Kellie Campbell-Illingworth – Parallax Design

Published:  January 3, 2013
Kellie Campbell-Illingworth – Parallax Design

We spoke to Kellie Campbell-Illingworth from Parallax Design.

What was it that sparked your love of print design?
When the final printed item is delivered, it is the culmination of a long journey. There is a sense of achievement when opening the samples fresh from the printer and holding the result. I love it when someone hands over their business card – it’s like looking at their shoes. The shape of the card, the texture of the stock and the finish of the embellishments all contribute to how they want to be perceived.

What is your favourite print finish?
Something I always rely on is die cutting. Having the freedom to create any shape or form develops opportunities to be unique. Of course, letterpress is a beautiful finish that we use when the project is right.

Cheese Culture stationery

How do you determine when a particular effect is right for the project?
Once we’ve cracked the idea, it’s easy to visualise how it would translate in print. All selections relate back to the story and the values we want to convey. If we can’t justify why we’ve selected a particular finish, then it’s probably an indulgence.

Where do you find inspiration for print finishes and processes?
We have a library of sample kits in the studio that are a reminder of the possibilities. We’ve printed onto sandpaper, wood, leather and material. We’ve looked into vacuum sealing, knitting and also embroidery. A more inspired print spec will come from the idea for the project – the hard part is making it happen.

How do you choose a printer, and how closely do you work with them on a project?
We have developed relationships with printers over many years. They set a high standard for themselves, so we can be assured the result will be excellent. It’s important to talk face-to-face about the job and ensure they are briefed on the vision.

Henry's Drive stationery

Do printers and designers speak the same language? How do you think we can better communicate with each other to ensure great outcomes?
As you become more experienced as a designer, you understand the language of print. It’s important to never assume the printer knows what you want and to clearly explain and mark up the detail. It’s also important to question and seek their advice for the best result.

How do you bring a client to the part in terms of cost?
When presenting a finish to the client, it’s important to have real examples they can see and touch. If this is presented in conjunction with the design, it is not hard to visualise. Ultimately, we are presenting an idea, not a print finish. It shouldn’t rely on a finish alone; it should still work well in black and white. If a client doesn’t like the idea, they won’t see the value in the investment of embellishment. If the concept delivers for them, they will stretch themselves to see it happen.

As designers, we work largely in the digital environment, so how do you begin to conceptualise a print project?
I work more with pen, paper and the photocopier to start. I tend to waste time if I labour over something on screen. Cutting, sticking and scaling elements is a fast way for me to gauge if something is working. I also spend time selecting and ordering desired stocks and dummies.

What’s the most memorable mistake you’ve made on a print job, and what have you learned from that mistake?
Limitations in different styles of printing have caused mistakes. Flexo cartons usually have a large trap and LPI (lines per inch). I’ve learned to keep the design bold and not aim for fine detail. I also try and overprint when using multiple colours, rather than reversing out.

Thumbnail: Cheese Culture stationery.

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