Kim Boekbinder, my favourite friend and musician, approached me last month about doing a crazy print job. She had 3 tiny suitcases that needed the logo for her wildly successful animated video project with herself, Jim Batt and Molly Crabapple. These suitcases are going to be turned into tiny dioramas featuring parts of the stop motion sets for “I Have Your Heart“. You should check out the video to see what I mean.
At first, I attempted to do a simple on-contact print. How this works is you have one person hold the screen tight on top of the object instead of using hinges or a press like in paper or t-shirt printing. This leaves you with a slightly more difficult manner of registering the image, but is good if you don’t need to be precise and have no desire to do the hour or so of set up for hinges and registration because you’re printing a small order. While registration was important for this, I was able to see through the screen to the stitching. So I took a sharpie and traced the outline and used those to match up.
Additionally, I made sure to stuff the interiors with every postcard that I could find. This was so I could get the most direct contact with the screen and the lid, and wouldn’t result in the top compressing and getting too light of an impression.
But the first couple attempts at printing resulted in the slippery suitcase leather + screen sliding as I pulled the squeegee hard and the tight lettering was blurred. A quick swipe with a damp sponge took off the ink and it was time for me to try something new.
Voila! Meet the vertical hinging system. Note: not it’s real name.
The way this darling works is that the two towers on either end have a handle, that when turned raise the bar on either end. This means that you can put a very tall object underneath it and the screen will be suspended in the air above it. The C-Clamps hold the screen tight and can rotate it up and down on the bar, like your traditional table top hinge system.
Underneath, you can set up your registration for your object. I took a simple sharpie and traced the outline of the box to get it in there. It didn’t need to be terribly precise, but if you’re doing multiple colours with a micro registration, you can use more three dimensional objects to form a registration mold. This could involve anything from carving a holder out of cardboard or masonite to simply taping down strips of thick paper at the corners. My sharpie registration worked just fine for a one colour print, plus I still had the registration on the screen to double check that nothing was terribly off.
And there you go! Three beautiful, custom printed cases.
The screen for printing these came from an earlier job, where I hand printed book covers for an art booklet about the characters.
The booklets are sadly all sold out now, but you can still check out the amazing behind the scenes story and further updates at www.ihaveyourheart.com