Friday, 4 May 2012

Jobs from the past - Number 31

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...

Exhibition Catalogue 2004

In 2004, Angus Hyland, a partner at Pentagram's London office, curated an exhibition celebrating 50 years of the Parker ballpoint jotter. Introduced in 1954, the Parker Jotter sold more than 150 million pens worldwide and was Parker's first ever ballpoint pen. Angus's aim was to explore and celebrate the artistic potential of the humble ballpoint pen. His inspiration came from a collection he had begun to make of the doodles and drawings made by his fellow Pentagram partners during their international meetings. A conversation with his wife, the illustrator Marion Deuchars, gave rise to the idea of an exhibition of artwork created using only ballpoint pens. The result was Ballpoint, a collection of works by over 50 fellow creatives from around the world.
I remember that I went along to Pentagram for a meeting with Angus together with Gary Bird from Gavin Martin. Angus briefed us about the project as a whole and the exhibition catalogue in particular. He showed us some of the submitted exhibits including the school desk (see below) which illustrator Billie Jean had submitted - not just a photograph, Billie went out and bought a desk, illustrated it and sent the whole desk to Pentagram - how cool is that!

A spread showing work by Ian Wright and Billie Jean.
The brief was to produce something that had the actual look and feel of a sketchbook rather than something that just reproduced the images. He didn't want a pastiche, just something that felt realistic ...and of course a solution that was also affordable. After discussing pagination and economical formats with Gary, the result is a book of 235x300mm, portrait, saddle stitched. The 72pp text was printed on our Redeem 100% Recycled 130gsm, which has the utilitarian feel but which would reproduce some of the more demanding images really well. The cover is Idaho Blu Sky 275gsm, which has an "excercise book feel" and colour and which worked really well with the blue binding tape that went down the spine. The tape is also used to create a pen holder - there is a full flap on the inside back cover which is glued  down allowing a slot with the loop of tape which cleverly holds the pen.

A spread showing a detail from Roderick Mills’ “The skies are full, 101 aircraft, 101 pens (no.2).”
Work by Angus Hyland and Marion Deuchars.
Invitation to the private view:
Images from the exhibition:

I wasn't sure how I could pick one or two people to highlight in this piece, so I've listed all the contributors here:
Ceri Amphlett, Lorenzo Apicella, Ron Arad, Alan Baker, James Biber, Nicholas Blechman, Anthony Burrill, Margaret Calvert, Nina Chakrabarti, Paul Davis, Mike Dempsey, Ryan Denton, Marion Deuchars, Stephen Doyle, Daniel Eatock, Jonathan Ellery, Sara Fanelli, Alan Fletcher, Jeff Fisher, Jason Ford, Tom Gauld, Michael Gillette, Fernando GutiƩrrez, George Hardie, Thomas Heatherwick Studio, Julian House, Sharon Hwang, Angus Hyland, Benoit Jacques, Billie Jean, Kerr Noble, David Lancashire, Uwe Loesch, Ross Lovegrove, Fernando Medina, Abbott Miller, Roderick Mills, Flavio Morais, Christoph Niemann, Woody Pirtle, Shonagh Rae, Lucinda Rogers, Paula Scher, Sophie Smallhorn, Leonardo Sonnoli, DJ Stout, Adrian Taylor, Patrick Thomas, Peter Till, Aude Van Ryn, Ian Wright.

From my point of view, it was a great project to be involved with. It won  many awards including the 2005 DesignWeek Award for Promotional Brochures, the Best in Book Creative Review Annual 2005 and the main award in the Books and Exhibition Catalogues category at the 23rd International Biennial of Graphic Design in Brno in 2008 and probably many other awards I'm not aware of!

A particularly lovely touch (especially from my point of view) is the beautiful way in which our business cards were illustrated on the credits page:

Art direction is by Angus Hyland with artwork by Marion Deuchars. Designer on the project was Charlie Hanson. Charlie has since established her own studio together with Jessie Earle called Studio 10½. The exhibition was co-curated by Steven Bateman, PR and gallery coordinator at Pentagaram, he is now an established and revered wordsmith.

It was beautifully printed and finished by Gavin Martin in London.

If you've got a copy, you're lucky as it's an absolute gem!
Steven Bateman:
Posted by Justin Hobson 04.05.2012

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