Kevin Potter, Print Technician talks about the equipment available to students in the Digital Print workshop
The Digital Print workshop allows CSM students to output their work through inkjet, thermal wax, laser, eco UV and eco solvent printers. Students from most courses will use the area at some point during their studies, whether it is for exhibition prints, portfolios, look books, large format posters, window graphics or printing onto more unusual substrates like metal, wood, glass, plastic, fabric or found objects.
This area may also be used as part of a workflow that utilises other workshops and mixes both analogue and digital processes. We have a few Macs and PCs for file preparation and output, a couple of trimmers, a guillotine, laminator, paper folder and a limited amount of space for finishing.
Staff are available to help and advise students and are also able to suggest alternative print options and places if needed.
Ask a technician
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 Lynda.com, 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.