Part of what enabled James Lavelle to grow his record label Mo’Wax into an artist-signing and trend-setting powerhouse was a strong visual identity. By working with artists and designers like Futura, 3D (Robert Del Naja), Ben Drury and Ian ‘Swifty’ Swift, James curated an urban aesthetic that married graffiti pop-art with abstract cosmic psychedelia.
It made sense, therefore, for us to ask Swifty - the original Mo’Wax designer - to create a poster for The Man from Mo’Wax.
His design incorporates trademark Mo’Wax design elements to resurrect the label’s funky 90s style. The vertical title stripe (aka obi strip) on the left is a throwback to the way that artists’ names would be presented on Mo’Wax record sleeves. The central design adapts the title artwork of the original The Man from U.N.C.L.E - the 60s TV show that was an early piece of inspiration for James’ musical collective U.N.K.L.E.
Once the design was ready we sent it to artist and screen printer Luke Pantelidou of Studio LP, who silk-screened 100 numbered and limited edition prints. Here he is in action:
Luke had this to say about the process:
There were some challenges in producing the print. One of the main hurdles we had was the very fine text and details in the logos that run along the bottom of the film poster. This is usually very small in nature but it was even more of a challenge as the poster was to be printed at half size. I did a few test prints and wasn’t happy with the first results. Capture made some fine tuning adjustments to the text and logos on the black layer and I advised them to change inks to a slower drying system. With those adjustments and by creating a new stencil on a higher mesh count screen, I managed to pull out all the detail on the poster.
The inks we finally used were Swiss made Lascaux studio acrylics which are a very high quality artists standard ink range with excellent pigmentation and great permanence and lightfast qualities. The paper Capture decided on was Fabriano 5, a beautifully made paper with a brilliant white finish and a good weight for printing. A perfect compliment to the bold colours chosen.
I love the printing process. The anticipation when seeing that final colour go down and then lifting the finished print of the bed and seeing it in all its glory is a real buzz. I love that you can screen print all sorts of images in this medium. It lends itself equally well to sharp computer graphics, hand-drawn line illustrations and photographic images. I also like that it’s a hands-on process. There’s a physical aspect to it which beats sitting on your arse all day staring at a computer screen! - Luke Pantelidou
Swifty posters available now at: http://www.themanfrommowax.com/shop/