Wee Blue Press
Design & Illustration
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Commission - anniversary print for bags, mugs and tshirts

I’ve just completed a fantastic project, designing a linocut print to celebrate JBT Distribution Ltd’s 25th birthday. JBT are a Scottish distribution company with a fleet of over 70 vehicles. They wanted a design that could be printed onto mugs, bags and tshirts and requested ‘something a bit different’ They were also keen to use fairtrade textile in the products - not cheaply produced untraceable ones. These were the only constraints I had, which gave me a pretty free reign on the design.

I began where I always do - my sketchbook. Here are some of my early thoughts. I wanted to connect JBT to the landscape they travel through (they were founded in the Highlands) and couldn’t pass up the chance to make a linocut lorry! The firework idea was the birthday celebration!

JBT approved the sketches, and I got to work transferring the design onto three lino blocks - the background, the text and the lorry. This process can take some time as I find carving a bit then testing can avoid mistakes later. It often evolves quite a bit from the original sketch. In the video below I am inking the carved lorry block to print.

In my 'studio' at the back of the house printing a linocut lorry block!

Once the linocut design had approval, the print was scanned and edited on a computer to make sure it made the correct requirements for the printers. The mugs were printed by a local printing company, and the bags were printed by a local eco friendly screen printer. I have the capacity to hand print tote bags myself, but here the numbers were too high to do at home. I managed the whole process with the partner companies.

The mugs and bags were sent directly to JBT. Since then, another 72 mugs and a batch of tshirts have been ordered!! I have printed the tshirts myself directly from the linocut blocks. See the video below…

The linocut blocks will be kept just in case they are required again. Happy anniversary JBT!!

Emma Jones