A desktop that publishes

Graphic designer Peter Chadwick and Chelsea College of Arts graduate Jonny Holmes have designed an analogue take on desktop publishing, creating a desk with a built-in manual printing press.

Graphic designer Peter Chadwick and Chelsea College of Arts graduate Jonny Holmes have designed an analogue take on desktop publishing, creating a desk with a built-in manual printing press.

The printing press prints up to four colours at a time and plates are interchangeable so any design – or combination of designs – can be used.

“The phrase ‘desktop publishing’ was often used when I took my first steps into the design industry in the early nineties, and conjures up images of poorly designed, mass-produced print literature. The table provides an antidote to this, delivering well-crafted, bespoke hand-printed posters,” explains Chadwick.

“The original idea was for a one-off concept piece, but I see the potential in mass production – it could be used as an educational tool in schools and colleges or even as furniture in the home,” he adds.

An associate graphic design and communications lecturer at Chelsea, Chadwick came up with the idea around two years ago but struggled to find time to work on the project until he met Holmes, who was a student on the course.

“I approached Jonny and briefed him on the project, and he produced some visuals in response. He was invaluable in its development, sourcing materials and assisting me throughout. From briefing to manufacture, the project took around three months,” he says.

Chadwick is now in talks with a Dalston gallery about using the table for live poster printing to coincide with the launch of a new exhibition, and hopes it can be used for future design and illustration projects.

Also a Chelsea College of Arts graduate, Chadwick started out designing record sleeves for Williams & Phoa – including Primal Scream’s Screamadelica – before setting up his own design studio, Popular, in 2007.

The desktop that publishes is the first in a series of projects he has planned under experimental Popular offshoot A Popular Project.

“APP will be a platform to showcase personal and studio generated ideas, including collaborations with other creatives,” he says. Follow-up projects under consideration include one involving customised musical instruments and another involving Dekotora, a Japanese decorated truck.

Popular has also released a promotional newspaper about the project featuring photographs by David Ryle (below).

For more information, visit popularuk.com

Images: David Ryle

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