Sophie Tatlow – Deuce Design

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Published:  December 19, 2012
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Sophie Tatlow – Deuce Design

We caught up with Sophie Tatlow from Deuce Design about a few of the studio’s recent print projects as well as building printer relationships.

What was it that sparked your love of print design?
Deuce co-founder, Bruce Slorach first studied print design at the Victorian College of Fine Arts, after which he ran a hybrid screen-printing and design studio. Screen-printing has had a big influence in Deuce Design. In the early days, Bruce designed and screen-printed both fabrics and posters.

What is your favourite print finish?
Screen-printing. It’s super graphic and crafted. All the best posters are screen-printed and use solid colours. It’s had a transformation from a commercial discipline to an art execution. We’ve used screen-printing in as many projects as possible for years. It’s also very tactile. The digital revolution has profoundly changed the perception of print in every way. Pre-digital, screen-printing was a commercial process; post-digital, it’s a high-end art form.

How do you determine when a particular effect is right for the project? How do you decide when it’s important to the outcome and when it’s just an indulgence?
There is little place for indulgences. Digital, sustainability and ‘landfill’ have raised the bar for print.

Branding identity & collateral - The Standard Store

The Standard Store

Where do you find inspiration for print finishes and processes?
The past! Books, galleries, libraries, old images, old screen-printed posters.

Do printers and designers speak the same language? How do you think we can better communicate with each other to ensure great outcomes?
Like anything, it depends on the person. If you use a knowledgeable and experienced printer, the collaboration can produce better results. Printers are like designers, some are better than others. We have one particular favourite printer. His knowledge and client service is brilliant (Michael, you know who you are). If we’re doing a bigger print job, it’s essential to talk through options in person with the printer. Often a good printer will recommend a process that is new or brings something additional to the project.

How do you go about making selections for finishes? What qualities are you looking for in speciality stocks and inks?
You have to make a selection based on the project as a whole. You have to think about the client’s budget and the overall project intention. Many of our clients request, or we encourage, the most enviro, sustainable option.

Book design - The Darling Quarter

How do you bring a client to the party in terms of cost? How do you give context to a print finish to someone who may know nothing about printing, and sell the effect to them?
Most clients are cost sensitive – especially in 2012! Clients will often weigh up what they spend on digital and print and what gives them better value. Unless they are daring and understand the value of quality, it’s hard to get them to spend big dollars on print. We constantly educate clients on quality, touch, look and the tactile nature of paper. Where possible, we show them samples and printed potential. Part of the design relationship with a client can be a mini masterclass on process.

What’s the most memorable mistake you’ve made on a print job, and what have you learned from that mistake?
It was 12 years ago. Would rather not remember. Let’s just say, don’t forget to check the proofs. Word by word. Also, it’s a good idea to make it clear to the client that colours on their office machine will differ to the final product. I think we have to explain colour… every time.

Thumbnail image: Detail from Events NSW Calendar by Deuce Design.

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