Tuesday, 25 November 2014

The arrival of the Dürer Press in London

This is a particularly fascinating project, which if you have any interest in History, you'll be interested in....

Here's the copy which I have lifted from the Dürer press website:
 No records remain of the machine Johann Gutenberg used to print the first books with moveable type. The question of what this press and other early presses were like has occupied the minds of generations of historians. It can never be definitively answered. The person who has probably come closest to a reasonable reconstruction of a very early press is Alan May, a man who has both the knowledge of a print historian and the technical skills of a craftsman. Alan used these abilities to acclaimed effect in 2008 when a television production company gave him the chance to construct a press to print a facsimile page from Gutenberg’s 42-line Bible of the 1450s. The process of research, design and construction of the press was a key feature of The machine that made us, the resulting documentary presented by Stephen Fry.

Following from the construction of this press and from a well-known sketch of a printing press made, probably from memory, by the artist Albrecht Dürer in 1511, Alan made a number of observations about the way presses probably developed from the very first examples. When the Dürer Press Group commissioned a new working press from Alan in 2014, his insights led to a machine that can either be used as a ‘one-pull’ press, as we believe Gutenberg’s was, or as a ‘two-pull’ press. The two-pull configuration is shown in Dürer’s sketch and gives greater output by allowing two pages of a book to be printed without taking the paper out of the press and putting it back in again. It is probable that older, one-pull, presses were modified in this way to give the printer a considerable boost from a machine that would be costly to replace.
The press, handmade by Alan May in Summer 2014.
The press has been given a home in the print workshop at the St Bride Foundation in London and there was a launch event on Wednesday 12th November. Unfortunately, I was unable to attend, but here are some pictures of the recent installation of the "new press"!
There aren't many printers in London who can claim to have a 500 year old press, let alone a brand new model!

Posted by Justin Hobson 24.11.2014

Thursday, 20 November 2014

The Modern House - postcards

Established by Albert Hill and Matt Gibberd, The Modern House is the UK’s foremost estate agency, only selling modernist and contemporary architecture for over a decade.
This is their most recent promotional mailer titled "Selling Britain's Finest Modern Architecture" showing four properties in the format of a concertina postcard book.
The format is a 12pp A6 concertina. Flat size is 148x634mm, folding to 148x105mm. The concertina folds into a pre-creased 3mm spine. Printed CMYK offset litho and the cards are perforated.
The concertina is printed on Redeem 100% Recycled 315gsm, which prints beatifully and fits with the modernist, utilitarian architecture.
showing how the concertina folds into the spine
The superbly creased 3mm spine. It's touches such as this - good creasing - that make all the difference to a project like this:
Click on image to enlarge & see perforation
...and the other thing that shouldn't be overlooked is the perforations. As you can see from this picture, perforations can look great, even beautiful. These perfs. only look this good because the designer took the time to explain what he wanted to the printer. There are a selection of different perforation "bars" available at print finishers - so do ask a printer to get samples and to show you different types. If you don't convey your expectations to the printer, then they'll generally use the perforating bar that's on the machine and you may be disappointed.

Art direction and design is by Field Projects. Print production is by Michael Keyworth at Key Printers.
Posted by Justin Hobson 20.11.2014

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

What is ...Laid Paper?

What is ...Number 11
Regular followers of this blog will know that in the middle of the month, I publish a "What is ....? post. The article covers various aspects of paper, printing and finishing in greater depth. However, many of these subjects are complex, so these posts are only intended to be a brief introduction to the topic.

What is ...Laid Paper?
Modern day laid paper is a simulated effect to re-create something that was charcteristic in handmade papers. When paper was made by hand, a frame with a wire mesh was used. The crude wire mesh formed a pattern in the paper and it is this pattern which is now synonymous with the term 'laid paper' today. It was quite often combined with the papermakers mark, which has translated today into what we understand as a watermark.
Today, what is considered as a 'traditional' laid pattern consists of a series of wide-spaced lines (commonly 25mm apart) which are called "Chain Lines" and more narrowly spaced lines which are at 90 degrees to the chain lines, which are called "Laid Lines"
Typical machine made Laid paper pattern.
The laid pattern is created during the early stages of paper manufacture using a "Dandy Roll", This skeletal roll made from copper wire with a laid mesh pattern, skims the top side of the paper on the machine at the point that the paper is still very wet. The pattern is pressed on the surface whilst also displacing the fibres causing areas of higher and lower density, this has the result that the pattern is apparent both on the surface and on looking through the sheet. The picture above shows the Dandy Roll on the paper machine and the picture below shows a close up of the mesh type nature of the skeletal Dandy Roll.
There are many types of Laid papers which can made. The Chain lines can be closer together or further apart or only chain lines, as in what is often called "broad laid", pictured below.
...and here are two types of what are often described as "Antique Laid" or "Rustic Laid"
It's worth pointing out that machine made Laid papers are made to a specific orientation, which is dictated by the direction of the machine. The chain lines run parallel to the machine direction and the laid lines run horizontally across the width of the machine.

