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Artist and designer
Simon's prints are shaped by living in the city, an interest in printed ephemera and products generated by local industry during the last century, as well as photographs he has taken or collected over 40 years or so. He also brings experience of working at a commercial print factory, particularly the elements of colour registration, to the work.
A graphic designer, many of the prints reflect the techniques and disciplines of that training, but applied to areas of expression outside the remits of industry (although some of the prints have now made the reverse journey, with elements ending up on book spines and CD packages.)
Having tried and worked with other printmaking techniques, mainly screenprint, Simon moved across to digital print about two years ago, specifically using large output devices normally used for commercial banners.
He now generates most of his print work this way. The final images are still built up as for a screenprint in layers to retain the same solid flat colours and transparency of the medium but digital printing has enabled the greater precision and clarity he was looking for in his work. "I really enjoy the craft of screenprinting, but there was sometimes a feeling that this was getting in the way of what I was trying to achieve," he explains. But along with the possibilities of working towards digital output comes the issue of controlling the final image. "Digital platforms can easily take over unless you have a clear vision of the end piece and know where to stop."
Digital outputting also still raises some eyebrows in print circles, but Simon feels that at the end of the day it is just another way of putting ink onto paper. "Screenprinting was developed originally as a medium for advertising, and only later taken on (and then over) by artists. I see commercial digital output as something to be claimed in the same way by print-makers."