The design industry has seen huge growth in the availability and capability of new printing technologies over the past few years. Decorative products such as wallpaper, textiles and art are increasingly being produced digitally as designers and manufacturers look to reduce both cost and time.
Despite this there are still a small handful of niche companies who are continuing to specialise in traditional methods of printing.
At Signature Prints we pride ourselves on being one of the few companies in Australia who are still using traditional hand printing techniques to produce high-end products for the interior design/ decoration market. Our hand silk screen-printing process is what sets us apart, and we are very passionate about continuing to practice, preserve and educate others about the merits of these time-honoured traditional processes.
Screen-printing is a process that is easy to learn but can be difficult to master. Our skilled and experienced printers must ensure that each print down the length of the wallpaper roll or fabric is consistent to ensure an even finish on the final product. Being hand-printed means there are occasionally some slight imperfections, however we believe that this brings character and authenticity to our products.
Printing in action: here we are adding the accent layer to our Dragons wallpaper using Metallic Silver ink.
The process of screen-printing with pigment inks allows us to achieve a variety of special finishes, many of which would be impossible to replicate through digital printing. Some of these include:
Metallic inks – we are able to mix a variety of metallic and pearlescent pigment inks that add a lovely shimmer and sparkle to our prints.
Metallic wallpaper bases – we create custom coloured base-papers in a variety of finishes including both shiny and semi-metallic that have a beautifully luxurious quality.
Tone-on-tone – one particular technique that we developed extensively for our latest wallpaper collection CHIC was printing translucent ink formulations onto our coloured metallic wallpaper bases to create tone-on-tone effects without having to add coloured pigments, allowing the base colour itself to be the feature.
Matte/Gloss – by contrasting the different consistencies of matte and gloss inks and paper surfaces we are able to create subtle visual texture – this is particularly effective in creating highly sought after white-on-white and contemporary black-on-black prints.
Above: testing translucent inks on our coloured metallic wallpaper bases.
Above: subtle texture achieved by printing gloss black ink onto matt black paper (Design: Treillage from the Chic wallpaper collection – SPW-TR05)
Aside from these technical benefits, we find that our clients are continually drawn to our products because of the story and the personality behind them.
Each wallpaper or fabric is hand-printed locally here in our Sydney studio by experienced and skilled artisans. All of the designs that we screen-print have originally been hand-drawn, and each have their own quirks that gives them their unique ‘personality’. With many of the designs in our library created before the use of digital software such as Photoshop and Illustrator was commonplace, it is all the more impressive that they still print and match up so beautifully today, with minimal correction required.
‘Bamboo & Butterflies by Australian designer Noel Lyons – this image shows his original sketch for the design, and the film positives that we use to expose the design onto a silk screen for printing.
We find that this inherent character combined with the unique visual textures are what make our hand-printed wallpaper and textiles products a joy to work with and a stylish and timeless choice for any residential or commercial space.
Interested in learning more about our products or our hand screen-printing process?
We run a number of different workshops and studio experience programs for the general public, school groups as well as private events for industry groups. Contact our sales team to register your interest in participating in a workshop event, and keep an eye on our website and social media for announcements of the next scheduled public workshops.