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Central Saint Martins

Large Format and Specialist Print

The Large Format and Specialist print workshop is available for all CSM students. Here you are able to digitise, prepare, output and finish your work. We offer support and advice for each of these stages of your workflow.

The Specialist Digital 2D Workshop is equipped for high-end image finishing of photographic images, digital illustration and reproduction of other 2d artwork. The Digital Access Print (DAP) workshop is equipped for high-end image finishing of photographic images, digital illustration and reproduction of other 2d artwork.

Our facilities include film scanners, Macs with industry-standard software, flatbed scanners, several differing sizes of inkjet printers [8-10 colour] for making archival pigment prints up to 1100mm wide, and a thermal-wax printer for inexpensive large format printing. We have a wide range of archival inkjet papers and non-archival substrates in all finishes.

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Kevin Potter

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Questions answered by Specialist Technician Kevin Potter

Why do students come in here?

Whether working with film, shooting with digital cameras, or compositing illustrations digitally, this workshop has a suite of open-access computers and a counter service for high quality printing. Also I recommend students use the, which is a great online learning resource for developing techniques and learning good working practice in all digital asset management.

What is the most common request you get?

We can print exhibition pigment prints [giclée] in the workshop using the wide-format inkjet printers. If students are supplying work to magazines, or preparing for a digital portfolio or website we can help prepare and proof work here. We ensure colour-management is considered in detail which is such an important area of digital imaging training that students have often overlooked or are confused about, and the more students use the workshop the better their approach to developing images both in and out of the digital realm.

Is there a particular project you remember?

Students exploring the inkjet printer as a creative tool – using their own papers, preparing canvas and other substrates, printing images with multiple passes through the printer, and other alternative approaches are encouraged. We often print for light-boxes and other transparent or translucent work.

Treating the inkjet print as a part of a process rather than simply the final output stage of a digital file is growing as students become comfortable with the technology.

Have you ever had to say to a student that a project was impossible?

I don't like to think projects are impossible but sometimes we might need to find workarounds to certain limitations in the workshop or limitations with a student's file image resolution, perhaps the physical size of a print. There are often requests for book printing too, and inkjet is a very expensive way to make a book! We find the best way to address the project needs, making ready for an external printer as required; you can wrap a building in print, you don't have to limit yourself!

How does the workshop fit in with the overall history of CSM?

DAP is a fairly new workshop, and has been growing and changing rapidly in recent years, and we continue to acquire new equipment as we evolve. The technology is improving fast and the potential for exploratory creative work growing too.

In addition to helping refine a students' approach to the industry or creative standards they are aiming for, we can also try to find options that may not have been considered for their work. For instance, the creative crossover between moving-image and still image-making is fertile, and software intended for geometry mapping, surveying, generative design, moving-image colour-grading, and 3d animation can be considered extremely useful in post-production of the still-image, for compositing, creative editing and finishing and these high-end image projects can be supported in Photography Post-Production J311.