A History of Screen Printing

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9780944094747: A History of Screen Printing

A History of Screen Printing How an Art Evolved into an Industry, the book chronicles the rapid advancements in the ancient art of stenciling that took place during the late 1800s, and how it turned into screen printing as we know it today. With help from the families of the pioneers, industry supporters and over 15 years of research, author Guido Lengwiler has rescued an almost lost history that covers the period up to and including WWII. It tells the interconnected stories of how a relatively small group of people, many of them artists, signwriters, and entrepreneurs working in the dawn of the advertising age in the USA, helped create entire industries that continue to exist globally today, all using screen printing in the production of an unbelievably wide range of products. It includes beautiful full color illustrations from the Selectasine Booklet provided to original patent licensees, and the main vehicle that spread the process around the world. Hundreds of never before seen product photos, machine designs, and some of the first art prints done in the 1920 s in California are included, plus special chapters on fine art printmaking, along with the ceramic and textile industries. Screen printing was a hybrid process that provided both graphic and manufacturing advantages over other methods, and was perfect for the times. Industry, especially in the USA, was transitioning from hand craft into mass production, creating a need to decorate products, or advertise them with signage. Most times a closely guarded industrial secret, screen printing bridged gaps between hand production and the more expensive automated printing of the time, which included lithography and letterpress. It introduced cheap short run color capabilities, and virtually created the whole Point of Purchase (POP) and Specialty Advertising industries, along with the billboard and t-shirt printing sectors. An ability to print directly on a wide variety of materials led to use decorating metal, ceramics, textiles, and plastics, spurring record growth, better designs, and lowered costs in any industry that adopted it, from fashion to fine china. Experiments prior to WWII led to printed circuits, which in turn revolutionized the electronics industries. All these and more are legacies of the pioneers of screen printing featured in the book. The history of the process is really the history of so many things we take for granted in today s and tomorrow s society.

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About the Author:

Guido Lengwiler is a teacher of screen printing at the Schule fuer Gestaltung Bern und Biel, Switzerland (Bern and Biel School of Design). Born 1960. He was elected to the Academy of Screen and Digital Printing Technology (ASDPT) in 2009 for his work on the History of Screen Printing.


Guido Lengwiler has written the first truly comprehensive and deeply researched history of screen printing, beginning with late 19th-century precursors and extending through the years of World War II.... Anyone who but skims through these pages will gasp at the heretofore unimagined visual resources that have been gathered to substantiate the text hundreds of images that had all but disappeared from the public record. This book is testimony not only to Lengwiler s dogged pursuit of history, but also to his immense success at unearthing the families and archives of those who were screen printing s pioneers. Richard S. Field Curator Emeritus of Prints, Drawings, and Photographs Yale University Art Gallery --Yale University Art Gallery

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