Centre for Fine Print Research University of the West of England Centre for Fine Print Research

Dr Paul Laidler

Past Research


Investigating the expanding field of production and interpretation of the digital printed artefact in a visual arts context

Awarding body:: SPUR 3 – Grants for early career researchers at UWE
Awarded to: Dr Paul Laidler
Project duration:2011/12

Project details:
This research project investigated what constitutes a print today for visual artists? Has digital technology diluted the medium so much that print is becoming a redundant term in creative practice? Within creative arts practice, print processes have historically transferred from industry to the creative arts, for example lithography, screenprint and now digital print. The introduction of digital as a highly mutable and ubiquitous technology has expanded the possibilities of print whist evolving and redefining fine art print practices. The rapid advancement of digital is making it harder to define what a 'print' actually is; for example, rapid prototyping (3D printing) is an industrial process that can be used to create three-dimensional printed artefacts in a growing number of synthetic and organic materials. From a creative perspective this project explored this nascent field, as a context to revisit the printed artefact within a wider framework. From a fine art print perspective the investigation addressed how new technologies are blurring the boundaries between disciplines whilst extending the definition and possibilities of the printed artefact and the graphic image.

KTP between Dycem Ltd and the Centre for Fine Print Research

Awarding body: Technology Strategy Board
Awarded to:Professor Stephen Hoskins
SUPERVISOR: Dr Paul Laidler
Industrial Collaborators: Dycem Ltd
Project duration: 2010-2012

Project details:

The project aimed to develop and enhance a new decontamination flooring range with the capacity for incorporating digitally printed logos and signage into the company’s production to facilitate growth and entry into new markets -to find ways of printing customer logos, patterns, or advertising and marketing messages on the flooring. This partnership enabled the company to create a premium product for new and existing customers. The team at the CFPR also advised the company on developing a dedicated in-house design and print facility to enable on-demand print manufacturing.  The company developed new products, entered into new markets and increased their turnover and profit. The project was a great example of applying design knowledge in an industrial setting.

Substrate creation and alternative surface coating for ink-jet print on canvas

RESEARCHERS: Professor Stephen Hoskins and Dr Paul Laidler

Project details:

The CFPR worked collaboratively with Richard Hamilton for many years on a range of different inkjet printed projects including Hamilton's Shock and Awe ink-jet on canvas print. This project was a collaboration between Hewlett Packard, Hamilton, the Rijks Akademie in Amsterdam Holland and the CFPR to develop a specially manufactured ink-jet coated linen canvas and alternative to current canvas coating options for use in the fine art printing market.

Methodologies for the integration of fine art practise and wide format digital printing.

Awarding body:Arts and Humanities Research Council
Awarded to:Professor Stephen Hoskins
Project Manager: Dr Paul Thirkell
Industrial Collaborators: Hewlett Packard
Researcher participants: Carinna Parraman, Paul Laidler
Project duration: 10.03-03.07

Project details:
For the fine artist working within the field of print, wide format digital printing potentially offers exciting new vistas for the production of printed artwork. However, although some common ground exists between the predominantly industry led function of this technology and the working practices of the printmaker, there has been very little transfer of information regarding the question of how some of the quality and individuality traditionally associated with the artists print may also be integrated into this new form of output.
The Impact of Paper on Inkjet - With Carinna Paraman
As more inkjet papers are launched on the market, there is now a priority to make a comprehensive assessment of these new papers, and moreover, according to the requirements and preferences of the artist. Around 60 papers have been collected, which range from a high gloss photographic to Japanese Washi. The objective is to improve paper choices for the user and to provide a comparison of printed samples on a selection of papers. Information is provided on printed image quality, colour, clarity and crispness of line, greyscale, density; as well as the conservation issues relating to colour shift, fading and changes of the whiteness of paper.
The development of a specialist canvas for artists - With Steve Hoskins and Carinna Paraman
In consultation with the Getty, Tate, British artist Richard Hamilton, and the CFPR, Hewlett Packard have developed a new inkjet canvas that is specially designed for the fine artist. A high quality linen was chosen as the substrate, and which, presents a particular surface quality, not as yet achieved for the average canvas for inkjet. The conservation departments at Tate and Getty have been consulted as to suitable coatings for linen, and tests were undertaken on the coating and linen combination for its archival properties to ensure longevity, appropriate surface qualities and colour reproduction.

