Monday, 30 July 2012

White Cube Invitation

This is a beautifully simple invitation produced for the opening of the new White Cube Bermondsey space at the end of last year. This is the third space in London, located on Bermondsey Street in south London and opened to the public during the Frieze art fair in October. It is the largest of the gallery's three London sites, providing more than 5440 m2 (58,000 sq ft) of interior space on a site of 1.7 acres! The building dates from the 1970s and was primarily used as a warehouse before the current refurbishment. (designed by Casper Mueller Kneer Architects, based in London and Berlin). The building has been altered to include three principal exhibition spaces, an auditorium and a bookshop.

There were exhibitions in all three spaces at the opening of the new gallery: Structure   & Absence, Inside the White Cube and Cerith Wyn Evans.
The invitation uses an image from the Structure & Absence exhibition:

The following copy is courtesy of the White Cube website: 'Structure & Absence' was a group exhibition that featured the Chinese scholar’s rock as an organising device or motif. A selection of scholars’ rocks were installed in the galleries as unfamiliar objects, disrupting how we usually look at contemporary art. The rocks have a deep but ambiguous history in Chinese culture, acting as objects of both trade and contemplation. Although they are non-figurative objects, their suggestive forms also encourage the viewer to find likenesses of familiar things. Equally, the rocks demand close observation of their surface, structure and material. ‘Structure & Absence’ invited the viewer to bring this blend of imagination and observation to contemporary art. The exhibition was divided into three galleries, each featuring works with a particular visual quality. In the opening gallery, surfaces and surface textures dominated, and the work was characterised by organic forms and colours. The second room featured brighter, more saturated colours, forceful horizontal lines, with paintings and photographs by artists exploring geometric abstraction and the legacy of the Modernist grid. In the third gallery, shadows move in, structures break down and colours are either absent or muted: any dream of order becoming a potential ruin, weakened by entropy and erosion. The three galleries of ‘Structure & Absence’ thus formed a composition, with a rise, climax and fall, reminiscent of a typical dramatic or musical arrangement. ‘Structure & Absence’ featured work by Andreas Gursky, Wade Guyton, Eberhard Havekost, Damien Hirst, Gary Hume, Sergej Jensen, Jacob Kassay, Brice Marden, Agnes Martin, Gabriel Orozco, Eileen Quinlan, Sterling Ruby, Robert Ryman, Erin Shirreff, Hiroshi Sugimoto and Jeff Wall.

The invitation was printed on our Fenner Bright Silver, 300gsm which is a bright metallic silver board with a mirror like reflective finish. Hopefully you can make this out from the pic below:
The image is printed as a one colour halftone using fully oxiding ink (black) on the high gloss surface. Reverse is printed one colour. Print was handled by Danny Kirk at Push.
Design is by freelance graphic artist, Laurent Benner, who's based in London.
Posted by Justin Hobson 30.07.2012

Friday, 27 July 2012

Carrying the flame!

Today is the official start of the London 2010 (+2) Games ( apparently I can't use the year date and the Oly*pic word together in this post!)
Anyway I thought I'd take today as the opportunity for a shameless plug for the new "Torch" campaign, launched to promote the new ASTRALUX swatches by Favini.

ASTRALUX is the market leading range of cast coated papers and boards produced in Italy by the Favini Crusinallo paper mill. The range goes from 80gsm - 350gsm in white and is also available in 27 shades (including metallics and pearlescents) and we have some beautiful new swatches. If you would like a set, please drop me an e-mail. 
Astralux is produced with 100% Green Energy, generated in the mill from hydroelectric power and is FSC certified. You can read more here:

The promotional campaign and swatches are designed for Favini by Silk Pearce. Creative Directors are Peter Silk and Jack Pearce. Designer on the project is Ian Coote.

And just to clarify, we aren't sponsoring anything and I'm in no way trying to associate me/us/them or Astralux with the "up and coming season of events" due to officially start in London today!

Posted by Justin Hobson 27.07.2012

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

make invitations

Each year, Make Architects produce an Annual which reviews and shows their work of the previous year which I wrote about in June:

The invitation to the anniversary and book launch of 8 was printed on our lovely Offenbach Bible 60gsm. It is A3 (297x420mm) folded to A6 size. The designers chose to make the invite more about the event itself rather than a Make project, which gives it a less corporate feel. The party was held at The Paramount which is on Level 31/33 at Centre Point and this is the view!

As you can see from the picture below, the invitations were personalised by handwriting the name of the invitee on the top left hand side.
It was designed and produced by Denise Ryan and Emily Chicken at Make and thank you for sending me copies and a lovely note:
A really lovely piece of printing on our Offenbach Bible 60gsm by Birmingham based, Tuckey Print.
Posted by Justin Hobson 24.07.2012

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Balfour Beatty Healthcare

This is a perfect example of a beautifully made promotional box which met the brief of being 100% recycled!

