What’s Your Story? is a monthly series in which we find and talk to interesting people in our local community, whether they run a business, have an interesting job or do something else that we think is worthy of wider attention.
Private Press is a screen-printing studio on Hollingdean Road in Brighton. Gary Parselle runs the studio, printing work for a wide range of clients, curating print exhibitions such as ‘Editions’ and also doing live printing events. We spoke to Gary to find out more about Private Press and his own creative direction.
HOW WAS PRIVATE PRESS CREATED?
I have been screen printing for a long time. About 12 years ago, while working at a graphic design agency in London I did a course in screen printing and caught the printing bug. I started printing for other people, slowly at first, and then it organically grew into a business, and officially launched in the summer of 2013.
WHAT IS IT ABOUT SCREEN PRINTING OVER USING OTHER MEDIUMS?
For me it is all about the tactile nature of the prints, seeing and feeling the ink on the sheet, and being able to easily print on a real variety of substrates, from glossy boards through to textured, uncoated stocks, even wood and canvas. I think there is a place for all types of printing, digital and litho included, but I do feel screen printing offers unparalleled quality and depth of colour. All of our prints are hand pulled and I think the fact that a lot of care and attention has gone into each print adds a lot of value to what we do.
DO YOU CREATE YOUR OWN WORK ALONGSIDE PRIVATE PRESS?
I do, but this has taken a back seat to some extent as the studio has been so busy printing for other people – which is great, and to be honest I prefer it that way! I love the variety printing for other people gives us.
WE ARE VERY FOND OF YOUR BRANDING, DID YOU DO THIS YOURSELF?
Thank you, I did – I wanted to keep it as simple as possible to let the prints do all the work.
NUMBER 1 MUSIC FOR A PRINT JOB?
Music is really important to us here in the studio, there is always music on. When printing most of the time we can be found listening to disco or rare groove or hip hop. A Larry Levan inspired playlist, some Alice Coltrane or anything by A Tribe Called Quest always sounds good in the studio.
WHAT KIND OF CLIENTS DO YOU PRINT FOR?
Lots of varied clients I’m happy to say, while is focus is printing for artists, we also print a lot for graphic designers and illustrators, and increasingly lots of bands looking for tour or album posters.
I moved to Brighton 6 years ago, and couldn’t really imagine The Private Press being anywhere else. While we have clients all over the UK, we work predominantly for the Brighton arts community. It’s a great place to live and work.
WHEN ARE YOU HAPPIEST WORKING?
I look after every aspect of every job from initial quotes to delivery – and I can honestly say I enjoy every art of what I do. However, even after all this time, the first pull of each and every colour is very satisfying.
WHAT ARE YOUR FUTURE PLANS FOR PRIVATE PRESS?
To keep doing what we’re doing and continuing to work with such great artists. We have lots of plans for the year ahead and some great prints in the pipeline. We’ll be continuing our Editions series and we have some brilliant artists lined up for that – Editions is a series of prints where we work collaboratively with the artists, and aims to highlight the possibilities of creative screen printing using interesting inks, papers and techniques. Watch this space!