Unsuccessful catapult

Shut up and make things

Me and Chris tried to make a catapult using cardboard, however it wasn’t strong enough to withstand the tension from the elastic band. As seen in the photo below the cardboard strips have bent:

I used a lighter to singe the letters I cut out using a scalpel, however fire is unpredictable and it burnt out some of the spacing between arms therefore making the letters illegible:
I think it would have worked with a stronger material such as wood or metal but if we manage to build it, it would be difficult to capture the motion of the letter flying because we are inexperienced with using a DSLR camera.

Type off the page

Even though the text is actually on the page but the three dimension makes it off the page. I like the intricate design and how delicate the piece it. The white text held against the black background it strong:

I like the overflowing of the letters and how carefully they are arranged on the wire, this must have taken a long time to compile:




V. Ryan © 2004

Embossing involves raising areas of a card surface above the level of the rest. The diagram below shows a coat of arms that has been embossed on green card. The images stands out from the card as it has been produced by a stamp which presses the card to the correct shape. This process adds cost to the printing process but gives the card a 3D effect.

Alongside the embossed version is the same coat of arms printed in colour, on paper – note the difference. Embossing usually doubles the cost of normal printing as it takes place after processes such as colour, printing and varnishing have been completed.
Normally a small area of a package may be embossed, so that it stands out. Manufacturers use embossing to make their product look more luxurious and expensive.


A good example of simple embossing can be seen below. A letter with a coat of arms is to be sent to a number of important people. To make the letter look and feel more important the coat of arms is to be embossed. This means that the coat of arms must stand out from the surface of the card / special paper.

A special embossing tool has been made with the shape of the coat of arms engraved on its base. The embossing tool is aligned with the printed coat of arms and the mallet is then used to strongly tap the embossing tool. The material underneath the letter is rubber so that the ‘blow’ from the mallet / embossing tool is absorbed and yet allows the embossed area of the paper to stand out from the rest of the papers surface.

During the use of the embossing tool, the paper is reversed so that the blow is to the back of the crest of arms.

If many copies of the same embossed paper was needed, automatic printing machines can be used. These will print the coat of arms and any text and then emboss the specified area. Thousands of copies can be produced accurately.

Lino cutting


What is Lino Printing?

Lino Printing or Lino Cutting as it is also known is a block printing technique.  Lino printing is quite a simple process and as a result is it widely used in schools.  It is a great way to introduce children to the art of printmaking.  Lino Printing is a popular print making technique using by many professional artists.  Lino printing was originally held in low esteem by the art world until Pablo Picasso made a series of lino prints in the 1950s.  Some samples of his work can be found in this book. (46% off the price and free delivery worldwide)

What does Lino Printing involve?

Firstly a design is choose to be printed.  A mirror image of this design is transfered to the lino block.  Typically this is done using tracing paper or sometimes the sketch is made directly to the lino block.  It depends on how confident you are in your mirror image sketching abilities.
Areas of the design are then carved from the lino block.  The uncarved areas of the block are the parts that get printed.  At this point the lino block is inked with use of a roller and printed onto paper for fabric.  Typically this printing process is carried out manually but it can also be done using a printing press.  For most people the manually process is just fine but if you are looking for professional quality prints then a printing press is the next step.
Prints can be made using one or more colours.  If you use just one colour then the print is complete at this stage.  If  you use multiple colours then once the first print is finished the lino block is cleaned and dried.  Another section of the lino block is then carved.  The section that has been carved will not be printed for the subsequent colour.  The process continues until all of the colours have been printed.
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Lino-Cutting Tips

An Artist is Only as Good as His Tools

If you’ve got a set of those plasticky things they torture GCSE art students with chuck them away. Cheap tools are potentially dangerous; badly designed handles reduce control and blunt blades skid through lino unpredictably. They also make for disappointing results and disaffected students.

Good tools last a lifetime or more, will improve with judicious sharpening, and retain value on the second hand market (so you could eBay them if crisis strikes!).

