Exploring expression through printmaking—from traditional to digital

The Printmaking Course covers all types of reproducible works of art, allowing students to study a wide range of techniques for creative expression, from ukiyo-e to photography. The four main types of printing covered in the course are woodcut, copperplate, lithograph, and silkscreen, in addition to digital media such as photography and video. Printmaking is a form of creative expression somewhere between art and design, and while coursework focuses on the unique characteristics of the medium, students will also develop their editing skills as they put together collections of works. The Printmaking Course also gives students access to a wide range of facilities and equipment. With four different kinds of printmaking studios, as well as a photography studio, darkroom, and papermaking and book art workshops, students can freely engage in their creative pursuits. At Kyoto Seika, you will encounter myriad techniques and develop creative and expressive skills as you explore your own unique forms of creative expression.

Subject Highlights

  • Experience and learn about a wide variety of techniques, and find the method of expression that works for you

    [Studio Art / Year 2]
    Over the course of a year, students learn the basics of creative expression in a broad range of media, including woodblock and copperplate printing, lithography, silkscreen, photography, and digital creation. Students are exposed to a variety of materials and techniques to find their preferred means of expression. At the same time, they learn to pick the materials and methods that are best suited to achieving their objectives.

  • Students also contribute to the Printmaking Course’s long-running magazine, KINO PRINT.

    [Graduation Research Practicum 1 & 2 / Year 4]
    Students create pieces while considering print editions, one of the unique characteristics of printmaking. They also help produce KINO PRINT, a collection that compiles all the students' work, and design the collection box in addition to holding an exhibition. Faculty members and graduate students are also invited to participate in this tradition going back to the start of the course.

What You Will Study

  1. 1STYEAR

    Laying a solid artistic and creative foundation

    Students take cross-listed courses in the Faculty of Art to improve their observational skills, critical thinking, imagination, and other skills needed to build a firm artistic and creative foundation. They also learn the basics across all seven courses and start to explore which fields they would like to pursue.

  2. 2NDYEAR

    Acquiring basic techniques

    In addition to the four print types of woodblock, copperplate, lithograph, and silkscreen, students also learn the basics of photography and digital printmaking techniques, exposing them to a variety of methods ahead of their third year of study.

  3. 3RDYEAR

    Mastering the techniques that work for you

    Students are divided into workshops to study the printmaking and photographic techniques that interest them. They also deepen their understanding of book art, paper art, digital creation, and editing methods, exploring the techniques they feel most comfortable with.

  4. 4THYEAR

    Pursuing a unique expression of your own

    Students work on their graduation projects, making full use of the skills and expressive abilities they have developed over the past four years. They aim to complete a work that fully encapsulates their pursuit of originality and individual expression in their final university project.

What You Will Learn

  • Technical skills in handling printing plates such as woodblocks and copperplates
  • The conceptual skills needed to combine different technologies with creative expression
  • The ability to use multiple perspectives when problem-solving

Selected Artwork


A variety of printing equipment is available in each workshop, including copperplate, lithograph, and silkscreen.


  • Students can also try their hand at paper sculpture in the papermaking studio.

  • In a dedicated darkroom in the photography studio, students can do everything from developing film to printing their own photographs.


Career Opportunities
Artist, printer, photographer, graphic designer, and many more.
Major Employers
Printing and publishing companies, photography studios, design offices, video production companies, and many more.


  • KISHI Maina Current Student

    I want to explore human emotion through my work.

    The interesting thing about printmaking, which is done through a process of “transferring,” is that it involves a large element of chance. The texture of each print can change slightly, depending on how you make the plate or mix the ink, which tools you use, and the amount of force you apply when printing. Things often don't turn out the way I want them to, but there are very moving moments as well, when I am able to express myself in a way that exceeds my expectations. What I like about the Printmaking Course is that there is always inspiration to be found, and I have access to first-class facilities where I can immerse myself in my work. I am also very close with my instructors and they are always happy to discuss anything I need to talk about. There is a wide variety of techniques used in printmaking, and while I specialize in silkscreen printing, every student has a completely different style, whether they do woodblock printing, copperplate printing, or photography. In joint critique sessions, students can openly exchange ideas and opinions with each other and gain new perspectives that they can then use in their work. After graduation, I plan to work for a company that creates products using silkscreen. I would like to continue working as an artist while using my skills to create products that customers want. My current theme is “negative emotions,” something everyone has but is usually difficult to express. I hope that by confronting these emotions within myself and transforming them into art, I can connect with others on an emotional level.
  • KITANO Hiroyuki Academic Faculty

    Using the unique techniques of printmaking as a source of growth

    Printmaking has evolved with technology, creating beauty that has gone beyond what anyone could have imagined. By printing with plates, the artist can create unique and alluring expressions with lines, colors, and images that just wouldn’t be possible when drawing by hand. There is an undeniable appeal to diversity and scope of print expression, which spans from woodblock, copperplate, lithograph, and silkscreen prints, to photography and book art. In my own research and production, it is important for me to enjoy the process and pursue my subject in my own way. Photography and printmaking have unique techniques and production processes you won’t find anywhere else, which provide insights and reveal possibilities when searching for your own unique form of creative expression. That's why having workshops and studios for different styles of printmaking is a great advantage for printmaking courses. I hope you will utilize these dedicated facilities and equipment to experience different printing techniques, discover what interests you, and delve into your own world from there. I think this course is perfect not just for those interested in photography and printmaking, but for anyone who wants to work in both art and design as well as those interested in picture books, illustration, and other forms of expression. I encourage all students to develop their skills of imagination, composition, and creation during their time at Kyoto Seika.
  • IKEGAKI Tadahiko Academic Faculty

    Combining materials and techniques to create your own artistic style

    What is meant by the word “expression?” Let’s start by considering a related word, “impression.” If we break down “impression” as it is written in Japanese (印象), we have two characters that can mean “Indian” and “elephant.” We can imagine that the first person to see an Indian elephant in Japan must have been impressed by what they saw. They then drew a picture of the elephant and showed it to someone who had never seen such an animal before. So we see something new, we draw it, and then we share it. That is what “expression” is all about. “Expression” cannot exist without an initial “impression.” That is why I want my students to see things that they have never seen before. I want them to be curious about and sensitive to the world around them, explore new places and find inspiration. Those “impressions” are what will fuel your creative “expressions.” Printmaking is made up of the three elements of form, color, and material. And with a variety of techniques, there are myriad possibilities. Explore all of these techniques and find the ones that work best for your creative expression. Then use your time here to establish your own unique style. Just like Mucha, Warhol, Hokusai... find your own voice. In my workshop at Kyoto Seika, I am here to help you develop into an artist who can tap into an endless supply of creative “expression.”