Guest blogWood

Inspiration for a new product line

Inspiration for a new product line

I’m Alexandra Snowdon, a hand lettering artist and printmaker based in Edinburgh. I love combining my lettering skills with the textures of linocut prints.

Last year, I was looking for something new to add to my product line and thought it would be fun to try printing on wood rather than paper for a change.


I love travelling and America is one of my favourite destinations. Every time I go, I’m inspired by the vintage Americana found in junk shops, anything with lettering on like the old fashioned baseball pennants. I had the idea to make some wood ones. As Christmas was approaching, I thought it’d be fun to make some as decorations.


I worked out the size of the flags and decided to hang them vertically. Fabric ones are often hung this way in the US and thought it would make them easier to use and move around. Then I worked out the size of the holes in relation to the thickness of the knotted string that would be holding them.

When I prepared the vector artwork, I made a last minute alteration to the corners of the triangles. I knew from Jane’s samples how accurate the laser cutter was and realised the corners of the triangles would be very sharp indeed unless I made them slightly rounded. The last thing I wanted was to have someone stabbed by one of my pennants!

Test printing wood

While Jane was cutting the flags I set about making the lino blocks to print the designs. I did a few small testers first as I hadn’t used traditional lino to print onto wood before. It turned out that lino was just too hard. I couldn’t get a dense enough impression so I tried using Essdee Mastercut instead.

It worked well as it had a bit more ‘bounce’ to it which helped the ink adhere better to the wood. One the ink had dried I sprayed the pennants with a fine coating of yacht varnish to make them more durable and easier to spot clean.

Christmas lino cut
Christmas lino cut

Customers loved them!

They were a great addition to my stalls at Christmas. I added some ‘year round’ designs to the range too.
It was a really fun project and I was lucky enough to have a little tour of Jane’s workshop. This gave me tons of ideas and inspiration for future projects. I also got to meet her adorable cat Harvey!

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