In this post, we revisit RETRO, located in a quant and quiet nook, in bustling Taipei City center. Upon entering RETRO, you are immediately greeted by the faint fragrance of ink and paper.

Upstairs, on the second floor, there’s a room half packed with posters. All of the posters were original creations done at the printing studio. Today, though, we have come to learn more about the skills and handicraft of screen printing.

The first step is screen preparation to ensure that the netting, which acts as the canvas for the art, is pulled tight and secured properly on all sides. You do this using a special rubber tool that resembles a rolling cutter. This guarantees the screen is tucked away into the frame, and tightly secured. The images above illustrate this procedure.

Alignment and cleaning are two screen-printing techniques that can be very gratifying, as well as downright frustrating. Alignment requires surgeon-like hands, but done correctly will result in a pleasing final product. I must note that in 2017, RETRO JAM and SURIMACCA created a set of screen-printing equipment that won a Good Design Award for seamless, stress-free, and easy to use screen printing. Now, on to that second process—cleaning—it is what lengthens the life of the printing screens used. Switching colors, or taking a break between printing requires cleaning the screen, otherwise the holes in the screen will get clogged. Once clogged, its printing game over! Therefore, cleaning screens is an essential task to get the most production out of your printing designs.

During this visit, we learned how ideas are translated through a series of processes, and if done correctly, end up with the desired successful printed results. You can see this success literally printed on the screen creations we wear, as well as in the smiles on our faces.