In recent decades, Laid papers have been used as 'prestigious' stationery although arguably the look is now seen as a bit cliched. It is rarely, but occassionally, used as text and cover papers but often used as end papers.
Posted by Justin Hobson 18.11.2014

Monday, 17 November 2014

Jo Malone - Michael Angove

Jo Malone is a London based company renowned for British bespoke fragrances for Women, Men and the Home. Michael Angove who specialises in refined highly detailed chinoiserie wallpaper has created exquisite, bespoke designs for Jo Malone London inspired by Blackberry & Bay and Orange Blossom. This is the literature for this limited edition home collection.
The 8pp, self cover, booklet is 150mm square and is saddle stitched. Reflecting the tactile, natural subject matter, the paper chosen is Modigliani Candido 260gsm - it is a feltmarked paper with a texture reminiscent of a watercolour paper.  
The reproduction of these softly rendered images on the Modigliani is just right, while the inside back spread (below) reflects the style of the brand packaging in a signature cream box with black corners - packaging which defines quality and an understated style.
Art direction and design is by the Jo Malone design team. Print production is by Mark Pitman at CPI Colour based in Croydon.

Posted by Justin Hobson 17.11.2014

Thursday, 13 November 2014

There's a new Elephant in the room!

This is the invitation to the launch of the special 20th issue of the art culture magazine, Elephant. Astrid Stavro and Pablo Martin of Atlas Studio have overseen a fairly comprehensive redesign of this highly revered publication.
The invitation at the event last month in the Riflemaker gallery is designed by Esme Winter, a London-based designer partnership creating lifestyle accessories and stationery.
Esme, working with Richard Sanderson produce items that are crafted with hand-binding, weaving and beautiful print. You can see their work here: http://www.esmewinter.co.uk/
The A6 invitation is printed letterpress in two colours, black one side and dark blue reverse. The board chosen for the invitation is our new Crush Citrus 350gsm. This is our lovely new paper from Favini, made using agro-industrial residues from the processing of citrus fruit in Italy and replacing up to 15% tree pulp. You can read about it here:
Printed letterpress at LCBA in London and thanks to Simon Goode at LCBA for taking the time to send me some file copies.

...and here's the magazine the event is to launch:
Posted by Justin Hobson 13.11.2014

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Guardian News & Media 2014 sustainability report

This is the printed summary of the Guardian News & Media sustainability report. The whole 2014 report is available online http://www.theguardian.com/sustainability but this is the printed report produced to give out to staff and partners.
The size of the report is 148mm square, saddle stitched and has a 4pp cover and 16pp text. The publication is printed on our Shiro Echo, Bright White which is 100% recycled and also carries FSC certification.
The report is beautifully illustrated by Laurent Cilluffo.
Design is by the in-house design team at The Guardian. Production handled by Leon Abrahams.

Print is by Cantate, a division of the John Good Group and thanks to Jason Maclaren at Cantate for sending me file copies.

Posted by Justin Hobson 11.11..2014

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Beautiful Wedding Invitation

This is a beautifully produced invitation for a wedding held this summer. Katherine Heaton is Account Director at Johnson Banks, so the invitation designed by her colleagues in the studio was bound to be something special.
The invitation and supporting items are all 140mm square. The items are all printed on our Colorset, Natural (100% recycled). The main invitation is triplexed 350gsm which makes it over 1.5mm thick.
The invitation is gilt edged in gold which makes the best of the thickness and looks just beautiful. 
The 140mm square cards all fit into the 155mm square envelope that we also keep as a standard size in the Colorset range.
Print production for the invitations and supporting cards is by Pureprint. All items were digitally printed using an HP Indigo press.

The wedding and reception was held at Voewood, a renowned arts and crafts house in Norfolk which is owned and run by the celebrity antiquarian bookseller Simon Finch.

Posted by Justin Hobson 06.11.2014