Designer and Risographer Rachel Littlewood shows us her colourful world of prints
Despite being a child of the 90s, Rachel Littlewood spends her time designing neon prints using a process from the 80s: risograph printing. In her studio on Spare Street, she has created a colourful and exciting space to work on her prints.
Rachel discovered risograph printing during her time at college. In the second year of her BA in Design for Graphic Communication at the London College of Communication, she started printing and producing her own prints rather than sending them off to get printed.
Since then, Rachel has developed her design and printing skills. She works as a freelance printer and workshop leader for Hato Press, and does freelance design and production work for other clients. Recently, Rachel has also led some workshops on book binding.
One of her recent projects is called ‘Sounds From The Archive’ (see above) – which was in collaboration with her friend (Weronika Rafa) who designed the booklet. Rachel advised on how to make use of the risograph process, as well as printing all the materials. It can be assemble in many different ways so everyone can make different versions.
She has also recently worked on several installation pieces for the designer Morag Myerscough. These include ‘Joy and Peace’, which were two installations for the London Culture Mile located in Silk Street and West Smithfield Rotunda Garden.
We met Rachel in her studio at Hotel Elephant, Spare Street to find out more about her practice and her studio space.
What do you like the most about Hotel Elephant?
I’m familiar with the area so I have felt at home right from the beginning. It’s close to my place but it’s also easy for other people to reach as it’s very well connected. More and more people are settling in this area and it is great to work amongst other creatives and be surrounded by other studios.
What does you working in your studio look like?
I use my studio as a production space, for binding books and designing prints, but I use it as an office space too. It’s good to keep my work space separate from where I live as it helps me get into work mode as I feel more professional here. On the walls I like to hang up risograph prints; most of them are experiments and tests for projects, but some are from my workshops or by other risographers. I’m currently doing a lot of research into colour and colour theory, which is why I have lots of colour charts in my studio. There’s a lot on this subject in relation to painting, photography, and offset printing but not in relation to risograph printing. So I’m hoping to use what I discover about colour and apply that to the world of risograph printing.
Do you think collaboration in important in your field?
I do, and I love working with other people. Otherwise I think you can get very lonely as a creative working in your own studio. I’m always looking for opportunities to collaborate with my friends and other creatives. A lot of the work I do is in collaboration with others.
Do you have any advice or tips?
Follow your inclinations and interests, and make the most of every opportunity that comes your way!
Rachel will be giving a talk about her practice as part of the The Cass Hothouse talks on the 9th February 2018
Find out more about Rachel here: