Thursday, 26 June 2014

Istanbul Grand Airport Book

This is one of those amazing productions which is an excellent example of why, in this digital age, print still lives!

This is a book showcasing the first phase of Istanbul Grand Airport's 8,000 hectare masterplan and terminals. Located on the Black Sea coast, it is intended that when completed, it will be the world’s largest airport terminal. The design is a collaboration between  three architectural practices Nordic, Grimshaw and Haptic Architects.
Detail of etched nickel silver plate
The size of the book is A3 (420x297mm) portrait and the cover features etched nickel silver plates sunk into a duplexed cover (made from our Construction Blackstone 1500microns). The etched pattern echoes the ceiling structure running throughout the building.
The 160pp text is printed throughout on our Omnia 120gsm, with the printed endpapers on Omnia 150gsm. The result is superb and it should be noted, this publication is all printed digitally on an HP Indigo press.

Art direction and design is by London based studio BOB Design and I popped into the studio to take the pictures (above) as being such a high specification job and with so few copies produced, it wasn't possible for them to let me have a file copy. Creative directors are Mireille Burkhardt and Kieran O'Connor. Designers on the project are Clara Goodger and Aaron Merrigan.
The book is laid out in both English and Turkish, which in part, accounts for the high pagination.
Now as you might expect from a prestigious publication, it is section sewn, but as I have mentioned above, it is A3 and digitally printed. So, the only way to produce this was on one of the new HP Indigo 10000 presses, which prints a B2 sheet. Below shows the section sewing and the cloth around the spine with the Construction Blackstone mounted on the endpapers and forming the cover.
Print production is by Pureprint and there's no question that this job is superb. Beautifully printed and bound and put together with the duplexed covers and mounted plates. Productions like this make the case for clients using print. All the information in the publication could be supplied digitally, but this piece of literature is an edifice as indeed will be the new airport.
Posted by Justin Hobson 26.06.2014

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Around the World

‘Around the World’ is a set of six A3 prints by Tom Love. These screen prints are reproductions of airline luggage tags from the 1950s, produced as striking pieces of wall art
Here are some words about the project, by the designer, Tom Love:

"My Around The World Series features six original airline tag designs. From such airlines as the iconic PANAM to Quantas, depicting the four corners of the world and celebrating the new found accessibility of foreign lands, which commercial airlines bought to the general public throughout the 1950s and beyond.

These designs symbolise the golden age of travel: where privileged passengers were whisked off on journeys around the world. Landing in exotic destinations, where they would encounter for the first time, exotic cultures and cuisine and incredible landmarks and landscapes; This indulgent and pioneering era of discovery and adventure has left behind these wonderful relics of an era gone by.
There is something very special about the designs of these tags. Now viewed in an entirely new context, decades since when they were originally tied around baggage handles and sent on their merry way through airport carousels. It's this strong sense of nostalgia and adventure, as well as their striking typography and graphic design that inspired me to start collecting them, and now to re-create and share them with you as over-sized pieces of art."
The project was successfully funded through Kickstarter and here's the original link:
Tom Love is an accomplished designer who has worked with many of the top design agencies and is currently a senior designer at SalterBaxter. Tom has recently started producing his own limited editions and this is the third project he has completed, so far.

The prints have been screen-printed in 3 colours by Gary Parselle at Brighton based silkscreen studio, The Private Press, and these are the pictures from the studio when they were in the drying racks:
The paper chosen for the project is our Flora, Betulla in 350gsm. Flora is a recycled paper (and FSC accredited) with an overtly recycled look and feel - it has natural, deliberately visible inclusions and yet still prints beautifully. It truly enhances the look and feel of a project such as this where the visual look of the material makes a massive difference to the aged look of the finished piece
Thanks to Tom Love and Gary Parselle at the Private Press for sending me the images and giving me all the information.

...and you can buy these prints now, on the following link:

Posted by Justin Hobson 24.06. 2014

Monday, 23 June 2014

Felix Dennis. Publisher 1947-2014

Felix Dennis, undoubtedly one of the biggest personalities in British publishing died peacefully yesterday, with his loved ones surrounding him. He finally succumbed to cancer.

After leaving Harrow College of Art in the late 1960's , Dennis became co-editor of Oz, an underground counter culture magazine. Dennis found himself involved in the notorious Old Bailey conspiracy trial against Oz in 1971 for which he was acquitted on appeal after having been imprisoned. He also recorded a single with John Lennon to help fund the court case!

Felix Dennis. Photograph by Lucinda Batchelor 2012
In 1973 Felix Dennis launched Dennis Publishing which pioneered personal computer magazine publishing in the USA and the UK and in 1995 founded Maxim which became the world's biggest selling men's lifestyle magazine. Today, the business is responsible for publishing over 50 magazines, websites and mobile sites, including The Week, Men’s Fitness, evo, Auto Express, PC Pro, Octane and Viz. He didn't limit his opportunities to just publishing, he also co-founded a $2.5 billion computer mail order company called MicroWarehouse. More recently, he transformed Dennis Publishing from a traditional ink-on-paper publisher into a multi-platform content provider with over 250,000 people visiting its websites every day.

