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Prime Prints

(February 2013) posted on Tue Feb 26, 2013

This article spotlights an assortment of high-impact graphics and profiles the shops that produce them.

click an image below to view slideshow

By Ben P. Rosenfield

Graphics play a critical role in our daily lives. In fact, they’re such an integral part of so many things that people often take them—and the many pains involved in their production—for granted. The following showcase sets its sights on a range of printed graphics, from pieces of fine art to retail displays, and gives some attention to the shops behind them.

Coronado Studio / Austin, TX
Coronado Studio was founded in 1992. It occupies two buildings, employs three to five people, has a couple of contractors, and runs an internship program in printing, design, and grant writing. Coronado’s non-profit, Serie Project (, started the following year and was formally incorporated in 1999.

Serie Project is a founding member of the Consejo Grafico, the consortium of Latino printmakers. Its purpose is to give a greater voice to artists through the medium of serigraphy and to provide affordable art for the public. All Serie Project prints are produced in a run of 50 that are then divided between the artist and the studio. Approximately 70 pieces total are printed to ensure a full run.

The shop’s equipment includes a clamshell press, metal screen frames, and a vacuum table. The studio usually works with mesh counts in the range of 280-305 threads/in. According to Brian Rise, master printer at Coronado Studio, separations are typically created by the artists by hand on Mylar sheets using any opaque material. When computer-generated separations are used, they’re printed to vellum or film by an outside shop. Coronado’s exposure unit and washout tank are handmade.

The studio uses TW inks and Ulano emulsion, and prints are made on 100% cotton rag, acid-free, heavyweight paper from various sources. An embossed chop with the Coronado logo is applied to every print by hand.

“The artists are present in residency while the print is being created,” Rise explains. “We try to tell artists to stay around the range of ten colors so that we can finish in the time allotted, but there is no real deadline to speak of. Each Serie Project print is a work of art, so each has the potential to be unique and impressive. The end result of all our work is the creation of fine-art prints for public purchase.”


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