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13 Sep 2017  | 0 Comments

If you are searching for inspiration for your next screen printing project why not take a look at European folk art for something bright, bold and distinctive? Much of the traditional artwork from Austria, Poland, Russia, Hungary and throughout Scandinavia incorporates bold designs, symmetry and colour that lends itself perfectly to screen printing designs. Celebrate any European heritage and take a page out of the folk art style book by experimenting with these design basics.

What are the common motifs of European folk art?

Folk art is unique to each region’s culture, but there are some repeating motifs that are common throughout folk art. Flowers and woodland creatures such as foxes, rabbits, bears and deer are popular, as are flora images like repeating leaves, buds or mushroom motifs. In addition there is a strong focus on repeated patterns including squares, circles and elaborate borders, which are ideal for screen printing or block printing.

European folk art

Badger, hare and woodland design by John Bloor Designs in the UK


Inked up block ready to print at John Bloor Designs in the UK. Folk art designs can be screen prints or block prints using Permaset eco-friendly inks.

Inked up block ready to print at John Bloor Designs in the UK. Folk art designs can be screen prints or block prints using Permaset eco-friendly inks.

Gentle natural colours or bold mod brights

Just as the motifs are diverse depending on the region, so are the colour choices for European folk art. While some regions use natural colours such as greens, browns and blues, others embrace more vivid purples, reds, oranges and yellows. Colour can be as simple or as complex as you wish, building up layer upon layer of screen printing inks in different hues or sticking to a single bright colour.

The use of symmetry in European folk art

One common aspect of folk art whether from Poland or Sweden is that of balance and symmetry. Patterns and images are often reflected on a horizontal, vertical or diagonal basis to create a visually pleasing effect. Even asymmetrical designs will often feel balanced in terms of colour, space and shapes, so keep this in mind when developing a screen print or block print design.

Delicate detail versus bold geometrics

Once again, the level of detail in European folk art varies from location and time period. While traditional designs tend to be more elaborate, a more mod style emerged in the 60s and 70s that simplified these images to geometric shapes such as circles and ovals. Outlines are generally soft, curved and organic in style.

Finding Permaset water based screen printing inks throughout Europe

Permaset inks are water based, environmentally friendly and offer brilliant colours that are ideal for your folk art inspired prints, whether you are screen printing on fabric or paper. These products are available from over 30 stockists throughout Europe, so it’s easy to find a supplier in your local area. We are always available to answer any questions you may have about choosing the right products for your screen printing project. Send us a question via our CONTACT US form

The Permaset Distributor in Europe is Atlantic Empire, based in Amsterdam.  Their contact details are:


Area: The Netherlands

Address: Hortensialaan 2, 3702 VG Zeist, The Netherlands

Phone: 31 6462 16553


Visual Inspiration

Check out these pages for some visual inspiration for your European folk art designs.

European folk art designs

Talented illustrator and screen printer Karoline Rerrie takes inspiration from folk art styles.

screen printed tea towel

This screen printed tea towel by Fran Wood Design takes its cues from 70s-style Scandinavian folk art.


13 Sep 2017  | 0 Comments

Screen printing has been around for centuries, but that doesn’t mean modern technology can’t make the process even more effective and creative. These are our top 4 picks for apps in 2017 that can take your screen printing to the next level.

Sip Colour

Have you spotted the perfect colour scheme for your next T-shirt design in a birthday cake or a plant, but don’t know how to identify the hues? You need Sip Colour on your phone. This free iPhone app allows you to select colours and colour schemes in one easy snap, then adjust hue, saturation and brightness for the perfect result. All you need to do next is convert the Hex codes to Pantone values and mix your Permaset Permatone inks for the perfect match.


Dribbble is far from a new destination for inspiration, but their iOS app makes it easier than ever to see what others are designing and creating. You can browse projects, upload your own designs and even ask for tips from the community. It’s the ultimate way to discover, connect and learn from world-class designers in every form of creativity that relates to screen printing, from posters to logo design.

Skillshare Online Classes

Whether you’re new to screen printing or a seasoned professional, it’s worth checking out the design and screen printing courses available through the Skillshare app when you’re on your next bus or train. Some courses are free and others are only available to Premium members, but the videos are clear, concise and range from designing repeating patterns to perfecting your halftones and textures at a more advanced screen printing level.

The Touch workspace for Illustrator

Tablet workspaces seem to be where the future is heading, and Adobe Illustrator has embraced this with their Touch option that makes the most of the Microsoft Surface and Windows tablets. It can take some practice to adapt from a mouse to a stylus, but the end result is that you’re designing right there on the page wherever you happen to be. From here, you can simply treat your design as a standard Illustrator file to set up your screen print.

Xero Accounting

If you’re screen printing for yourself or you are operating a screen printing business then effective accounting software can be invaluable in managing invoices, orders and inventory such as ink and blank T-shirts. Xero’s mobile app lets you track your cash flow and record your expense claims so easily that you will always know exactly how your screen print business is tracking.

28 Aug 2017  | 0 Comments

Across the United Kingdom we are savouring the last few weeks of the warmer weather before we head into autumn, and there’s no better excuse to break open your brightest screen printing inks. Check out these summer-inspired screen printing projects while the weather is still great.

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5 Jun 2017  | 0 Comments

12 June marks the Queen’s official birthday for most Australian states, and we think this is the perfect opportunity to get creative with the royal theme. Let’s celebrate the Queen’s Birthday with some screen printing projects using metallic and gold screen printing ink.

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