Earlier this year, the team at Pillsbury contacted us to create the artwork for the official aprons of Pillsbury’s 47th Annual Bake-Off, held this week in Nashville. They were interested in a uniquely Nashville texture for the aprons, so Heather used some of classic blocks from the archive, PLUS injected something a little ‘fresh’ into the design, by hand-carving Poppin’ Fresh in wood!
For a project like this, where we’re incorporating new art into a design, the general layout is determined, first with sketches, then typesetting what we have on hand (the type and imagery from the archive), along with a line drawing of the potential new image (here, our friend Poppin’ Fresh). Sometimes the line art needs to be increased or decreased in size, even a tiny bit, to create the right balance. Those pesky details, such as refining the proportions between imagery and text, can be tedious, so we’ll spare you the details . . . suffice it to say that Heather, the designer-printer on this job, worked it all out, and before she could make any prints, she had to carve the new block! All the designer-printers at Hatch Show Print have the skills to carve, and part of the design process includes selecting wood, linoleum or sintra as the base material for carving (and printing).
After transferring the line art to a block of wood, Heather started carving. Here, you can get an idea of her process: secure the outline (especially if there are any tricky corners or thin lines one does not want to accidentally carve away!), and then gradually clear away the areas that should not print.
That leaves the best part – the positive!
Once the block was carved, Heather was able to lock it up in the press with some of the rest of the type in the design.
Each design layer was printed on paper with black ink, and those physical separations were scanned, colored digitally and layered before the artwork was sent off to the apron printer.
And here’s the final result! (Photo courtesy General Mills/Pillsbury 27th Annual Bake-Off Contest)