In 2008 he rescued one of the last colour book printers in the UK, Butler and Tanner, with it's name changed to Butler Tanner & Dennis, it survived until earlier this year (now in administration). I wrote about BT&D, previously on this blog:

More recently Felix Dennis has been a poet. He has written severally critically acclaimed anthologies and been on the road performing his poetry. He has also been a great philanthropist, as you might expect from someone ranked 134th on the Sunday Times Rich list. and he also planted lots and lots of trees.

Although I never met him, I understand that he was an exceedingly nice guy. A full life well lived.
Posted by Justin Hobson 23.06.2014

Thursday, 19 June 2014

What is ...Film Lamination?

What is ...Number 6
Regular followers of this blog will know that in the middle of the month, I publish a "What is ....? post. The article covers various aspects of paper, printing and finishing in greater depth. However, many of these subjects are complex, so these posts are only intended to be a brief introduction to the topic.

What is ...Film Lamination?
Film lamination is frequently used in printed literature, but few people give much thought to exactly what it is and the process, so I shall try and tell you a little about it...

The terms "gloss lam" and "matt lam" are the terms most often used to describe film lamination. Basically the process involves gluing an extremely thin layer of transparent plastic to the surface of a sheet, most often used on the covers of brochures, leaflets and books. This thin layer of plastic provides an incredible amount of strength and protects the paper substrate from being damaged or scuffed.

The type of film usually used for this process is called OPP, which stands for Oriented Poly Propylene. The film thicknesses are generally between 12 to 30 microns, so really very,very thin. I have photographed a piece of this gossamer like material to give you an idea of how thin it is.
The film comes in a continuous roll, which is mounted on a laminating machine. Sheets pass through the machine and are covered with the plastic layer over the whole area of the sheet. There are different methods of applying the polypropelene, it can either be applied by a wet glue or by heat, which is called thermal film. Thermal films, already have the glue applied, held in microcapsules which are activated by heat. To the normal onlooker, there is no noticeable difference in the result between the two application methods.

Below is a picture of a laminating machine, where you can see the roll of laminating film and the sheets passing through under it:

Image courtesy of Autobond
So who actually does the lamination? There are a few printers who have their own laminating machines 'in-house' although most film lamination carried out in the design and corporate market is sent out by the printer to a 'trade laminator'. These are companies which just specialise in the area of lamination and 'print finishing', an example is a company called Reflections in London(

The vast majority of lamination is gloss lamination or matt lamination, although that is only the tip of the iceberg in terms of what is actually available.

In transparent films there are a wide range of other finishes, such as Silk, Soft-Touch, Antiscuff, Embossed (leather, linen, pearl etc) as well as a range of biodegradeable and environmentally friendly options. Below is an image of the swatch from one of the suppliers of laminating films, so you can tell from this, just how many types of films are available:
There are also holographic films available and below is an example of an invitation which has been printed CMYK and then film laminated with a transparent holographic film. Very effective!
Printed by:
As well as transparent films, there are also metallised polyester films. These are essentially the same type of product but slightly thicker (30/40 microns) and not transparent. As well as different colours (matt and gloss) they can also incorporate holographic and iridescent finishes. The picture above shows a selection of different finishes that are available in these laminating films:

Film Lamination is an incredibly important process used in the print industry. Although it is often perceived negatively because you are effectively putting a piece (even though it is thin) of plastic (which however you look at it is manufactured from fossil fuels) onto a natural product (paper). However it should be remembered that if by applying the film, the publication lasts longer and is used for longer then the environmental impact is somewhat mitigated. Unfortunately it is far harder to recycle printed matter that has been film laminated as the paper and plastic needs to be separated.

Thanks to Graphic Image Films for providing me with samples which helped me write this piece.
Posted by Justin Hobson 19.06.2014

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Central St Martins - Degree Show 2014

Yesterday evening I was invited to the private view of the Central St Martins Degree Shows at their (nearly new) Kings Cross home. It was a beautiful evening and the show was well attended, laid out on the ground, first and second floors.

The two departments where I spent most time were the BA Graphic Design and the MA Communication Design.

It was a very busy show with lots of thought-provoking work on display. Interesting (for me) to see just how many final projects still involve paper and printing.
Here was one particularly colourful project titled 'The Jungle Book' by Kat Garner which not only involved paper but also clear coloured transparent film and Perspex.
Thanks to all the tutors and people I know at CSM for the kind invitation and a chance to see the work of the new graduates.
Posted by Justin Hobson 18.06.2014

Monday, 16 June 2014

The Fold - Autumn Winter

The Fold is a contemporary new British womenswear label "...that embraces and inspires the modern, professional woman. The collection defines 24/7 dressing through versatile pieces that are designed to create a clean, modern aesthetic." Interestingly, all the garments are manufactured in Europe. The Fold has a showroom in Clerkenwell together with an online shop.

