Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Jobs from the past - Number 15

Happy New Year!

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. ...here's the first post for 2011.

Merchant Handbook - 2002

Merchant is the corporate reporting arm of global PR firm Brunswick. In the 1990's years they used to produce a report called the Merchant Handbook, showing FTSE listed companies and which agency did their reporting and who printed it etc. - it used to be quite interesting reading. By the 2000's the burden of collating this information was too great and the Merchant Handbook became a yearly publication of relevant articles about reporting, CSR and investor relations.

At that time Merchant managed the production and design and used a collection of independent studios to do the creative work. This report was designed by NB:Studio.

The report contains articles on six different subjects and each one forms it's own booklet. Each booklet is designed in a completely different style, either purely typographic, illustrative image based etc. and to emphasise the difference, each booklet is on a different material. Some are printed CMYK, some 2 colour and 1 colour plus silkscreen.
Each individual booklet was saddle stitched and they were then 'double-sided' to each other (back to front covers) along the spines only allowing each booklet to open freely but giving the appearance of a neatly stacked pile of different booklets from the front. The overall size of the job is 225x280mm portrait (cover size) with a 14mm spine.

The materials used were Episiode IV 115gsm, Alga Carta 90gsm, Millennium Real Art 170gsm, Dali Neve 160gsm, Neptune Unique 135gsm, Appledawn Cream Velvet 150gsm, some of which are now defunct.

One of the crucial factors that contibuted to the success of the job was the selection of the board for the cover. Being a 4pp cover but with a parallel creased 'freestanding' spine and all the weight being stuck into the inside back cover, it needed to be a substantial piece of board. Our Aerographic Twin 500gsm was used with a gloss lamination on the outside cover and it really works.
Creative directors on the project at NB: Studio were the three partners (Nick, Ben and Alan) and the designer was Nick Vincent. This is just a lovely piece of printed literature - it is extremely engaging. However from memory I don't think it was nominated or won any awards which was a shame and a bit of a surprise. The  2003 Handbook (also designed by NB) was nominated for illustration at D&AD and was also on our paper, so maybe I'll write about that some other time!

The publication was produced under Managing Director, Robert Moser's watchful eyes and the project was managed by Leonie Dixon. Russell Thompson oversaw the print production and finishing (most importantly) of the job which was printed by Impressions in Wimbledon, who (like many printers from that era) don't exist anymore.

So where are they all now? Russell Thompson is production director at Merchant, Nick and Alan remain at the eponymous NB:Studio (http://www.nbstudio.co.uk/), Ben Stott now works independently on his own projects (http://www.benstott.com/) and  Nick Vincent set up his own studio (http://www.vincentdesign.co.uk/) ...oh, and I'm still at Fenner Paper!

Posted by Justin Hobson 04.01.2011

1 comment:

  1. Cheers Mr H.

    An oldie but a goodie!

    Take care,
    Nick V


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