Printed By us was a self-initiated project. I wanted to explore how I could use creativity and enterprise to make a positive difference in the lives of homeless and vulnerable people in Sheffield.
The idea for Printed By us isn't something that happened over night. Although I wanted to make a difference, I knew very little about the specific challenges homeless people face. So I spent some time volunteering and speaking to various people who work with homeless and vulnerable people in Sheffield.
From my research, a consistent theme was that people are keen to get involved in volunteering opportunities and be part of something. The project must not simply give hand-outs, but provide real experience and opportunities to learn new skills and build confidence.
After much research and exploring different options, with help from some colleagues during my time working for Yoomee Digital, we arrived at the idea of Printed By us:
"We are Printed By us. We run screen printing workshops for homeless and vulnerable people in Sheffield who want to learn new skills and move forward towards employment. We create artwork in collaboration with some of Sheffield's finest designers.
We print artwork. We sell prints. We run more workshops."
I then spent the next few months making the idea happen – co-creating the the Printed By us brand with Archer Project service users, creating a website, finding artists, sourcing a printing workshop, purchasing quality card, inks, envelopes – all the fine details.
Then in October, we ran the first screen printing workshop which was huge success.
It was surreal to see everything come together on the day. David from Sheffield Print Club was an excellent teacher and Hugo, Danielle and James picked up the printing technique really quickly – producing some excellent quality prints. More importantly, they really enjoyed themselves and worked pulled together like a team.
As the designer and project manager my role included:
Website design – UX / UI
Social media marketing
Collaboration with designers