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Focal Point: For the love of print with Dan Mather

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Dan Mather is an independent silkscreen printer and graphic designer, he creates printworks borne of passion and precision; all of which stem from his motto: 'For the love of print'.

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Hi Dan, first of all, how would you sum up your work?

I collaborate closely with graphic designers and illustrators, and I specialise in water-based and hand-printed editioning. I’m a conscientious screen printer and take great care in producing the best print possible, at all costs. I work by myself from a shared print studio and do it for the love of print!

It’s been a privilege to work with people like Apple, Bicycling Magazine, Design Museum, Dixon Baxi, Fontsmith, Made Thought, Premier League and Rapha among others. I always look forward to establishing new relationships with people and the projects they bring.

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What would you be doing if you weren't screen printing?

I’d probably still be working in graphic design. I like to keep my foot in the water, freelancing in-house now and again, and I like to work amongst other creatives in a studio environment on occasion.

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Tell us, how do you keep your ideas fresh?

Most of my personal work has a strong cycling theme to it and many of my ideas come from watching races, reading articles and listening to interviews; picking up on metaphors and idioms I like the sound of. I love the world of cycling as viewed from behind the bike, and I try to create work that references cycling, but isn’t explicitly about bikes.

From a print perspective, I think working in the medium of screenprint helps a lot with how an idea visually develops. Physically printing and observing how a particular print method looks in the actuality of ink on paper, contributes heavily to any design process I undertake.

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What are you currently working on?

Lots! The majority of it is print work. I’ve just completed a new edition for Massif Central which pushed the limit on stroke weight and point size, resulting in a 0.176mm line and 4pt type in metallic gold. I’m so proud of that. Next up is a two-colour poster of a very well known logo that I can’t say anymore about at the moment, but you’ll see it in a few weeks. After that is poster for Look Mum No Hands! which promises to be very eye-popping. Then some experimental screenprints using ink that reacts to daylight for another client, that’ll be a very exciting poster.

I’m also working with Wimbledon College of Art on a project for their Degree Show, and in-between commercial projects I’m finding the time to complete Printed Mather. Printed Mather will be a limited edition, unique collection of A6 crops exemplifying different inks, papers and print techniques achievable through water-based screenprint. Collated from crops of posters I’ve spent the past five years printing, I couldn’t think of a better way to demonstrate my work than to let the screenprint speak for itself. Follow me on Instagram for updates! 

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What’s the best type of brief?

A considered one. I find working with the client is the best way to create a brief. The client has a rough idea of what they want, but sitting down with them and going through every aspect will deliver more than they could have imagined.

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Finally, what are your top five favourite or most visited websites?

Believe it or not I don’t really follow any websites. I look at Instagram daily and find that a much nicer way of seeing what people are up to. Companies like G.F Smith, Arjowiggins, Progress Packaging, Creative Review, Eye Magazine and Dezeen are firm favourites.

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