Thursday, December 29, 2011

The 3D CMYK Print

It was quite by accident that I stumbled into the cross-stitch design work of Evelin Kasikov after yesterday's post on the Manolo sisters and their embroidered type. All of these artists are based in London, but the only common thread between their work is embroidery.
      Evelin Kasikov has long had a fascination with typography and printed matter along with a love of craft, and decided to combine her interests by exploring cross-stitch as part of her academic studies at Central St. Martin's in 2008. 
She began by deconstructing the 4-color CMYK print composed of various sized dots and replaced each dot with hand embroidered cross-stitches. Where many CMYK prints might be made with a screen of 150 dots-per-inch, Kasikov can reduce her cross-stitched resolution to as little as 2 or 3 dots-per-inch. Just as the dot size in a print can effect tone and saturation, she varies the thickness of the thread in order to create subtleties of tone. To further imitate a 4-color print, she also adjusts the angle of each cross-stitched color. This is what I find so engaging about Kasikov's work—beauty of craft meets the science of color reproduction. She can methodically mirror a 4-color print with the precision of a pressman—but does so with the trained eye of a designer. A nice reminder that craft and design are not inseparable.
      Below is Kasikov's first fully handprinted alphabet of 26 lowercase san serif letterforms. They are 4-color CMYK made with 26,773 stitches. The challenge, Kasikov claims, was to construct a coherent character set with 10 cross-stitches per x-height. The screens for each color were set to a different angle and the combined blend of the stitched CMYK colors effectively result in a handmade Registration Black when viewed at a distance.

Below are images from Kasikov's Printed Matter project, created for her final MA project and based upon her cross-stitch technique. In the four different books, she explored craft and color in three-dimensional form within the context of graphic design.  

The images below are hand embroidered posters based on Gill Sans Light. They are examples of the blend of CMYK colors stitched in four different thread thicknesses. In addition to her website, you can find much more of her colorful work on Flickr and her blog Craft meets Graphic Design. Editioned prints and stitched originals are for sale here.

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