Manchester based design company Make Complex Simple, were commissioned to produce communication collateral by Balfour Beatty Healthcare, including a vehicle for USB sticks.
The solution is this paper over board case. Size is 225mm square with a 25mm depth, all produced using a combination of 100% recycled greyboard covered with our 100% recycled, Colorset Midnight 120gsm. Hot foil blocked in metallic silver foil.
Essentially, it's a 6pp gatefold case with the capacity tray on the middle panel. In the tray, there were various inserts produced for varying numbers of USB sticks, the example below is to take 4 sticks.

Design is by Make Complex Simple and the designer on the project is Paul Grogan.

The box production (which is truly superb) is by Gary Nightingale at Packaging Formats, based in Leeds.

So without wanting to make a MASSIVE plug for Colorset, there really isn't any other quality coloured paper range that is 100% recycled that could have worked on this project - just thought I'd mention it!
Posted by Justin Hobson 19.07.2012

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Toby Marchant exits Paperlinx

Yesterday, Paperlinx announced the resignation of its chief executive, Toby Marchant (did he jump or was he pushed?) For those that don't know, he's been the guy at the head of Australian based Paperlinx. If you're wondering what that's got to do with this blog and you - it's because they own Robert Horne, Howard Smith and The Paper Co -names of UK paper merchants which many of you will be familiar with. 
Toby Marchant started as a paper merchant in the UK, eventually becoming Managing Director of the loss making Modo Merchants (now closed down). He jumped ship at the end of the 90's to the profitable Robert Horne Group and after overseeing years of declining profitability, he was promoted (!) through the ranks of  the parent company, Paperlinx, ending up as CEO (...nice work!)

For Paperlinx, which a decade ago was worth more than (Aus)$2 Billion (-yes, you did read that correctly), there are many issues - it now has a market capitalisation of only (Aus)$25 Million (Source: Sydney Morning Herald) - having recently sold off operations in South Africa, Italy and Eastern Europe, it is contending with hostile shareholders trying to reverse several years of corporate losses and it's bankers. Suppliers appear to be withdrawing products; Zanders have withdrawn Chromolux, ArjoWiggins have stopped supplying their recycled ranges, Cordenons have withdrawn their Stardream range and suppliers are struggling to get credit insurance cover. Other executives including Malcolm Lane-Ley, Managing Director of Howard Smith and The PaperCo is also leaving at the end of this month.

Robert Horne Paper was the revered company in the UK paper industry, as a supplier, customer and employer. I was fortunate enough to meet Kenneth Horne in 1995 and I even bought the book he published "Somebody said that it couldn't be done" which documented his three decades at the helm of the company founded by his grandfather - and make no mistake, it was a great company. It will certainly be sad for the UK industry if the end result of Paperlinx involvement means that this and the sister companies simply disappear.

Hundreds (if not thousands) of jobs have been lost in the UK paper industry in recent years. I hope that Toby Marchant, who is set to receive a "banker style" golden goodbye of one year's salary (after only 2 years as CEO) will reflect on this whilst lying on his sun lounger!
Posted by Justin Hobson 18.07.2012
28th September Update
Printweek reports today that Marchant ended his employment with Paperlinx on a salary of £363,545 after he took a 15% voluntary pay cut on 1 April (April Fools day!) this year. Tobes gets 12 months salary as part of his "mutual" decision to leave the company. On top of this, he was given £26,000 in accrued entitlements to bonuses for completed asset sales in 2011/2012 and £21,648 to compensate for untaken annual leave. I'm sure everyone in Northampton will be pleased to know that he'll be comfortably off in his retirement.

10th October 2012 - Important update
A link to an Australian website run by a Paperlinx shareholder has been REMOVED from this post, following a legal notice sent to me by a solicitor acting for Paperlinx Limited.
I have written about this on the following post:
As with everything written on this blog, the views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to Fenner Paper Company Ltd!

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Penthouse - Wellington House

Wellington House in Buckingham Gate, London SW1 is one of London's most prestigious addresses. This is the literature especially commissioned to sell the penthouse appartment (which, incidentally, comes with the roof terrace!)

The cover which is litho printed with leaf illustrations and hot foil blocked in silver and white foil uses a linen embossed brown board supplied by that other, Hull based, paper company! Size is 190x265mm portrait and is saddle stitched.
However, it's the text where the job really starts to shine! ...printed on our Omnia 150gsm.
Centre spread:
Interestingly, the brochure only has a 4pp text stitched in, with the 6pp "plans" section forming a roll fold which has been stuck into the inside back cover using a tab stuck parallel to the spine (below)

...rolling out to it's full extent:

Design is by NB:Studio. Creative Directors on the project were Nick Finney and Alan Dye. Designer was Eng Su. It has been beautifully printed, foiled and finished by Gavin Martin.

Posted by Justin Hobson 17.07.2012

Monday, 16 July 2012


It was with interest that I read last week in Printweek about the new range of Japanese papers from Takeo, which is being stocked by the other, Hull based paper merchant ( know who!)

