Thursday, 4 February 2016

Primark Christmas

Adored by fashion fans and value seekers alike Primark is widely established as the destination store for keeping up with the latest looks without breaking the bank. They offer a diverse range of products, stocking everything from baby and kids, to womens, mens, home ware, accessories, beauty products and confectionery. Primark opened its first store in Dublin in 1969 under the name Penneys and today operates in over 270 stores in nine countries in Europe and growing with the first US store opening in Boston last year.
This is the lookbook produced for the Christmas 2015 season and there's only one word for it and that's STUNNING!
Size of the brochure is 250x180mm, portrait and the binding is singer sewing. The unusual format is a 4pp cover printed in CMYK, offset litho, onto our Stardream Copper 285gsm. Through die cut holes, you can see the inner 'flysheet' which is hot foil blocked with metallic gold foil, printed on Stardream Onyx 120gsm.
Stardream is the market leading pearlescent and metallic paper range produced by the Cordenons paper mill in Italy and the colours are striking.
You can see the fine quality of the image printed onto the Stardream Copper. Many people forget that litho inks are transparent, meaning that the image will take up both the colour and the pearlescent effect, and when used well like this, it is just stunning.  
The 36pp text is printed in four colour process (offset litho) on Shiro Echo, White 120gsm and the printed result is exquisite. Is it the quality of the image, the repro, the printing or the paper? Well the honest answer has to be it's all of them
As you will see from the picture below, the men's range is also includes going from the back cover towards the spine
Images showing the detail of the singer sewn spine:
...and the inside
Primark's international Headquarters are in Dublin and the UK offices are in London. The superb print, repro and finishing is by Gavin Martin Colournet, based in London E3.
Posted by Justin Hobson 04.02.2016

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Jobs from the past - Number 76

Regular followers of this blog will know that my first post of every month is a "job from the past" so that I can show some of the really good work from years gone by...

Duke Special Songbook 2 - November 2011

Duke Special is a songwriter and performer based in Belfast. A songwriter with a romantic style and a warm, distinctly accented voice, he has distinctive long dreadlocks, eyeliner and outfits he describes as "hobo chic". His live performances have a theatrical style inspired by Vaudeville and music hall, and often incorporate 78s played on an old-fashioned gramophone, or sound effects from a transistor radio. (

This songbook was published in 2011 by Duke Special and contains the words and music to 30 of his songs.
The book is 297x215mm, portrait and is limp bound, however it's deliberately designed to look like a songbook from the past, in fact almost to look like just the text that may have come separated from a casebound book. It has an 88pp text and has a 2pp tipped on cover with "exposed binding" which has been beautifully executed, as you can see below. The spine is 8mm deep.
To compliment the aged feeling, the papers used throughout are our Shiro Echo, White 100gsm for text and 250gsm for the cover. This paper has a neutral white shade, not cream, and it works perfectly with the text and pencil illustrations. It is printed offset litho throughout, two special colours on the cover and one colour black, throughout the text.
Inside spread
Click on images to enlarge
The below image shows the yellow coloured thread used for the binding.
Design is by Sparks Studio based in London. Creative partners are Gary McIlwaine and Michael Gough. Artwork and illustration is by Tim Millen based in Belfast.

I still have the nice note from Gary at Sparks Studio, who kindly sent me this file copy.
The Songbook was printed in Belfast by an unusually named printer called Northern Whig Limited. The Northern Whig was originally one of Ireland's oldest newspapers, founded in 1824. The Whig published continuously until the paper closed in 1963 and afterwards, continued as a commercial printer. Unfortunately the firm ceased trading in February 2012.

You can buy your own copy of the Songbook here:
Posted by Justin Hobson 02.02.2016

Thursday, 28 January 2016

Mulberry Christmas

Inspired by the cool of the city and the craft of the countryside, Mulberry is known for its classic fashion sense and strong links to British craft and design. Founded in 1971 in Somerset, England, the brand is globally recognised for its signature natural leathers and English design influences. Mulberry has Design Headquarters in London, and two flagship factories in Somerset, close to the Roman city of Bath. Mulberry goes from strength to strength, creating an international reputation for super-desirable products with a playful English sense of eccentricity and quality.

