Introduction to print 

Children respond readily to colourful, eye-catching printed images in advertising, packaging, fabrics and picture books. As their powers of observation and discrimination are developed they begin to understand how the printed image is used in the world around them and how to use it themselves. Print-making at primary level is about creating, organising and balancing shapes, spaces, pattern and texture. It can range from simple single images to highly developed designs. These can be built up by overlapping and juxtaposing shapes, textures or colours, and the overall effect should be one of simple, bold shapes.

As with painting, children should have opportunities to look at and touch a wide variety of natural and manufactured objects that focus attention on shape, pattern, texture and colour. They should be encouraged to talk about the similarities and differences they find and about how they might interpret them in a print design.

Through experience already gained in drawing and painting, they will understand the need to experiment with a variety of print materials and tools to see the effects they can achieve. It is also important that children understand and appreciate the differences between painted and printed surfaces, as this will influence their use of print-making media and how they organise their print designs. Looking at examples of printed images in evidence around them and at the work of artists who use shape, texture and colour to create bold images and designs will help to clarify this.