Don’t be Conned Into Buying the Whole Range

Three or four is enough for most people, at least to start with. If you’re using a press, the size of your lino-cuts will be restricted to suit the machine so choose tools to scale. There’s no point having a tool the size of a spade if you’ve got an Adana 5 x 3.


Soften with Linseed Oil

Put a drop of linseed oil on a rag and rub it over the surface of your lino. It’s traditionally thought to keep the lino supple. Do this before you warm the lino, and it’ll sink in nicely.


Heat Your Lino Gently to Make it Easier to Work With

Don’t get it too hot or it will warp badly; try holding it over a light-bulb (not a fluorescent one!), put it near a radiator, in bright sunshine (if you live in a country so blessed) or try a hair drier on a low/medium heat setting.

Your tools will glide through the lino, it won’t tear with jagged edges and you can create finer detail. You’ll notice as soon as the effects wear off, and you’ll wonder why no one told you about warm lino before!


Rub a Little White Watercolour Paint Over the Surface

This creates a greater contrast between the printing surface and the cut-away areas, so it’s easier to see what you’re doing. Wipe it off with a damp cloth when you’ve finished.


Cut Deeper for Letterpress

If you’re used to printing with a hand-roller, the back of a spoon or a proofing press, you’ll almost certainly need to cut your lino deeper to get a good print with a proper press, because of the increased pressure. Otherwise the white space will start to take ink and your fine detail will fill up, especially on longer runs. For the same reason, don’t buy thin lino!

ow deep should you cut? In solid areas of your design, as in Fig B, you can cut quite shallow details (as little as 3pt deep, for the finest detail) because there’s plenty of lino around it to bear the pressure. If you’ve got a large area of white space with a few spots of detail, as in Fig A, you need to cut at least twice as deep to prevent the cut-away area from printing.Large areas of white space should be cut as deep as possible without going through to the backing, especially around the edges of the lino (the edges which the rollers hit first and last need extra attention).

If you want to save the detail in an existing lino-cut, and cutting deeper isn’t an option, you can take a print (it must be in black ink on bright white paper) with your trusty spoon, and get it made into a nylon block (or metal if the detail is exceptionally fine) for reproduction on a grander scale.

Mount with 2″ Double Sided Tape

Double sided tape can be removed with minimal damage and, with a bit of luck, you’ll be able to reuse both mount and lino-cut.

  • Stick the tape onto the back of the lino, butting up the edges evenly to prevent bumpy overlaps (use the widest tape you can get) and trim round.
  • Turn the lino the right way up and press down firmly to get rid of any air bubbles in the tape underneath.
  • Peel off the backing and press firmly onto your mount.
  • Obstinate bubbles can be prodded with a pin!

You’ll find more detail in the Getting Started… Block Mounting guide.

When All Else Fails, Make a Block

It happens to everyone; you’ve almost finished and then, with one slip of your hand, someone’s lost an ear. Or a leg. Whilst some accidents can be incorporated into the design, some seem heart-breakingly final.

Unless the damaged area is separated from the rest of your design by lots of white space, don’t listen to anyone who tells you to cut around the mistake and insert a new piece of lino into the hole. This can be done, but doing it well is a lot harder than it sounds. You’re very likely to ruin the whole thing. So why not take a print (black ink/white paper), fill in the gap in the proof with indian ink and have a nylon block made? It’s not quite the same as the ‘real’ thing, but needs must!

Inspiration for Type off the page

I read an article in the Computer Arts magazine and this has given me slight inspiration on how to develop and a direction for the project.

Ariane Irlé. (November 2011). Treat your images by hand. Computer Arts. 194 (1), p71.

This style of work also reminds me of the advert that was for Mark Ronson’s album: Record Collection, with the use of strong bright colours, mixture between three dimension and two dimension plus cartoon style  from the design agency FOAM that we had a lecture on (they developed the promotional video for Mark Ronson album)