Screenprinting Texture

Warhol's Nixon (Vote McGovern)

A desaturated version that emphasizes the texture

Texture is an aspect of art that has evolved through time. One of the great transformations in texture came in the 1960s with the revolution of pop art led by Andy Warhol. Pop art ushered in a new era of more commercial fine art. The style is also distinctive in its use of unnatural and bright colors. However, while texture is usu

Along with the pop art movement, Warhol was first to popularize the screen printing process for fine art. The screen printing process dates back centuries and had been used widely for creating color advertisings since the late 1800s. Despite its wide use for commercial printing purposes, it had not been accepted by art collectors until big name artists like Warhol began creating fine artwork through the medium.

Warhol chose the screen printing process for fine art, known by then as serigraphy, because it allowed greater freedom for textures. Textures that could not be created through other methods could now be created through screen printing. Along with the pattern of the silk screen that was transferred onto the print, heavier types of ink could be used to create more opaque and solid textures.

A piece of art like Warhol’s “Nixon (Vote McGovern)” demonstrates the wide array of textures that could be incorporated into one work through the screen printing process. To counter the vibrant colors used, the textures help make the work look more realistic in some areas, and more manufactured in other areas.

A closeup of Warhol's Nixon


Using Color Effectively: Lemonade Stands

Chapter 7 of the Non-Designer’s Design Book outlines the rules for using color in design. The laws governing the use of color are fairly simple and easy to understand, but simply messing up the tint, contrast, or tone of the colors in a project can easily lead to disaster.

While reading the chapter, I was reminded of all the poorly-designed signs I’ve seen for lemonade stands. Children often decide on a hot summer day to set up a lemonade stand outside their house to test their budding¬†entrepreneurial¬†skills. When creating a sign to advertise their product, they often choose a large white poster and use yellow (the color of lemons) for the text. To a passing car, bright yellow text on a bright white background is anything but readable. The tone of the two colors is far too similar and there just isn’t enough contrast.

To illustrate the posters I was thinking of, I’ve included some pictures below of bad lemonade stand posters and one photo of a well-designed poster that will really grab attention.