Celebrating print design in all its glory
This weekend saw The Manchester Print Fair hit the city, taking over the Edwardian Engine Hall at the People’s History Museum for the second time this year. A regular feature on Manchester’s independent art and design calendar, this month’s fair was the biggest and best yet, seeing over 800 people pass through its doors on Saturday alone.
Alongside goods for sale, the event featured a host of hands-on workshops from G.F Smith in collaboration with local makers. Including: screen printing with Hot Bed Press, a TeaPotOrigami workshop with Studio Printmysoul and badge making with Textbook Studio.
Now in its fifth year, this bi-annual cultural event is a real treat for print-lovers everywhere. With over 60 stalls selling affordable artwork, visitors were treated to a diverse mix of printed wares; from artist’s books and zines to t-shirts and tea towels. Not to mention a whole host of printed posters and artworks.
For those of you who couldn’t make it down, here are some of our top picks...
As if running workshops wasn’t enough to keep them busy, Salford-based print collective Textbook Studio were also peddling their printed wares in the main hall. Specialising in editorial and publication design for arts and culture clients, their work is a print-junky’s dream.
Garden Book Club
Another favourite were the Garden Book Club, a collaborative project between Jamie Mills and Megan Wellington. At first glance, their cyanotype collages are fairly unassuming and satisfyingly reminiscent of vintage plant care manuals. On closer inspection the images reveal a playful sensibility, seeking to explore our relationship with our botanical friends.
And, since ‘tis the season to be spooky, we had to mention Dick Vincent, whose charming illustrations of black cats and toothy bats left us feeling suitably Autumnal.
There were also artists crossing the 2D/3D divide, bringing their illustrated characters to life in physical form. Take a look at this “Abyss Action Figure” from local illustrator, artist and printmaker John Powell-Jones, aka Savwo.
Unfortunately there isn’t space to list everyone here, but other highlights included the tattooed tribes of Alex T Frazer, the dotted delights made by Memo, and the beautifully crafted newspaper prints and stationery goods from Off Studio. To anyone who says print is dead, we found it alive and kicking in Manchester.