital pre-press, lithographic printing, silk-screening and even graphic designers on staff. The design staff can do your design for you or they can just verify that everything you designed is ready to print and will print properly. The tour was very in-depth and we got to take a close look at the printers and hear about processes from the people that work them. All around the building I saw posters from Disney ice shows and I was completely stoked to be seeing the place that printed them. (I love Disney on Ice, so it was a special treat for me to get to see this!) It was also very neat to see that they do some of the cardboard cut-outs of people. Some how when you grow up in a place you get the idea that everything that is printed came from somewhere else, but just seeing all this was very eye-opening to what Chattanooga really has and how much of the printed collateral is really from here.
After the tour we met in the conference room to look at paper samples.
Williams Company was very generous and I look forward to working with them in the future!
Be sure to check them out if you need to print something: Williams Company.

newspaper printing fieldtrip

March 2, 2009

I was sick on Thursday, so I missed out on visiting the Times Free Press facilities for a tour given by Frank Anthony. This was a rare opportunity to get a really in depth tour of the facilities and I was puking my guts out. Looking back, I really should have just brought a trash can with me or something. Reading other blogs got me all excited about what I missed, so I did some googling about the Times Free Press and I will share it with you, because you, Dear Reader, missed it too!
I will start with an excerpt from the blog of my friend and classmate, Lauren Smart:
Speaking of ink, I’d never really thought about just how much ink they use. Let me tell you, they use a lot of ink. We saw quite a few huge containers of the various colors of ink. It was, sensibly, housed near the presses themselves. That room was one of my favorite parts of the visit. We got to see someone manipulation one of the gigantic rolls of paper so that when the original roll ran out, the flow of paper would continue smoothly. The ability to keep the press running without having to stop and change rolls can save around an hour of print time!

Giant paper and loads of ink, it makes sense, really. I mean, Chattanooga is not that big, but still lots of newspapers go out every day!
The Times Free Press is a combination of two newspapers: The Chattanooga Times and the Chattanooga News-Free Press. I read that from wikipedia, but I still remember getting the Chattanooga Times before the papers combined.

paper plus adventure

February 23, 2009

Thursday morning we were greeted with the surprise that we would be going on a field trip to Paper Plus. In preparation for our trip, we all gathered around the table and passed around paper samples.
There are some really fantastic paper types out there, and some great finishing elements. I do not seem to encounter many different paper types in most of the things I handle day to day, but I do see finishing elements, like foil stamps and embossing.
As a designer, I find myself becoming more aware of the things around me that have a designer’s touch, so it is great to learn about these finishing touches, like paper that can make a huge difference in the work that I create.
When we got to Paper Plus, we were graciously allowed to take as many paper sample books as we could carry. Sales associate Alex Brock met us at the door and showed us around the stacks of paper and was more than willing to answer questions. He was helpful and very friendly.
It was cool seeing stacks and stacks of paper all around and know that there is a place in Chattanooga I can go to get paper help from friendly people.
I would definitely recommend Paper Plus to anyone in need of paper, Paper Plus can get you what you need.
Be sure to check out the Paper Plus website to see what they have to offer. The people at Paper Plus are friendly and guaranteed to get you what you need!


February 13, 2009

When I think about printing, I feel a slight sense of dread. Swiping my card, praying I have enough money left on it and that it prints correctly the first time. But in the real world beyond the FAC’s testy Ricoh printer there are other methods of printing that are totally rad and have come a long way since Gutenberg first fired up his press.
The Production Manual listed four types of printing utilised by the commercial printing industry. These four types were silk screen, offset lithography, gravure, and letterpress.
Offset lithography uses a printing plate to put the image to the paper. The plate goes through an ink roller and areas that aren’t image repel the ink. Lithography can print at high speed and are apparently easy to prepare, which makes lithography a desirable, low-cost method.
One of the problems with offset lithography can be registration errors, colour variation, and ink transfer.
The only one of the four that I hadn’t heard of was gravure, but I’m familiar with the term silk screen, just because of my interest in t-shirts.
According to wikipedia, gravure is a type of intaglio printing and uses a rotary press. (Do remember to take wikipedia information with a grain of salt and do consider checking addition sources!)
Printing has come such a long way since Gutenberg made his press, it’s exciting to think that his work would be a springboard to such a large part of the life of a designer.