Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Baines & Fricker

Established in 2011, Baines&Fricker design and make furniture and accessories for the modern home and contract sector. Products are designed and made from their Brighton workshop using British materials wherever possible.

The swing tags for the furniture and accessories have been designed and produced by Emily Macaulay at Stanley James Press, a "Brighton based design company, specialising in the design and production of printed goods"

Photograph by Curtis James http://www.thisisbeyondwork.com/
The swing tags have been produced in just one colour on our Flora Betulla 350gsm and then punched and strung with a coloured skein.
Detail showing the stringing:
Click on image to enlarge
For those not familiar with Flora, it is a 50% recycled paper (and FSC accredited) with natural, deliberately visible, inclusions and fibres. It comes in nine different shades and has a character all of it's own! Below is detail showing the surface an inclusions:
Click on image to enlarge
This project is a superb example of choosing the correct stock for the job, adding minimal print processes and a lovely touch, such as the skein. A wonderful, simple, quality result. 

Design, Print and production by Stanley James Press

Posted by Justin Hobson 30.06.2015

Thursday, 25 June 2015

Johnson Banks 21 years #4

To mark their 21st birthday, Johnson Banks has produced a series of four brochures. Johnson Banks was established in 1992 and is now a studio which has an international reputation.  Previously I have written about 'Blue Chip and Commercial projects' 'Charity and Not for Profit' and 'Education and Government', so this is the last of the series.
I'm writing about each of the four brochures individually. This post is about 'the Cultural side'.  As you can see from the projects below, there is a fantastic body of work for museums and galleries, including the Science Museum, the V&A, BFI  and the promotional work for Parc de La Villette, a cultural park in North East Paris with whom JB worked with over a nine year period.
Posters for Parc de La Villette, a cultural park in North East Paris. showing work over a nine year period
Size of the publication is 148mm square with a 4pp cover with a 32pp text and is perfect bound. It is printed on our StarFine White 300gsm and 150gsm. The spine is 3-4mm thick. As you can hopefully see from these images, the printed result on this StarFine uncoated text & cover paper is superb. The whole project is all printed digitally on an HP Indigo press by Pureprint - simply a stunning printed result.
Outside back cover
StarFine is not a 'digital' paper but it has been "sapphire treated". This treatment is a pre-coat and is often applied to more unusual papers and provides a "key" so that the inks (different to litho inks) adhere to the paper surface. If you would like to know more, you can read about it here:
This project doesn't have a 'digital' look and feel like many digitally printed projects in part, due to the materials chosen.

Creative director is Michael Johnson, designers on the project being Kath Tudball and Julia Woollams.
Posted by Justin Hobson 25.06.2015

Monday, 22 June 2015

Drygate Brewing Company - Limited Edition Packaging

Click on images to enlarge
This is one of the most innovative and beautiful projects to have appeared on the blog so far this year ...in my opinion!

Drygate Brewing Company is a new craft brewery based in the east end of Glasgow and they celebrated their first birthday on May 29th, marking the occasion with a small-batch birthday brew. Working with D8, who had also created the brand identity and packaging for Drygate's core range of beers, they partnered up with graduates of The Glasgow School of Art to create beautiful hand-wrapped, individually designed and signed packaging.
The six Glasgow School of Art alumni are: Fran Caballero; Rae-Yen Song, Isabella Widger, Paul Flynn Brady, Alice Hoskins and Matthew Bainbridge.
D8 worked to create unique packaging that would also reflect Drygate’s philosophy and values. The brewery believes in open, fearless brewing to achieve the exceptional, and the spirit of collaboration has always been one of their main characteristics.
There are 350 editions of six hand-signed artworks. Each is printed offset litho onto our Offenbach Bible 60gsm. The sheets are then hand wrapped around the 750ml bottles, sealed with a branded roundel and a tag held with string is tied to the neck of the bottle to secure the wrap.

As the review on the packaging design website the Dieline reports...
"The idea is perfect for a birthday beer, allowing beer enthusiasts to open the gift of an amazing brew! The illustrations used on the “wrapping paper” are incredibly special and unique, coming from artists in the community, and they offer variety and individuality among the limited amount of this exclusive libation. The concept can also expand and be used for future brews, utilizing the same bottle style and different artworks, designs, and ideas for the outer wrapping"

Offenbach Bible is the perfect paper for this project, as it is light enough to be easily wrapped around a bottle, has an almost 'tissuey' feel and yet prints amazingly.

Creative direction and design is by D8 and the project was handled by Stephen Cappello. The bottle wraps are printed by J Thomson Colour printers, based in Glasgow.

All in all this is a most engaging piece of branding and packaging. A superb creative solution, beautifully executed and printed.

Posted by Justin Hobson 22.06.2015

Thursday, 18 June 2015

Today is Waterloo Day!

Today is the the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo, a vital turning point in world history. The battle started at 11.30am and ended at 8.30pm, a bloody battle with 44,000 casualties and over 10,000 horse dead. This was the last major battle before the invention of photography and so what we are left with is the media of the age: eyewitness accounts, hand drawn maps, sketches, paintings and of course, artefacts.  This was a battle which for good or ill, set the course of European history until the First World War and still shapes the world we live in today. The names Wellington and Napoleon and to a lesser extent Bl├╝cher are still well known, popular history, mainly because of this major land battle in a small corner of Belgium exactly 200 years ago today.
I have been fortunate enough to have been involved in an amazing limited edition publishing project by independent publisher Extraordinary Editions. This major publication is an amazingly detailed account of the battle with much new and previously unpublished information about the battle. It has over 500pp and has a huge number of special production features, including leather casebinding, gilt edging, coloured end ribbons to name but a few.... 
It is printed on our lovely Modigliani Neve 145gsm, which has a subtle feltmarked texture in a neutral white shade. Printing is by Pureprint.