Takeo are the market leading, creative paper merchant (they aren't a manufacturer) based in Japan and throughout Asia. It was in the summer of 2008 when Mr. Sakuma from Takeo first visited us in Tonbridge and I was happy to share whatever market information with him that I could offer. At that time (before the financial crisis) their plans were to establish their own distribution outlets in London, Paris and Milan. Although followed with a further visit in 2009, it was obvious that with the global situation and the extraordinarily high Yen exchange rate that their European plans were shelved.

They have a lovely range of papers and it's good to see that some of them, including the highly unusual Pachica, will now be available in the UK. Presumably if all goes well, they'll be able to establish their own warehouses in Europe and offer their full range - which believe it or not is a massive 9,400 items!
Posted by Justin Hobson 16.07.2012

P.S. After the 2011 Earthquake and Tsunami in Japan, I wrote to Takeo offering our condolencies and was pleased to receive a personally written letter from President and CEO,Mr Shigeru Takeo, thanking me and advising me that there had been no life threatening injuries sustained.

We helped sponsor a poster to raise funds for the relief effort:

Friday, 13 July 2012

Fashion Rations 2

A couple of years ago, fashion retailer Whistles, started an internal communication/employee loyalty scheme where staff members can offer a limited  discount to "friends and family". They coined the phrase "fashion rations" and produced ration book style booklets in a small "ladies purse" size. This is the latest incarnation, which is "more fashiony and less rationy" if you get what I mean - much brighter and less utility looking:

As with previous editions, a particularly nice touch is that the front of all the books are "crash numbered" on the covers (see above). For those of you who aren't aware of this process, it is an old letterpress process which uses a numbering box on a platten. It is an "impact" process which simply thumps the number on the sheet and then (in a clockwork style) clicks on one digit. It allows a degree of security and control on how many books are issued.

The size of the book is A7 (105x74mm) portrait and is stab stitched (that's where the staple goes through the whole book, from front to back - like a cheque book - although the term cheque book binding normally implies, the application of binding tape over the stab stitches).

The cover is on our Colorset (100% recycled) in Magenta 270gsm. The book includes 5 vouchers or "rations", which are perforated along the spine, so they tear out easily.
...and of course, there's always the small print on the reverse!

Print production was done by PrintStation, based in Bexhill on Sea (

The job was designed at Whistles by Jess Schiazza ... and thank you Jess for sending me a copy and the lovely note.

...and if you're interested, here's the post about the first ration book:
Posted by Justin Hobson 13.07.2012

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Preen Line S/S 2012

This is the Spring/Summer 2012 look book for Preen Line, which is the "contemporary line" range with the lower price tag from London fashion house PREEN.

It's a lovely oversize 240x335mm, portrait, saddle stitched format. It's interesting and worth pointing out that this is actually a "self cover" job - but certainly doesn't feel like it - it feels really substantial. A big part of that is the format and the fact that it is printed on our Omnia 150gsm, which has a high bulk. It's also worth mentioning that as the whole job is a 32pp self cover, it's actually an economical format - the whole job being printed up on two sheets of B1.

As you can see from the above images above, there is lots of colour and blue is prevalent - and it just looks beautiful on the Omnia - no mottle - just gorgeously even blue areas (and we all know that blue can be a problem!)  Even the images with CMYK dark areas - with loads of ink going down, looks great on the Omnia, reproducing bright vibrant colours as well and the dark mono images as well, whilst retaining all the detail.

Detail of credit page on the outside back cover: 

The art direction is by Mark and Chris Thomson and the quality of the direction and photography (by Nick Dorey) is matched by the exceptional print by Push.
Posted by Justin Hobson 11.07.2012

Monday, 9 July 2012


On Friday evening, I was lucky enough to go to a party hosted by Haptic Architects and BOB Design. The event was part of the London Festival of Architecture on 6 &7 July 2012.

ROOFLIFE! SPECULATING ON LONDON'S UNDERUSED ROOFTOPS... An installation and event that speculates on the future of London's Rooftops. The event was held on the rooftop of the Islington studio space that they share, taking in 360 degree views of the London skyline and across the Kings Cross area in particular.

An amazing rooftop garden was created together with a scafolding skeleton (in case of rain) and "crow's nest" for the DJ (see below).
The views are spectacular, as you can see from my pic below of The Shard, which had been officially opened, the previous evening.
The garden was created by Ian Jackson Landscape Architecture and Holmes & Sons and contained 34 different herbs, fruits and vegtables, some of which were suitable for using to mix with the drinks! The pic on the right shows the beautiful signage.
The picture below shows the display in the studio which invites you to look through the peepholes and see the various well known landmarks:
...and the guide of all 34 herbs, vegtable and fruits were printed on a lovely long list 1000mm x 100mm, on our Offenbach Bible 60gsm!
Thanks to BOB Design and Haptic for inviting me and for a great party.
Posted by Justin Hobson 09.07.2012