The Perpetual Portfolio, Artists Digital Residency

Project details:
For the fine artist, wide format digital printing promises new potential for the creation of print based artwork. However, although some common ground exists between the industry led function of this technology and aesthetic concerns of the printmaker, to date little has been done to define how it may be effectively employed to incorporate qualities which have become unique to the domain of fine art print. This project seeks to quantify existing methods of processing digital images and develop imaging and colour systems which may assist in broadening the current scope of digitally based printing from a fine art perspective.

HP Art and Science Wide format Printing and Colour Masterclass

Project details:
Assistant Role . The three-day masterclass was designed for artists, colour scientists and conservators who had specialist experience of wide format inkjet technology, and who could exchange expertise and contribute knowledge with the other expert groups. Furthermore this meeting would enable an improved perspective as to the requirements and shortfalls encountered by other users. The course provided a more detailed understanding of wide format printing, to improve workflow methods and to enhance understanding of colour theory, colour profiles and colour printing

International Digital Miniature Print Portfolio

Project details:
Assistant Role. The objective for the International Digital Miniature Print Portfolio is to encourage collaboration on a variety of levels - artist practitioners, higher education art students and schools; and as result to develop new collaborative ventures. This project is sponsored by Hewlett Packard, St Cuthberts Mil,l Inveresk Paper, producers of Somerset paper and Faculty of Art Media and Design, UWE. Click here to go to Hewlett Packard's Art and Science page. Drawing on previous collaborations, contacts through conferences, there is a strong national and international particicpation. The submissions sent to us so far will go to provide a visually dynamic and varied portfolio. As part of the project, the Centre is undertaking accelerated and real-time lightfast tests into dye based and pigmented ink sets provided by Hewlett Packard on Somerset Velvet photoenhanced paper provided by St Cuthberts Mill. These tests will also be documented using microphotography to look at how ink degnerates over time. Trials are being made on an HP Design Jet 5000 60" wide format printer.

CFPR, AKI and Rijks Akademie collaborative Master Classes

Project details:
Assistant Role . The Centre for Fine Print Research in Association with AKI presented a series of seminars on Water-Based Screenprint for ceramic transfers at AKI, the Academy of Visual Arts and Design, Enschede, The Netherlands in September. Over 115 European delegates attended the seminars. The system of water-based ceramic decal printing was demonstrated for both computer generated imagery and hand drawn stencils, with delegates also having the opportunity of participating in all the steps of the production process throughout the day.

CFPR / Hewlett Packard Art & Science in Schools Project

Project details:
Assistant Role. With sponsorship from Hewlett Packard and St Cuthberts Mill, the Centre is holding a series of digital projects for schools, which was launched at the 'Making Creative Connections II' conference at the Watershed January 2002. The series of projects will continue until the end of December 2002. With support from Hewlett Packard's Art and Science Programme, the objective for the projects are to enable schools to engage with the University community and in return provide a platform for student's art to be shown. The students' brief is to produce an artwork that can be two or three dimensional; and using the title 'Art and Science' to reflect on connections that can be made between art and science, for example, how complicated theories have been illustrated through art and in turn how artists are inspired by the scientific issues that underpin our very existence.
CFPR / Art and Science Schools Project II - Assistant Role
The objective for the 2nd Art and Science project is to investigate movement and how early photography was used to document and illustrate human locomotion. These ideas led to the moving image or cinema - a 20th century synthesis of art and science. This project with schools investigates how was the jump made between photography and cinema? A scientist - Étienne-Jules Marey, and a photographer- Eadweard Muybridge, contributed to these developments by investigating movement through the medium of photography.