FOOT PRINT WORKERS CO-OP -
Researching into sustainable print methods has lead me to have a base knowledge of the subject already. Moreover, in a previous project I visited the 'Footprinters Workers Co-op', an environmentally focused risograph printers based in Leeds.
The printers are my first choice for producing the publication as they print onto environmentally friendly papers made from FSC certified recycled paper using one of the most environmentally friendly printing techniques commercially available.
BENEFITS OF PRINTING WITH FOOTPRINT -
- Risograph uses vegetable based inks - no harmful chemicals or VOC's.
- Print method has low environmental impact - relevant to module focuses.]
- Print onto recycled, certified papers.
- Ability to print in large runs.
- Ability to print a range of colours.
- Unique tactile finish to print method.
- Local business - no need to transport finished products long distances.
Unfortunately, I am unable to use the printers for a number of reasons which I have listed below;
- Time - I would need to send the completed newspaper file to the printers in the next few days to have the outcome printed in time for the deadline. Although this is achievable, this is a very tight deadline that could affect the standard to which the outcome is produced.
- Cost - Currently, I am tight up on money and the printers require a minimum print run of 100 units which I cannot currently afford to purchase.
DIGITAL PRINT COLLEGE -
Another method I considered was printing using the digital printers available in the digital dungeon at college. However, after speaking with James, the print technician I discovered that the print method is far from sustainable and therefore an unsuitable choice for the project.
REASONS UNSUITABLE -
- Lots of energy used by printers.
- Inks used have lots of chemicals in them.
- Inks used can affect the recyclability of the paper.
SCREEN PRINT -
The only other print method I have access to that meets the required level of sustainability is screen printing, a process which I can complete using the college facilities.
Screen printing is a suitable method as it is predominantly a human powered process that requires little energy once the screens have been exposed. Moreover, the method can be used to print relatively large print runs and allows me to build up layered translucent illustrations like the ones reviewed in my visual research.
Despite the applicability of the method it is not a completely sustainable print method as harsh chemicals are used to wash and expose the screens which have possible environmental impacts if not disposed of correctly. Unfortunately, given the choices and time remaining to complete the project, there are no more suitable choices available.
SCREEN PRINT INKS -
Another aspect of the screen printing process that has negative environmental impacts lies with the inks that are used to print. At university, acrylic ink is predominantly used within the process. Although such paints are water soluble, they are plastic based and contain VOC's (Volatile Organic Compounds) amongst other potentially harmful chemicals.
To justify using the print method, I plan to purchase a more sustainable alternative to the plastic based acrylics on offer at university.
ECO GREEN CRAFTS - ACRYLIC PAINT -
Research lead me to discover an eco-friendly acrylic paint alternative that is the perfect choice for printing my outcome in a low-impact way.
Eco Green Crafts is the first environmental conscience company that has a complete line of eco-friendly art and craft supplies, one of the products they produce is an eco-friendly acrylic paint, which is the perfect paint choice for my outcome.
ECO GREEN CRAFTS - ACRYLIC PAINT PROPERTIES -
- Contain natural pigments.
- No or low VOC's and safe preservatives.
- Most paints in the range have no VOC's.
- Some, such as the metallics and a select few vibrant colours do contain some VOC's however the count is as low as possible.
- The entire range qualifies for the latest ASTM rating which is reserved for products that meet the most stringent requirements for safety and low VOC content.
ORDERING PAINT -
After researching into the properties of the paints and establishing that they are a suitable choice of paint for the project I selected a number of colours using the colour pallet outlined in the design decisions element of the project.