Printed as my submission to the open entry exhibition ‘Interrobang’ at the renowned Dichling Museum of Arts & Crafts, this poster was created as my answer to a very open brief (ie: print anything). With little to go by and even less in the way of personal printed items to submit, I decided to take inspiration from the exhibition name itself. As a hobby printer, it’s sometimes difficult to create personal pieces for the sake of it. Therefore, having the target of such an interesting typographical character created a number of ideas, which I thought would be both challenging and possible to make.
Armed with my little tabletop proofing press (note: no grippers, or registration & hand inking), I set about creating a print that showed that the interrobang is a a non-standard punctuation mark combining the function of the interrogative point (?) and the exclamation mark, known affectionately by printers as a bang (!).
It turns out, actually, that I have many more exclamation points than question marks, which made balancing the two sides of the print a little more difficult. It’s actually really hard to make something look random purposefully, and I spent the majority of time working out this balance. Of course, I was out of sorts where actual interrobangs were concerned, so the concept of the poster was to show the convergence of the two common marks (? & !) overlapping to create the focal point of the print. I was starting to regret this choice – Did I mention the lack of registration on my press‽ <— yeah! Interrobang usage!
First up was to print the individual marks, which took an age to set and lock up. I’d decided on some gorgeous Colorplan Warm Grey stock, and printed the first colour in black. Subtle enough but still visible. Then, after some tips from The Counter Press about how to get an opaque, yet transparent white, I started work on the overlapping ? & !.
I then wanted to finish the piece by pushing myself to set a little passage of text explaining the interrobang in some newly hoarded Perpetua Roman 24pt (titling) & 12pt. I’d not really printed much at such a small size, especially hand-inking, so I knew I had to pay attention during this final bit – I didn’t want to ruin all of my prints.
Just in time for the submission, I managed to take these pics and enter my artwork. I don’t know if it will be accepted to the exhibition, it seems like there are some very esteemed contributors, though I hope it is, but even if it is not it was a great way to keep testing myself as I try to figure out this printing malarkey. Fingers Crossed.
Measuring 320x460mm, this poster is printed in a strict edition of 20 onto Colorplan Dark Grey 170gsm paper. Each copy is hand-numbered in pencil.