< Newer | Older >'s the 2nd part of the TUTORIAL.

Luther Davis
is a Master Printer with so much experience and know-how that you'll instantly shut up and hang on to every word he says.

I emailed Luther the photoshop file of the color separations. He printed them films (color separations) out on an oversized inkjet printer.

• Films

This is pretty much what the films look like. Each color has its own film and screen.


Here are films for other jobs that cost way more than the golden gods poster. Luther (and Axelle Fine Arts) are mainly known for their high-end fine art printing and framing. To get them to print a poster for us was a big favor from them. I'm sure Revolver will send over a few cases of beer as a thank you. Hinthint.


• Exposure

Here's a screen in the exposure unit.

The film is placed on an emulsion-covered screen. The emulsion is light-sensitive. When the film is palced on the screen and exposed.


The screen was already exposed this is just for the emulsion Luther put on it to cover any holes or wayward dirt from my files.

So carry on my wayward son.


• Here Luther is prepping the screen to print the first color - silver. The poster is printed 2-up to save time and money. This is a quick way to fill in any holes in the film or the screen.

• If Dragonforce were here they'd get their Metal rock star poses on in front of the fans...but for now the screens need to dry.


• Here's a close-up of the silver screen.

A film is placed on the screen that is coated with the blue emulsion. Then it's exposed to a high-powered light. Everything that will print silver washes away. Everything that is blue will not print.


• Just a sampling of the inks Luther has to mix for each poster they print.


• Luther cutting paper down for printing.


• This press was originally owned by Andy Warhol and was used during the “Factory Days” of Warhol’s career. Sometimes life is rad.


• Metallic screen-printing inks contain two main components: metallic powder pigment and a liquid base that are mixed together. Inhaling the powder is very dangerous so Luther is rocking a respiratory mask.


• About to lay down the first color-Silver. The squeegee will push the silver ink through the white areas of the screen.


• The last thing the paper sees before it’s covered in ink.


The final result


Once a color has been printed it’s then placed in the rack to dry.


• Here Luther is washing out the screen with a high-powered spray gun. Once the job is done, the screen is reclaimed and used for the next job.


• Next up is is the 2nd color – gold. It’s mixed the same way the silver was.


Ready to print the gold.

Here’s the gold printed and ready to get racked. Things are starting to come together.

• Whoops! There was too much pressure on the squeegee and it ripped through the screen. Luckily it happened as we were finishing up so it didn’t set us back. Sadly, that was a brand new screen. R.I.P. gold screen buddy.

• Hmmm I wonder what Joan Jett poster this was for....

• Each color is mixed by hand. Not as easy as it looks. There was left over ink from a previous job and the specific orange we needed was mixed from that.

• Now the orange gets printed.

• I designed the poster to overprint the orange. By doing that I can get an extra color by making the orange a little transparent and have it print over a second color (Gold or Silver) to make third color (Dark Orange). Keep that in mind when you’re working with a limited budget.

• Racking the prints so they can dry.

• Last color – Black. The black acts as the trapping to keep all the color together and hide any overlapping of colors.

• Gotta let the prints dry. Then they’ll cut them down, pack them up and ship the to the LA for the awards show.

• How rad is this? Here’s the poster in action at the show.

• So there you is. That’s how I designed the gig poster for Revolver’s Golden Gods Awards show and how Luther of Axelle Fine Arts printed it.

I once read an interview with Frank Kozik where he broke down how he got gig poster jobs from bands and he ended the interview with…”Now go try it yourself.” That really hit me. It felt like he was talking directly to me I hope that this tutorial has the same impact on you.

• Dark Horse published a book  showcasing the rock posters I’ve done over the past 10 years. Crack open that wallet and pick it up.