Sunday, May 1, 2011

Interview with Brandon Griswold of Honeycomb Print Shop


I’m a graphic designer living in Dallas, TX and am fortunate enough to work for the talented art department at Fossil. In my free time I design, carve and crank out prints for my humble print shop in the corner of my apartment. While I was earning my BFA in graphic design, I dabbled in printmaking. After I completed the courses I kept on producing relief prints when I had time. I was fortunate enough to intern at Hatch Show Print in Nashville last summer, which taught me a lot about letterpress and further instilled my passion for printmaking. While I haven’t made it my career, I think I keep my passion for it by making it my side gig. As a recent graduate, I’m glad to be able to continue to produce art constantly.

Why printing?   

I was attracted to printmaking after I took a couple of courses in college. We started with woodcut prints (still one of my favorite mediums) and expanded to intaglio, etching, litho and screen printing. I was especially drawn to the carving of woodcut. My dad used to carve constantly, so it connected me to that somewhat. I also loved the challenge of creating a perfect edition with perfect registration. It’s a nice feeling to step away from the computer and produce work that isn’t made with a mouse and software.

What is your favorite print medium and why? 

I love both relief prints and letterpress the most. Relief prints keep me connected to the love of carving and producing authentic hand made work. Letterpress is just awesome. I love using type that has been around for decades and it shows. The pits formed in wood type, the gouges in lead type, and the occasional work up all make it feel so warm.

How long have you been printing and how has your work evolved?

I’ve only been printing for about 3 years now, but my style and experience has changed quite a bit. I grew out of the traditional woodcut aesthetic with lots of carved lines for texture to now doing work that looks a little more contemporary with big fields of shadow/highlight. My love of type has made it into my work more and more as I’ve challenged myself with hand carving smaller and smaller type. I also just love the look of a grid of text.

What or Who influences your work?  

The work of Hatch Show Print has completely shaped how I view letterpress. I love the big, bold, and justified looks of the posters. I was also lucky enough to be trained there by some of the current printers to follow that aesthetic. I’m also influenced by many of my friends and what they’re doing, be it letterpress, poster design, or even animation. I’m influenced by everything around me, but then translate that to the mediums I use.

How do your promote your work? 

Promotion is probably my weak point when it comes to my work. I’ve got a facebook page, website, etsy shop, and twitter. Even though I have all of that, I rely a lot on word of mouth. Many of my sales have come through connections and referrals from friends.

Any good printing tips or funny printing stories (or both??) 

Always make sure you’re printing the right color before you start – I once printed 200 posters the wrong blue before realizing it. Needless to say there were plenty of make readies for a while.

Brandon's Etsy Shop and Website

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