In the Kitchen: Transparent Overlays with Sector 9

It’s true – I ride a Sector 9 Bamboo Series for my 2-block commute to work every morning, so I got pretty stoked when they reached out to us to print the commemorative poster for this year’s Angie’s Curves Downhill Event. The design is so good and gets so much done with just four colors, we just had to feature it in hopes that it will inspire you to see some of what’s possible with spot color design… In this case, what’s possible with transparent overlays.

Steps

First, the basics of transparent overlays.
An transparent overlay is created by printing a semi-translucent ink on top of another ink in order to create a third color.

For example.
The yellow on top of the blue makes the green
The red on top of the blue makes the burgundy.
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It’s a really simple way to get more colors out of your spot color designs. To implement this technique on the design-side you simply lay the two overlaying shapes on top of each other and set the top color to ‘Multiply’ – The resulting color will appear to be a third solid spot color. Viola! You are now getting 2-colors for the price of 1.

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The possibilities with this print: 7 colors out of the 3 color layers, a black layer on top and then 1 color from the paper – so up to 9 colors from 4 screens.

wolf wolf wolf!

For more on designing for transparent overlays let’s chat it up with the designer – Derek Hall.

First off, tell us a little bit about the design – it’s premise, the event it’s supporting, where you found inspiration for it, etc…
The design was based on an evolution from last year’s event poster. Our riders found this hill several years back and befriended the owner of the land out in the mountains, Angie. She was kind enough to let them skate it, even though it is private property. The hill is quite technical, so they started calling it Angie’s Curves. When Sector 9 decided to host our own officially sanctioned downhill race, it seemed like the obvious choice. Angie also happens to be Native American and raise wolves on her property. The art is pretty much a tribute to her for letting us host the race on such an epic hill.

Did you initially set out to design a screen printed poster or did the design find it’s way towards the process later?
This year we wanted to do a little more for the merchandising of the event than last year, so I suggested a silkscreened poster, gig style, in addition to the hats and tees we planned to run. I got the okay from marketing, so I went into the design process knowing it would be screened and had to create my art accordingly.

What was your comfort level with designing for spot color printing before this project?
I can easily say this isn’t my first barbecue. I’ve been working with tee graphics and skateboard graphics for almost 9 years now, so designing for screen printing and spot colors is fairly regular work.

We count a great deal more than 4 colors in the final print, did you initially design it as all these colors separated or was it designed to utilize the overlays in the way it does in the final print? Where did that idea come from?
The transparent overlays were purposeful. I designed the poster with a limited palette in mind, 4 colors max, and used multiply in Illustrator to test out the combinations of colors to try to create a larger final palette. I’ve followed DKNG over the years, and always loved how they get such depth and detail in their work with such a limited amount of screens and colors. It’s not a process that we use for screening tees or board transfers, so I was stoked to try it out with these posters. Plus, the more colors used, the more difficult the print can be, so keeping the colors down provides less room for error and missed registration… and it’s cheaper. HA!

What was the communication process like working with us? How did it differ, if at all, from working with other printers?
Communication with Mama’s Sauce has been great. You guys are super on point and timely in your responses. It took minimal time to get this project going, which was key as I had a tight deadline. Definitely the most professional print shop I’ve had the pleasure of dealing with, and I’ve dealt with quite a few over the years. I’m definitely looking forward to working with you again, and hopefully soon.

What’s your Sector9 of choice?
It’s an old Cosmic shape, the Rapa Nui. It the very first deck I designed for Sector 9, so it holds a special place for me.

Why Mama’s Sauce?
I’m something of a design nerd, so I regularly check out design blogs and other designer’s work, and I’ve seen some some great stuff come out of your shop. I actually suggested the silk screen posters with you guys in mind, hoping I’d finally have something I could send your way.

Lastly, where can we find more of your work?
Alas, my portfolio is down right now. It’s a designer’s curse, never being happy with your own work, so it’s under construction. However, I do have my hands on just about anything coming from (*ahem… shameless plug) Sector 9 Skateboards, Gullwing Truck Co., Rider Approved Designs (RAD), and Freeride Skateboards, so those are great places to start.

you can buy this beautiful 18×24 print from sector9 online here
she hangs
Music in video by Casework (If Hogan’s your salesman here, tell him how good his bass playing is on the track)

What government shutdown? We’re visiting the National Parks with Seth Lucas.

In case any of you found yourself banging on the front door of any National Parks over the past couple of weeks, here’s a little piece of aesthetic rebellion to keep you going. The “National Parks Checklist” poster by Seth Lucas is a fun and unique way to keep track of all the National Parks you have visited (even if you got turned away). Each domestic national park is labeled with green tree, but each purchase includes a pack of colorful tree stickers; so after you visit a park it gets marked with a different color sticker. Your poster gets more colorful as your adventures increase! The poster was printed on French Paper Co. Construction Whitewash 100C, and is a 5 color screen print with a transparent wood grain twist!

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My wife Maddy and I love to travel, and we have a lifetime goal of visiting all the National Parks. We wanted an artistic way to keep track of where we’ve been, and we wanted to encourage others to visit the amazing National Parks we have as well. We worked together to come up with a print & concept that looks great, and you can also place our tiny tree stickers on the parks you’ve visited to keep track of where you’ve been. It’s all finally come together working with Mama’s Sauce to make a truly beautiful print.

- Seth Lucas

One of the things that really makes this poster so awesome is the different levels of gloss, from the matted brown to the glossy transparent ink and the metallic gold. There’s a lot of great depth there that you really have to see in person to experience. And from a technical perspective, you really have to appreciate the level of thought that went in to staying as true to the design as possible. For example, we were worried that nailing the registration would be tough if we knocked out the tan numbers on the trees, because we would have had to go through the green and the dark brown. So we ended up printing the numbers with an ink matched to the color of the paper.

Seth and his wife Maddy run ElloThere, specializing in wedding invitations and art prints. The “National Parks Checklist” poster is available now right here.

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John Hughes the Immortal

We had to sit on this print for a while before exposing to the world, as it was for a show at Gallery 1988THE ROAD TO SHERMER a tribute to John Hughes – but man were we brimming with anxiousness to show everyone this rad design from the always amazing Derek Deal.

The entire sauce team are giant John Hughes fans, so it just tickled us something crazy to print this poster… Now that the show is open we’re proud to be able to share it with you… Love JH? Get you one here while they last.

What it looks like when we screen print paper

Here’s a little pictorial journey through the process of screen printing on paper. From burning screens to mixing inks, and registration to racking each sheet – it’s truly a hand done process.

The print featured is for eboy, which is on sale at the poster cause project.

Enjoy.