This week’s practice task was to think about color in printing. We were told to think about layering, pattern, opacity, solid color, overprinting, texture and the four-color process and then choose only 2 colors and try to push the limits what we can create with those.
I instantly thought of riso printing. Riso is good for playing with layering, overprinting and opacity. Also the colors we have are good for a task like this. I also got and idea pretty quickly. I wanted to experiment with pattern and how layering, color and opacity can be used in it. I think I have seen an image or print like that somewhere because I could see this one image in my mind.
As research and inspiration I watched a couple of videos about color and printing, and looked up riso printing studios around the world. Especially I tried to find pictures of riso prints that would be good examples of layering and color.
When I started developing my design, regardless of everything, I still first tried another route. I tried playing with a photograph and cutouts in the color layers. But I couldn’t make it work so I decided to stick with my pattern idea and start developing that.
I experimented with rectangles, circles, dots and triangles. At first it felt like I was getting nowhere. I think I was trying to make the composition too complicated by using too many different shapes. Then I thought that triangles would be the best and I cut my shape range down to just that. I think that was the right decision.
The final design is actually really simple. It is just two layers of the same triangle pattern where from the both layers I have cut out some of the triangles. But the triangles that have been cut out are different on each layer so that when placed on top of each other you see colors through the cutouts.
Thinking about the riso printer, I made mock-ups in Photoshop with the different riso colors to see which combination I would like to use. I really like green and yellow together, it is a quite harmonious combination. However I felt like I should use two primary colors so that layering them together would create a third color. Still when it was time to print I couldn’t resist using green and yellow. I like how it came out. The yellow though is a bit weaker and green stronger than in my mock-ups.
In the end of the day I still had time to try another color combination so I tried red and blue together. Even though before I had had my heart set on green and yellow, when I was the finished red and blue riso print I really liked it. In a way I think it is even more successful and interesting then green and yellow. I think red and blue is a stronger combination. The only negative thing about that is that the contrast between the low and high opacity triangles is less noticeable which is not really what I wanted. Still I’m happy with the experiments that I made and I think I was able to fulfill the purpose of the task.