This is the Autumn/Winter lookbook, which is a charming piece literature. The size is A5 (210x148mm, portrait) saddle stitched with a 4pp cover and 32pp text.
The text paper used is our Omnia White, 150gsm and the print result is simply superb. As you can see from the images, there are large, flat solid colours which have a great depth of colour combined with smaller images where the reproduction of fine detail is essential.
The Fold - Packaging
Art director and designer on the project is Emily Chicken at Kensington based Peep Studio. Emily also dealt with brand refreshment, art direction and this beautiful custom illustrated packaging.

Printing is by the Absolute Group who are based in Walthamstow in London.
Posted by Justin Hobson 16.06.2014

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Our Clouded Hills

This is the literature produced for Rossi & Rossi for the contemporary art fair ART14 held in London earlier this year. Titled as "Our Clouded Hills" they presented an exhibition of paintings by three Tibetan artists: Gade, Tenzing Rigdol and Tsherin Sherpa. Their works incorporate traditional Tibetan and Buddhist symbolism and techniques to comment on issues faced by Tibet, its inhabitants, and the Tibetan Diaspora.
This simple but effective publication is A5, portrait and is 8pp gatefold format. It is printed on Astralux [1sided] 250gsm in Silver. Printed one colour, special, on the outside (on the grey) and CMYK on the inside. Astralux is a 'Cast coated' board and if you aren't sure what that is, you can read a previous post, where I've explained what cast coated papers are:
Front Cover
Showing gatefold
The outside of the cover
Inside spread
Designer is Michael Windsor-Ungureanu of Thread Design. This is a great example of where a simple/different use of a material has been used to enhance the overall quality and feel of a piece of literature.

Print production is by Tower Printing, based in Peckham.
Posted by Justin Hobson 11.06.2014

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Award success for Freytag Anderson

Congratulations to Freytag Anderson. At the annual Scottish Design awards held last week in Glasgow, Freytag Anderson walked away with four awards including Scottish Design Agency of the Year 2014.
The annual event was judged by an esteemed panel including Innocent Drinks Dan Germain, Lewis Moberly’s Mary Lewis, Stephen Royle of The Chase and Smith & Milton’s Steven Anderson.
Photography courtesy of Nick Creed/The Drum
The annual event hosted by The Drum celebrates the best in Scottish design. Held at Glasgow’s Radisson Blu, they were awarded the Chairman’s Award for Design, Best Corporate Identity, Best Packaging design and the aformentioned Scottish Design Agency of the Year. Have a look at their great work for yourselves:
It was lovely to receive an email saying the following "This is an incredible result for a business as young as ours and off course we couldn't have done it without the help of our great clients, studio collaborators Matt Burns, Shaun Woods and Liam Rutherford, our suppliers, family and friends. We'd like to take this opportunity to say thanks to you all."
Freytag Anderson have appeared on this blog many times and we are pleased to have worked with them on projects including their lovely work for the Scottish National Gallery in Edinburgh. Congratulations to Daniel and Greig for this fantastic achievement
ALSO - The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service were also honoured for their heroic efforts to save the majority of the Glasgow School of Art's iconic Mackintosh building and its contents after a fire in late May - well done to all the lads and lassies involved.
Posted by Justin Hobson 10.06.2014

Friday, 6 June 2014

American Trilogy by Ernesto Cánovas at Halcyon Gallery

This has to be one of the best printed items that I've seen this year. This is not just because it's printed on one of our papers (!) but because I went to see the exhibition and having seen the works for myself, I can appreciate just how good the catalogue that represents the work is.

The Halcyon Gallery was founded in 1982 and specialises in modern and contemporary art, concentrating on emerging and established international artists. They represent  Dale Chihuly, Lorenzo Quinn, David Wightman, Eve Arnold and Bob Dylan amongst others. Halcyon now have three art galleries in London and one in Shanghai. They are also involved in public art and currently have an amazing Dale Chihuly glass sculpture exhibited for public view in Berkeley Square.

This catalogue is for an exhibition by Spanish born artist, Ernesto Cánovas. The exhibition is titled 'An American Trilogy' and depicts a vision of America from the perspective of an outsider. The artist now works from a studio in London, where these artworks were produced employing a multi-layered practice of painting, drawing, printmaking and photography.
The size of the book is 290x240mm, portrait. It is case-bound with a 'paper over board' cover with an image 'tipped on' to the cover. The 108pp text is printed on our Omnia 150gsm and the paper just looks and feels totally right with the images.
This beautifully art directed catalogue is designed and produced at the Halcyon Gallery. Designer on this project is Alfie Hunter and in his note to me about the project he says "In this case, I used Omnia hoping the uncoated feel would sympathise with the worn and reworked effect on the paintings without saturating the colour or compromising the clarity in detail of the artworks" ...well it certainly does that!

One or two spreads showing the artist at work:
The cover is traditionally bound to emulate the nostalgia of the 1950's America that the exhibition portrays. This is finished off with a rounded spine and to contrast, a bright head/tail bands to pick up the artist's injection of vivid colour which features throughout his work.
Print production is by Pureprint and is exceptional. The repro and printing is superb and the quality of the binding equally impressive.
The exhibition finished on 26th May, so unfortunately you will have to make do with the following link:
Posted by Justin Hobson 06.06.2014