For at least a year, we’ve received the occasional artwork or print in the post from a design studio in Gloucestershire by the name of onepointoh. It turns out it’s a small operation run by Stephen Allen out of a studio at the bottom of his garden. We caught up with him to find out a bit more about his practice…
Stop, Look & Listen, two-colour screenprint on 1250 micron Everest Off White Mount Board, 330mm x 148mm. Detail shown top and below
Creative Review: Tell us a bit about onepointoh.
Stephen Allen: onepointoh.co.uk is me, Stephen Allen, with occasional creative direction from my partner Rachael. She is designer as well, and has just started a blog called Soil and Ink soilandink.co.uk which refers to her passion for gardening and printmaking. I find working completely on my own very difficult, so its great to be able to talk about ideas.
A Small Christmas Protest, self-promotional seasonal greeting campaign
When Rachael and I left Bath Spa University, both on a graphics degree, we bought a screen printing bed and started our own business. We had no idea what we were doing, but made a success out of combining design and short run printing. To try and cut a long story short we dipped in out of working for ourselves and other design agencies and retailers until 2001 when I was given a break by the creative directors, Luke Williamson and Yan Elliot, then at Mother, to pitch creative ideas for a new Coke campaign. They really understand and value design and know how to get the best out of the people they’re working with, which isn’t always easy in advertising.
Following several years doing advertising work I felt I needed to develop more to stay fresh. I guess it’s different when you’re within an agency setting because you have a designated structure – but being freelance, nothing like that exists so you have to set your own goals. I decided to fulfil a long standing ambition to build a studio and set back up our printing equipment.
The onepointoh studio now resides at the bottom of Stephen and Rachael’s garden. Very nice it is too.
CR: Is this the point at which you started to regularly send us artwork through the post?
SA: Yes. It felt like I was starting all over again in design terms. After spending 10-15 years designing in a certain style, I came back to screen printing wanting to illustrate more and integrate typography into the work. I like the restrictions that screen printing puts in place, just by the technique. It helps me concentrate more on the detail of a design and then find creative ways of solving a technical issue. The current revival of printing is great, and I’m aspiring to be as creative as the people at the Pick Me Up shows and other great print collectives that seem to be appearing all the time.
Two screenprints. You is printed on 315gsm Acid Free Heritage White Stock at 700mm x 500mm in an edition of 60. &Me is printed on the same stock but is 210mm x 300mm, again in an edition of 60. Sold as set of two prints only via onepointoh.co.uk
CR: As well as working on your own projects, you’re still working for ad agencies and big brands, right?
SA: Yes, I am just working on an idea for a collaborative screen printing project where each printmaker overprints the last persons work, which promises to be really interesting, and I’m creating a new typographic totem pole print on plywood for a forthcoming show at advertising agency AMV BBDO, as well as continuing my more traditional design work.
See more work by onepointoh at onepointoh.co.uk