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Design Ideas for Lino

Amy Lino Guide

Choosing the right shapes

When you are new to lino, trying to think of a design to make to print can be tricky. There are a few things to consider. 

  • Remember as a print it has a negative effect. So wherever you cut out will remain white and what remains on the lino sheet will print black. 
  • Think of your skill set  if you are new to cutting then practice with doing simple designs.

It can be interesting to create your design inside a shape. If you want to have your back ground white then you will need to cut away the lino around the shape. In this case a circle.

This can be a great way of practising using your blade while you remove the background. You can be quite free with your moments. Pressing harder will remove the lino deeper so its about finding the right pressure point where you have control.  

Lino Process

Before cutting its best to draw out your simple design on the lino. Its good to know that you can’t rub out pencil on lino so you might need to practice first on a piece of paper.

Its great to use a variety of different blades so you can achieve different thicknesses. Experiment with straight line and wavy lines. Here i am cutting a simple sunset over water illustration, which is made up of different shapes and lines.


The Larger blades will remove more lino, so will give you fatter white lines when printed. While smaller blades will give you thinner lines.

When you have finished cutting its time to Print. You only need a small amount of ink, it travels far. Coat your roller in the ink fully and then roll it over the lino. Then place a piece of paper over the lino and rub to ensure all the ink has taken to the paper.

The most satisfying part is then to peel back the paper and revel your print. 

Sun Print
Items For Lino

More Design ideas

Try out a few different designs and see what works best for you. The more you create the more ideas will come to you and the better you will get.

Try using house hold objects for shapes inspiration.

Cutting circles can be a bit more tricky than straight lines. Just move the lino around when you get to a corner so your hand is at a comfortable angle. Just like you would if you were drawing.  

You can create as many prints as you like. The ink drys very slowly so you will need some space to leave the prints to dry over night. The ink is permeant so beware of getting it on your clothes, it will not wash out. 


Cleaning up from lino printing can be a bit messy. You cant just wash it with water like acrylics. Use kitchen paper to wipe of the excess oil from the tray, roller and lino sheets, then use vegetable oil to clean off all the oil, then wash in hot soapy water.  

Mandala Lino Process
Mandala Lino
Lino Print

Watch the Video here


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