Killer app: Dorset Digital delivers silver service for snowy scenes

Richard Stuart-Turner
Monday, December 20, 2021

With an estimated one billion Christmas cards sent each year in the UK alone, printers up and down the country are kept busy in the run-up to winter producing suitably festive designs.

Swanage printmaker Jo Porter, who specialises in linocut and silkscreen printing, recently created a few grey and black linocuts and felt that a similar colour scheme in silver and black would work well for a range of Christmas cards inspired by Dorset’s landscapes – and some of Porter’s favourite places – in the snow.

What was produced?
Porter produced five linocut designs for this project: Snowy Corfe Castle, Snowy Durdle Door, Snowy Old Harry Rocks, Snowy St Aldhelm’s Chapel, and Snowy Portland Bill Lighthouse. Each design had two individual blocks hand carved before each block was put through a printing press.

She then called on Wimborne-based Dorset Digital Print, which has produced numerous other cards, leaflets, and notebooks for her over the last few years, to digitally print a total of 1,000 128x128mm cards using these designs.

What did the job entail?
“Jo supplied the drawings as JPEGs and we didn’t need to tweak them at all. We then created the card artwork with the images and typeset the text that was supplied. Once the artwork had been created, we produced a proof on the material the cards were to be printed on. Jo then checked this to make sure she was happy with everything before we went to print,” explained Dorset Digital Print director Debbie Summers.

The paper used for the job was 300gsm Inaset Plus Offset due to its bright whiteness, which Summers said “gives excellent contrast and definition, optimising colour printing results; it is also a very smooth board”.

Two of the firm’s staff were involved in the production of the job, which took place in September. The cards were printed on a Xerox Versant 280 digital press, scored on a Morgana AutoCreaser, trimmed on a Polar guillotine and then hand folded. 

What challenges were overcome?
Summers said the biggest challenge was to ensure that the quality of the print and finish did justice to Porter’s design.

What was the feedback?
“I’m really happy with the finished cards from Dorset Digital Print. I like the matt finish, and the colours from the original linocuts have been reproduced really nicely on the cards,” said Porter.

“I have worked with Dorset Digital Print on various projects over the past four years. They are always helpful from the design stage right through to the finished product. I have always been pleased with the results for every project I have worked with them on.”

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