Design+

Women in Design Series: Min & Woon Introducing The Archivist

Experimental prints through silkscreen

Words by
b-side staff
Location
Thailand

The level of details inspires you to take a step closer, hold your breath for a while longer and let your eyes feast on the visual delight. Lines, dots and that beautiful gradient of colours are among the many things that stand out from The Archivist’s works. A Bangkok-based print studio, The Archivist was established six years ago by Min and Woon to produce print work — be it their own creations or through collaborations with artists all across the world.

B-Side catches the duo for an introduction to some of their works and inspirations.

Brief introduction about your studio:

The Archivist is a print studio specialising in a printing technique called silkscreen. The studio was established in 2013 by graphic designers Min (Minchaya Chayosumrit) and Woon (Kanaporn Phasuk). Entering its sixth year, The Archivist creates experimental prints through Min’s screen prints collection, as well as works with other artists, designers and explorers around the world, as printers or printmakers. Moreover, the studio publishes and sells art prints through online shops, exhibitions and workshops, and continuously participates in international events related to printing, such as the Art Book Fair and the Print Fair.

Name a person who inspires or inspired you, and explain why.

The designers, artists and explorers who have come to us with specific briefs give us tremendous inspiration. They are the ones who have helped us improve our skills and become proficient in printing because we truly believe that the only way to success is to do it.

Is there a particular ritual or habit that you do to get yourself inspired?

Generally, after any exhibition or event, having conversations with the audiences often create new inspiration. We tend to avoid mundane jobs or comfort zones because we always want to fix, develop and re-evaluate our skills hand-in-hand with our audiences’ visions.

For us, every feedback consistently ends with fresh ideas.

Describe your design philosophy. If possible, elaborate and share some examples.

Our philosophy as a print studio is to design artworks that showcase the printing processes and demonstrate the detailed procedures of screen printing. Questions like “What is the smallest size of text that can be printed? How thin is the thinnest line possible?” are asked. Most of the artworks are test charts that we use to show and compare the printing materials or the different types of inks. The artworks can sometimes be our problem to solve as printmakers, because besides designing the print itself, our main job is also to figure out the printing process. It is important to realise that there is never just one way to do silkscreen, and that is when we help the creator of the artwork design.

When you first started out as designers, what did you feel was lacking in the process and what do you think could be done more to support budding designers?

We didn’t feel like anything was lacking, though it is normal for young designers to feel exhausted or question themselves about client-based work, personal work, desired work that hasn’t been initiated, etc. Luckily in this era, resources and knowledge are easily accessible, while on-demand printing or digital print is not rare. This change has played a great role in helping emerging designers. Our best advice is, just do it without procrastinating because it is the only way to understand the process of working with suppliers, designers and clients, and lastly, it is a way to finally understand yourself.

What questions do you wish could be discussed more in the industry?

The production of publications or prints that will not become trash in the future. Or, ways to design publications and prints that will last longer than just one day, or perhaps one moment.

The discussion could be about how to avoid printing the physical prints and how this digitalised world can serve this intention.

What do you want to be remembered for?

“For once in a lifetime, you should try screen printing with The Archivist!”

Feature Photo credit: Suthipa Kamyam
Photographs courtesy of The Archivist

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