Monday, 26 March 2012

The Modern House

Now hold onto your hat! ...this is simply my favourite job from last year - I've been keeping it up my sleeve, so I can write about it at length! 
Established by Albert Hill and Matt Gibberd in 2004,The Modern House is the UK’s foremost estate agency for houses and apartments of outstanding design and they have a passion for modern architecture.

This is their company brochure (titled "The Art of Selling Architecture") which sets out to explain who they are, what they do and how they do it, illustrated with 4 case studies and it does it brilliantly!

The Size of the brochure is 240x330mm, portrait, perfect bound. There is a 4pp cover which is on Omnia 200gsm  - this might seem lightweight but Omnia is very bulky and this opens well and doesn't disrupt the flow. The first and last pages are also on Omnia (120gsm) - printed to work with the cover working as end papers - the below pic shows inside front cover L/H and pg 1of text on R/H.

The images used for the cover and endpapers are from a series by artist Heidi Specker, called "IM GARTEN"  (

Now the reason that this job is more than a bit of a treat, is that after the lovely images on the cover and endpapers ...which let's face it, couldn't be anything less like a brochure for an Estate Agent, we go into a beautifully simple 2 colour section printed in black and red using amazing images of modernist buildings, simply reproduced as halftones with type in Futura.

The first section gives an overview of the company and the way they work. It's an 8pp section with a very "mono" feel and is printed on our Colorset Light Grey 120gsm which is subtly grey, giving it a rough and raw feel reflecting the fact that many of the structures that they work with are formed from concrete.

After the raw feel of the first 8pp we come to the middle 16pp which show 4 case studies of properties that they have marketed: Space House, Mildmay Park, Woodstock Studios and the iconic High & Over. The amazing architectural photography has reproduced brilliantly on our Omnia 120gsm whilst not losing the tactility that the mono section has already set - and certainly not coming across as a "glossy estate agent brochure"...

After the case study section, there is a further 8pp mono section (black and a blue special) about the people in the company, what their customers and the press say about them finishing off with Heidi Specker's images on the endpaper and cover. 

So why do I like this brochure so much? (...apart from it being on our paper!) - well, the materials used work so well with the design - the number of sections and size (8/16pp sections of 340x240mm) mean that it's maximised the use of the printing press and paper format and that it's so simple and reflects what the company does so well -
and it has some lovely touches - for example, the use of the grey as the text material and the design of the outside cover which has horizontal strips of gloss varnish applied - a machine varnish (not a UV varnish) which are deliberately subtle (see pic. on right)
Art direction and design is by Tom Watt and James Reid at Field Projects. Print production is by Push in London.

Walter Gropius, founder of the Bauhaus school is quoted as saying "Only work which is the product of inner compulsion can have spiritual meaning" personally, I think that this piece is that type of work.

Posted by Justin Hobson 26.03.2012

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Thanks for your comment! If I like it, I'll add it on. Cheers J