The Positive Press is a North London based screen printing service run by Chris Murphy. Starting from humble beginnings in the front room of a Brighton flat in 2010, making band tees with the most basic equipment, The Positive Press is now a full-time venture specialising in eco-friendly water based inks and printing on pretty much anything with a flat surface.
We spoke to Chris to find out more:
Can you tell us a little about yourself and your background?
My name is Chris Murphy, I run the Positive Press and play in the bands Sauna Youth and Monotony. I was born in Southampton and have spent a good chunk of my life to date flitting between London and the South Coast studying (or attempting to) at various places along the way. I’m currently comfortably settled in N16 (until the rent goes up). Alongside the Positive Press I also form part of the small team at Tuck Shop London.
What is The Positive Press, when did it all start and what influenced you?
I started the Positive Press in the front room of my flat in Brighton around 2010/2011. Initially I bought some very basic kit to print band t-shirts and gradually progressed up to building a vacuum bed and one arm t-shirt printer. It essentially started as a hobby but from the off I was keen to see if I could make a living from it. Once moving to London in 2012 and spending a year wallowing in fashion retail management I became a member of Print Club London and as of September 2014 made the Positive Press my full time job.
Can you tell us about the process, What inks do you use etc?
Everything that I print is water based which is great as the whole process is pretty much non-toxic. It used to be pretty widely accepted that water-based screen printing was inferior to oil based, but these days that’s no longer the case. I can essentially print onto anything flat; day to day that means art prints and posters, record sleeves and packaging, t-shirts and apparel.
What’s the best thing about being a screen printer?
I love the physicality of screen printing along with the seemingly endless list of problems / solutions that come from a “hand-done” process. I like to think of screen printing as a skilled trade, like plumbing or carpentry and approach it very much with that mind-set. I also love getting my hands dirty and ultimately find it very rewarding to have a physical product to show at the end of a days work.
What clients have you worked for?
Over the last year I’ve had the great pleasure of printing for: Le Gun, KK Outlet, Limoncello Gallery, Katie Scott, Anthony Burrill, Faux Discx, Where To Now, Visions Festival, PIAS, Idiots Pasture, Belly Kids .. To name a few
What’s your favourite thing you’ve printed?
I did a large run of CMYK posters for the band Gengahr that I was really pleased with. I love printing record sleeves – printing the uncut b side of the Moon Gangs 12” was a fun one! I really like the shirts I printed for NTS show Full House – colour blends on tees always look killer in my opinion.
Are you working on anything at the moment?
Before the end of the year I’m exhibiting at the Hackney DIY Art Market and at the London Illustration Fair, currently I’m focussing on preparing for both of these. In the New Year I’m looking to start a print-of-the-month type project where I’ll be commissioning artists and releasing exclusive prints. Sauna Youth will be going on their first European tour in the spring too.