Meet The Maker-Pirrip Press

We love having Pirrip Press in our shop, their hand screen printed cards, notebooks, sketchbooks and calenders are a pleasure to look at, great colour combos and layers of imagery. To find out a bit more about them and their design process take a look at their interview:

Please introduce yourself and tell us a little about your work? Pirrip Press was conceived by Georgie and I in 2012. It is the joint culmination of our various creative enterprises. We work for clients on design, illustration and print work, with a particular focus on bespoke, hand printed stationery. We also design and produce work for ourselves; illustrations, posters, notebooks and other printed items that we sell online, at markets and through independent retailers. We also write, illustrate and self-publish our own books. We try to do one new publication a year, in limited editions of under 100 copies. Our work is quite diverse, but we like colours, shapes, layers and words, and produce mainly silkscreen printed work, often limiting ourselves to two or three colours. We have a small studio at home, more of an office really, and this is where we do our design work and all the prep for our prints and products. It’s pretty full with boxes of stock + cupboards of supplies, and two big desks which we try to keep clear and neat. We have some inspirational prints hanging on the walls and a whole run (20 ish) of Time Life books with their different coloured spines all lined up in rainbow order, as well as some handsome plants (lemon scented geranium and a trumpety looking succulent are the current favourites). We print as Spike Print Studio in south Bristol. It’s a brilliant studio and we really enjoy working there. Everyone is friendly and helpful and it’s really nice to chat to people about their work and what they’re up to – without our studio pals it would be quite a solitary profession.

What inspires you to make what you do? We are both storytellers, and know that things are nearly always better if there’s a narrative of some kind behind them, so we do plenty of research. We’re also both quite keen on science and nature, there are lots of youngster’s science books in our studio – they are a really good source of inspiration - and as the information they impart is usually in bite-sized bits for children, they’re easier for our non-scientific minds to comprehend! If we get stuck or need to have a good think about an idea, going for a walk or a run is always good. Several lengths at the swimming pool makes my brain open up. Georgie always says she has lots of ideas when she’s at the gym! I also find looking through photos helps – places I’ve been or holidays and stuff – we take loads of photos so its nice to have a wander through them. We make all sorts of stationery and love working with paper. We believe (and hope!) it still has a lasting attraction, even though everyone’s making notes on their phones and tablets nowadays. Perhaps some of it is nostalgia and habit, but we think people are still keen to see and possess actual tactile objects. There is something more ‘real’ about a hand written note – it exists, it is unique - and when it comes to correspondence, is often evidence of time, care and consideration. Stationery is another opportunity for sharing deliberate expressions of taste and style. What are you working on at the moment?

We’re both working on different projects right now, as well as some together. We’re illustrating and designing an activity book / journal with a publisher, but it’s a bit secret, so we can’t really discuss it in detail. We’re about to print three new prints in a colour series we’ve just started; Red, Blue and Yellow – thought we’d better start with the primaries. We are going to make a start on our prints for the Newlyn Fish festival soon ( a limited edition poster we do with the festival each year to raise money for the Fishermen’s Mission). George has just finished a collaboration with an old student of hers and they made a good little book. And we have our 2015 book in the pipeline too – it’ll be illustrated and it’ll be happy. Other than that it’s all in our heads at the moment ;)

What do you love most about working in your chosen discipline? We were discussing screenprinting recently and both realized that one of our favourite things is seeing lots of things all the same, all lined up. So obviously printing and edition and seeing all the identical prints drying on the rack is massively satisfying! Plus it’s great to have something physical to show at the end of the day for all your ‘work’ - a stack of cards or a new design on a stencil ready to print is very rewarding.

How would you describe your creative process? We work in sketchbooks, drawing and painting and fiddling about and then things start to formulate into more solid ideas and images. Then we get the original drawn pages onto the computer and start playing around with layout, adding type, tidying up and testing colours and layers. We have both become quite practiced at separating things into layers in our minds and thinking through overlaps and shapes in our heads. But its always a treat when you get the second layer down for the first time in a print and you can really see it come alive.

If you could peek inside the studio of any artist or designer, who would it be? We like lots of old printmakers and illustrators, both of us are Ravillious fans. And we really like the lithographs that Rosemary & Clifford Ellis made in the 50s and onwards, mainly commercial work for TFL and book covers, its really vibrant and beautiful – when colour was still quite new. Bet they’d have a good studio. And probably it would be great to snoop around Paul Rand’s place.

Thanks Georgie and Alex, great to hear more about your design process.