This is the outstanding piece of literature produced for the Mulberry Christmas promotion.
The finished size is 224x160mm and is printed offset litho in CMYK with hot foil blocking in metallic gold foil.
This project is a strange format to describe, so I hope this birds eye picture will help. The cover is 6pp plus a pocket on the inside back cover. The text is a 10pp concertina, the end page of which is inserted into the pocket
Below image shows inside front cover (which is a flap) and page 1 of text on right hand side
...the next image (below) shows the flap open, revealing the image of the small 'clipper' bag in black:
More birds eye images to help explain the format...
The images below, shows the concertina text, fully extended
Click on images to enlarge
The paper used throughout is our lovely Omnia text and cover range - 320gsm for the cover and 150gsm for the text. As you can see from the images, there are many metallic tones together with deep colours and dark shades - lots of heavy ink coverage going down and it looks great on the Omnia, reproducing the metallic in the images amazingly and those bright vibrant colours, whilst retaining detail in the dark areas as shown in the image below. Flat, matt and tactile. 
The hot foil blocking is inspired and it endorses the quality of the brand.
The sublime art direction and design is by Mulberry. Designers on the project are Jack Foreman and Tom Speirs. The truly exceptional repro, print and hot foil blocking (in four languages!) is by CPI Colour with James Lager handling the project (
Posted by Justin Hobson 28.01.2016

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Acacia Villas

I've written many posts on this blog which includes the phrase "...just the cover makes the difference!" The cover on this property brochure is simply stunning as it is printed on our Flockage Litho - a fab image of rich, blue feathers printed over entire front and back cover.
This brochure is for developer Martin Grant Homes and their development in Hampton, called Acacia Villas.
The brochure is A4 portrait, saddle stitched, with a 4pp cover on Flockage Litho 300gsm and 12pp text on 200gsm 'house silk'. For those of you which are not familiar with this cover product, it is a flocked paper and board which feels like a velvet material to the touch but which remarkably you can actually litho print onto! Unfortunately it is hard (actually it's impossible) to convey the fluffy/furry nature of the way this feels, but the below cover with the superbly reproduced feathers, actually feels soft, just like feathers. As you can see, it also takes hot foil blocking beautifully as well.
The inside of the cover (Flockage Litho is a one sided product) is a plain uncoated board, which has been printed offset litho in CMYK plus a gold special.
Inside text pages printed offset litho in four colour process on 'house silk' 200gsm
Last spread, showing inside back cover printed on the reverse of the Flockage Litho.
The below image shows the full extent of the all over printing on the front and back cover, plus hot foil blocking in metallic gold foil.
Try as I might to capture the "fluffiness" on camera, I just can't! ...although you can see on the image below, just what fantastic detail can be achieved by printing on the Flockage Litho.
Creative direction and design is by property branding and specialists Sectorlight, who are  based in London's docklands.

The printing and production is by Identity Print, based in Paddock Wood in Kent and the print quality on the Flockage, in particular is superb. Thanks to Nick Stacey at Identity for getting me some file copies.
Posted by Justin Hobson 26.01.2016

Friday, 22 January 2016

2016 BuBu book

This book is produced by one of the leading book-binderies of the world: BuBu. At the beginning of each year they produce a book which demonstrates a different, unusual and innovative design of book. In previous years, they have produced books using a metal cover, a perspex cover and even a book which is curved. The books are always produced in the characteristic red and white of the swiss flag.
few years ago I was lucky enough to visit Buchbinderei Burkhardt (BuBu) in Mönchaltorf near Zürich. The company is an amazing combination of the commercial bookbinding, hand bookbinding studio and digital book production. BuBu is an amazing business producing quality, long forgotten in some areas of the UK printing industry.
The size of this book is 230x158mm. It is hard to describe and even harder to photograph! I would describe this as a 24pp concertina text mounted onto cover boards which have a 'raw' edge. The concertina text has been duplexed using 4pp sections or red and white which means that both edges have a red/white sandwich effect. The 'real' cover is asymmetric and is made using a red binding cloth over board and is affixed to the outside back cover.
Close up detail of the cloth covered cover:
Some of you maybe able to read the accompanying letter, unfortunately I can't!
Last year, I wrote about the book they produced following a competition at Kingston University:

How refreshing that a leading company takes the time and money to produce an item which not only shows their expertise, but which also pushes the boundaries. They produce a quality, long forgotten in some areas of the UK printing industry.
Posted by Justin Hobson 22.01.2016