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Shop Talk: A 15-Color Masterpiece

(October/November 2016) posted on Tue Nov 29, 2016

This award-winning poster print leaves us in awe and wondering if the fine art revolution is on its way.

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By Andy MacDougall

If you took a walk through the Golden Image Awards at the recent SGIA show, you may have noticed the poster for “The Grand Budapest Hotel” – the one with the gold ribbon and voted Best in Show for graphic screen printing.

It caught my eye with deadly detailed illustration and slick separation of color after color, all printed in perfect register. With no halftones or process work, this was 15 layers of custom-colored ink on paper. The photo on the left shows hands holding it, which is an insider sign that it’s a “real” screen print, not a digital version for display purposes. Stupid me, who has yet to see the movie, made the mistake of assuming it must have been printed in Europe – Budapest, right? But when the winners were announced, I was surprised and excited to hear The Half and Half, screen printers from Columbia, South Carolina, had scooped up the top award.

I’ve had the pleasure of knowing the owners of this screen shop through the years and watching Creative Director and partner Sara Thomas grow The Half and Half (let’s call them H&H for short) into a national player in the screen-printed poster game. Winning these awards for their printing is a testament to their commitment to quality, as well as recognition from a much wider audience of printing peers than those of us in the gig poster community.

When I asked Sara to share some tech info on the print, she immediately sent me to the production manager, Ben Gunter. The job was his baby from the start. He’s been with H&H for five years, with an associate degree in commercial graphic communications and six years’ previous experience in a large industrial print shop.


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