Killer app: White Duck’s old-school skills are out of this world

Rhys Handley
Monday, March 4, 2019

The Söderberg sisters, better known as Swedish folk music act First Aid Kit, are famous for their dramatic flair – psychedelic patterns and magnificent jewels making up their onstage costumes.

This bold, ambitious look was bound to extend to the band’s promotional wares when returning to Europe after a successful US tour.

What was produced?

Three A2 screen-printed posters in different four-tone colour schemes with one to represent each part of the European leg of the group’s Rebel Hearts tour – 1,000 posters in purples for the UK and Ireland, 250 in oranges for mainland Europe and 200 in blues for their native Scandinavia.

What did the job entail?

Bath-based White Duck Editions, the discerning pop star’s go-to screen printer, printed onto its favoured 270gsm Mohawk Superfine Eggshell stock using a Natgraph 3 screen press. The posters were then cut to size on a Wohlenberg Cut-tec guillotine and exposed using a Kippax Printascreen exposure unit.

What challenges were overcome?

White Duck founding partner Joshua Roberton said: “We worked through an enjoyable process with the artist, Anne Benjamin, to create the separations for screen print. If anything was a challenge, it was in using a combination of flat, spot colours and metallics, both of which require different mesh counts and have differing impacts on registration.

“For many editions we will work specifically to Pantone specified or pre-swathed colours, but in this instance, we produced the prints directly from the artist’s supplied artwork files. Across all three editions we used spot colours, and in the case of the Scandinavia poster, we used a shimmering blue-tinged metallic silver.”

To print all colours, White Duck used a 120 mesh on its screen press. The exception was on the aforementioned metallics which were printed using a 73 mesh.

What was the feedback?

First Aid Kit’s management was a new client to White Duck that came via a recommendation and, according to Roberton, they were “really receptive” to the final editions.

Artist Anne Benjamin said: “The band wanted a space themed poster to match some of the vintage space travel imagery used in their live shows. For inspiration, I looked at vintage photography of goddess-like women elegantly perched on a theatrical prop of a crescent moon.

“I wanted the final image to look ethereal with a nod to northern lights of the Scandavian countries.”


© MA Business Limited 2021. Published by MA Business Limited, St Jude's Church, Dulwich Road, London, SE24 0PB, a company registered in England and Wales no. 06779864. MA Business is part of the Mark Allen Group .