Centre for Fine Print Research University of the West of England Centre for Fine Print Research
  sarah barnes, wallpaper design

Sarah Barnes

title of wallpaper:Triangular
Description: Laser-cut triangles in combination with printed panels.
keywords:Colour, print, three-dimensions, experience, interaction, layering, apertures

In my design, I explored the theme of architecture and the urban environment. I was interested in how wall coverings in particular could enhance the way we interact with the spaces around us. I consider the element of interaction as very important within my practice and was intrigued by the ways this could be achieved using wallpaper. As a result, I investigated how interactive, three-dimensional, coloured and layered elements could be incorporated in the design. The wallpaper was designed in Illustrator and comprised three layers that were printed onto two different weights of paper:
The first paper, a light-weight laid paper, was printed on both sides, using a mint-green colour on the top side, with a gradient colour of purple to pink on the underside. Laser cutting was used on the first layer to cut and engrave small triangular flaps as an interactive and three-dimensional element. The second, using a heavier weight paper, was printed with a geometric triangular design in grey and purple. This was placed underneath the first paper.

Through the unfolding of the triangular flaps the user could interact with the design, revealing not only the printed pattern beneath but also the gradient colour on the underside of the triangles. The number of triangles that could be folded back was based on the individual’s choice, allowing the wallpaper to be unique. These unfolded elements provided a tactile, textured and very multi-dimensional wall-covering solution, which changed in appearance as one passed in front and the light was reflected at different angles.

The initial objective was to print and cut the paper using the Roland printer/cutter. The printed results were excellent, producing a rich density of colour. However the printer cutting-tool was unable to obtain a clean cut into the cotton-based paper, resulting in tears and white edges. Despite putting it through the printer twice, the cut lines were not consistent and deep enough. We decided therefore to laser-cut the wallpaper, which achieved a precision cut.

I am keen to develop my practice by utilising new technologies, so having the chance to explore my design ideas with the Roland Printer was invaluable, and is an area Iwould like to continue to investigate in the future.