Gocco printing the Loud Dog Holiday Chard
This past holiday season, the Loud Dog team decided that it would be fun to do something crafty for our holiday card. Would it be felted? Letterpress? A diorama? Fresh baked cookies? In the end, we decided on a simple old-fashioned card. Did I say card? I meant to say chard. One Loud Doggie’s typo at a brainstorm inspired a visual for our crafty Loud Dog Holiday Chard. All we needed was a punchline.
We had to figure out how we would print the card with a small budget and a short turnaround. Luckily, I happened to own to a unique Japanese invention for screen printing our cards. Perhaps you’ve heard of it before, Print Gocco.
Developed in 1977 by Noboru Hayama, the Gocco machine is a small, portable screen printer that allows individuals to print up to 80 editions of a design without having to use a screen for each color or struggle with registration. The setup process is similar to that of a standard photo-silkscreen process — the Gocco screen is coated in a light-sensitive emulsifier and reacts with a carbon-based image such as a photocopy when exposed to light. After the screen is exposed to light, the design is “burned” into the screen, creating the area where ink flows through onto the paper. The beauty of the Gocco machine is that the setup is self contained — the prints and the screen are created with the same machine. Expose a fresh screen in the Gocco, and then ink your screen and set it up to print multiples. It is very clean and easy to use. The only drawback is that you are limited to about a 5×7 inch print area*.
Being the hoarder that I am, I just happened to purchase a Gocco about eight years ago after taking a “Loco for Gocco” class at a local paper store. In that eight years, I’ve used it twice and happened to have almost all of the original inks as well as extra supplies. When I heard that Riso, the company manufacturing these amazing printers, was going to discontinue Gocco in 2005, I of course in typical hoarding fashion, made some online purchases to make sure I’d have plenty of supplies for a future date.
Well, that future date finally arrived! In December we decided to break out my old Gocco and try printing these cards in house at Loud Dog. And by we, I mostly mean Emily. I think the office really enjoyed learning about this new process and it got all of us feeling the holiday spirit a bit more to see all of our “chards” lined up and drying along every surface in the office. Brian even took some warm and fuzzy video of the process-in-action to share the holiday nostalgia.*Riso did introduce a larger Gocco model for printing on things like T-Shirts, but for poster sized screen printing, traditional Serigraphy methods are still best.
Hey! This wasn't written by a gang of elk! It was written by Jodi Wing, who does awesome work at Loud Dog, a digital branding firm in San Francisco that helps businesses express themselves authentically via identities, websites, and marketing collateral.
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