People of Print is a regular online destination for those seeking creative inspiration. The website encompasses a comprehensive directory of contemporary printmakers, a daily updated design blog and an online shop – all of which serve to showcase the innovative ways today’s artists and designers are using traditional printing processes. We caught up with founder and director Marcroy Smith to hear how the website came to be and discuss People of Print’s recent foray into self-publishing.
Q. So Marcroy, how did your interest in print and printmaking begin?
A. I’ve been interested in printed matter from an early age. I used to swap football stickers in the school playground, collect Dinosaurs! magazine and cover my room with cut-outs. As I got older and began to pursue a career in art and design, I came to develop a more concise understanding and respect for print. A real game changer for me was the first day I spent in the letterpress and screen printing workshops at university. I loved the processes, and saw huge potential for what can be achieved when you use traditional printing methods in a contemporary way.
Q. Where did the idea to set up People of Print come from?
A. While I was studying, I would often look for inspiration by searching the web for print-based artists and services. But, to my surprise, I couldn’t find a single website that had all of this information in one place. So I decided to create one.
Essentially, it began as a list of my bookmarks that was made available to the public, and it stayed like that for a long time. But during my travels to New York and Seattle, I visited and interned with loads of artists and studios. Meeting all these amazing people and seeing where they work inspired me to set up a blog too, which I updated daily. That was three years ago now, and it’s been a very interesting journey ever since.
Above: This typographic screen printed sweatshirt was designed by Andy Cooke in collaboration with People of Print
Q. Curating the website must mean you’re constantly exposed to exciting new illustrators and designers. Has anyone in particular caught your eye recently?
A. We can’t say too much about who our current favourites are (it will spoil the surprise…) but keep an eye on some of the selections from the Graduate Print Awards 2014. There are some INCREDIBLE things happening there.
Above: People of Print’s first book, which is to be published by Thames & Hudson early next year
Q. The first issue of your new quarterly publication Print Isn’t Dead has just hit the newsstands. After years of running the blog, why did you decide to put out a magazine?
A. We always wanted to create a book to showcase all of the amazing talent we feature on the site. However, as producing a big book ourselves would have worked out being rather costly, we needed to approach a publisher to help us do so. We got a deal with Thames & Hudson to produce a 336 page hardback title, but we still had the thirst to self-publish something. A magazine seemed like the best option. We ran a really successful Kickstarter campaign for the project, and have just released our first self-published issue.
Q. What can we expect to find inside issue #1?
A. The content of the first issue is very varied. We wanted to show how broad the medium of print is, so we’ve got articles about tattoo artists who print, photographers, graphic designers, illustrators, fine art printmakers, publications, design studios, print studios, and much more.
ICON Printing is proud to be on the panel of judges for People of Print’s Graduate Print Awards 2014.