I will write about this truly historic publication in a longer article when I have all the information together, however in the meantime, you can read more about it here:
Posted by Justin Hobson 18.06.2015

Monday, 15 June 2015

What is ...PUR Binding?

What is ...Number 18
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 ...PUR Binding?
Brochures, paperback books, hardcover books and magazines with a sqaureback and a thickness greater than around 5mm will be bound using either glue (perfect bound) or thread and glue (section sewn). In the early 1990's a new development in adhesive technology changed the strength and therefore the reputation of perfect binding forever.

Section sewn binding has been around since books were first produced - using different types of glue as times changed. Section sewn binding is still regarded as the best and strongest as it relies on both thread and glue. Perfect Binding (glue only) has always been regarded as weaker and less durable (...remember all those magazines and paperbacks where pages have fallen out?)

In the early 1990's, a new type of adhesive was developed. This adhesive is called Polyurethane Reactive Hotmelt and is known as PUR. As the name hotmelt suggests, the glue is heated and applied hot. This new adhesive involves a chemical reaction between the glue and moisture in the atmosphere and paper to give a much greater strength and flexibility than using normal glue. The finished bound books reach their optimum strength 24 hours after binding.

There was a bindery close to us called Tonbridge Trade Binders (TTB) which was the first bindery in the UK to install the tanks to handle PUR glue on their binding line, this was around 1995. Unfortunately TTB closed down about ten years ago but many trade binders now have PUR systems.
PUR binding is very strong but one of the limitations in the early days was that it was only suitable for longer runs, which I believe was to do with the time it took to set up the machinery, these days that isn't the case and there are PUR machines that can do small runs.
...for example, below is an image of the BB3002 PUR binding line by CP Bourg, a machinery manufacturer based in Belgium. It's representative of the relatively small machines now available, many of which are being installed by printers in house.
Today PUR binding is highly regarded and is many customer's preferred binding method.

Posted by Justin Hobson 15.06.2015

Thursday, 11 June 2015

Ted Baker - Take the Lead

Ted Baker is one of the UK's leading clothing brands. The label has become a desired brand through engaging with customers through the "words of Ted" using interesting themes and stories for its marketing.

Titled "Take the Lead" this publication showcases the Autumn/Winter collection and is set in the auditoriums and backrooms of dance halls and rehearsal rooms.

"From the Mambo and Tango right through to Fandango, Ted can out-Fred then nimblest Astaire and to celebrate, his Menswear and Womenswear collections are dancing cheek to cheek to create a thrilling display of rhythm and electric blues. Ted has choreographed a luxurious Womenswear clothing and accessories collection for Autumn/Winter, effortlessly combining vintage-inspired floral prints in a layered and lavish palette of pinks. His continued love affair with the1950s has also created an ultra-feminine look to ensure all ladies become belles of the (mirror) ball."
This publication is A5 (210x148mm) portrait with 4pp cover and 96pp text and is perfect bound. The book is printed offset litho in four colour process.
The paper used throughout is our lovely Omnia text and cover range - 280gsm for the cover and 120gsm for the text. As you can see from the images, there are dark colours and images with CMYK dark areas (Autumn/Winter colours) - lots of heavy ink coverage going down and it looks great on the Omnia, reproducing those bright vibrant colours, whilst retaining detail in the dark areas as shown in the image below. Flat, matt and tactile. 
Below is the opening spread of the brochure. The inside front and back cover are printed in one colour, offset litho in metallic gold.
Below is detail of the pattern and the great thing about metallic inks on Omnia, is that they actually look metallic!
Click on images to enlarge
Another stunning thing to point out is the detail that is retained in the images, both with the details of the accessories and also fleshtones...
 ...as can be seen with the image of these legs and shoes!
The superb printing is by Absolute Ink who are based in East London. The publication is perfect bound and has a 9mm spine.
Design and art direction is by the in house team at Ted Baker. A superb piece of art direction and design resulting in a superb piece of print.

Posted by Justin Hobson 11.06.2015

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Gorse Hill Brochure

Gorse Hill is a prestigious North Wales Holiday Home Park in the heart of the Conwy Valley in North Wales. Located at the edge of the Snowdonia National Park there is breath-taking scenery from the beautiful North Wales coastline, to hills and valleys and the nearby marina.

This brochure is part of the branding project produced by Conwy based design studio View Creative Agency.  New branding has been applied to a range of promotional communications including carrier bags for use at events, and this corporate brochure.
Size of the brochure is A4 (210x297mm) landscape. It has a 4pp cover which is produced on our Colorset 100% Recycled, Dark Grey 350gsm. I was originally contacted by Nicky Howard at View for a deep grey shade as they couldn't find exactly the colour that was right, so I sent Colorset and it turned out to be just right!
The 12pp text is printed offset litho in CMYK on a 170gsm 'house' silk coated paper and the majority is covered in a gloss UV varnish, to great effect. As you can see from the image below, it had to be a Landscape format document...
The outside cover is hot foil blocked in two colours, white and bright yellow and the quality of foiling and print is excellent.
Click on image to enlarge
Branding and design is by View Creative Agency (VCA) in Conwy.  Printing is by Zenith Media based in Tonypandy.
Posted by Justin Hobson 09.06.2015