When Tartaruga was established five years ago, the idea to screenprint record sleeves was borne out of necessity, rather than with any particular idea or aesthetic in mind. It was crucial to keep any production costs down to the absolute minimum; printing artwork directly on to blank card seemed like a good (and cheap) idea. The idea was always for Tartaruga to have a certain look and feel, without dictating too much what each individual release might look like - it was important to leave the artist in control of design, and each release is still viewed as a very close collaboration with those involved.
By fixing some limitations - printing on the same kind of card, using one colour only, stitched sleeves - each release would fit alongside the others, whilst also never getting stuck in one particular style or design type. This print work has gradually expanded to printing in other formats; foldout paper inserts, gig posters, album posters, t-shirts, and 12" record sleeves.
This includes work for non-Tartaruga projects too, such as this recent print work for Vivod, a label run by Ali Renault, putting out limited vinyl-only releases. Vivod is a valley near Llangollen in north Wales, and the artwork for the releases (all done by by Grant Cowan) depict the faces of World War II soldiers who lived in the area, all printed as halftone images directly onto the paper sleeve with the record inside, each one printed in a slightly different hue.
The new Prints section of the website showcases a variety of Tartaruga print work, including an archive of screenprinted posters, and the brand new 'I Can't See Much', a very limited edition set of four screenprinted photographs from Josh Lustig. These are halftone prints of four images originally found in The Marshes, printed on to Chinese Xuan paper, a very thin kind of rice paper more often used for scrolls, writing and painting, but which forms a great canvas for this kind of stark black and white photography.
I Can't See Much is presented as a handmade, large (A2-size) card folio case, containing the four prints found within. Only twelve of these have been produced, and all are numbered and signed by the artist.
All items in the Print section are for sale (if still available).
To contact Tartaruga about any print work send an email to info [at] tartaruga [dot] co [dot] uk