Tuesday, 3 April 2018

Jobs from the past - Number 102

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 and here's one from 1997.

4th Estate
New Titles Jan-Aug 97
The Fourth Estate is a publishers that many people will be familiar with. Founded by Victoria Barnsley in 1984, Fourth Estate built a reputation as one of the most innovative and eclectic imprints in the industry, with a reputation for publishing a wide variety of critically-acclaimed and beautifully-produced titles including many prize winning authors (Booker, Orange etc).

One of the things that made the Fourth Estate stand out from the crowd was their catalogues - they were simply amazing pieces of design and print! I was lucky enough to work on a few different catalogues in the late 90's and early 2000's. Every single one was different and brilliant. Good designers were commissioned, Bogue & Hopgood, Instinct, Pentagram, Rose Design, Frost, Neville Brody, Tom Hingston to name a few. In line with their reputation for publishing unconventional yet innovative titles, the design of the catalogue was equally eclectic.

This was a one of these very distinctive catalogues. The major difference between this edition and the other catalogues is that this one is A4, portrait, whereas normally they were a more unusual format.
This catalogue is quite simply made up from an artwork of badly made photocopies, which have then been photographed on backgrounds or with appropriate objects.
Click on images to enlarge
The whole publication is printed in just one colour as greyscale - it's worth remembering that this is back in the days when one colour print was significantly cheaper than four color printing. The result is amazingly effective, as I hope you can see from these spreads....
Click on images to enlarge
The 4pp cover is printed on 250gsm and 48pp text on 120gsm. The paper used is our Neptune Unique SoftWhite, which is an uncoated off-white, smooth (yet tactile) text and cover paper - just the right material for black type to look brilliant on.
As you can see from the image below, the 48pp text on the 120gsm sits nice and flat, without 'gaping' in the middle of the book.
The below image shows the spread on the inside back cover, with the credits. Design is by Vince Frost and Derek Samuel at Frost Design in London. Photography is by Glen Erler and printing is by House of Naylor.
So, where is everyone now....

Victoria Barnsley, founder of Fourth Estate, joined Harper Collins as CEO and Publisher in 2000 when it acquired her company. These distinctive publications continued to be commissioned and produced for a few years after becoming part of a larger group. Sadly (and I guess it was just a matter of time) the Fourth Estate became a section within the Harper Collins specialist catalogue.

The House of Naylor went into liquidation in the early 2000's. Vince Frost left for the sunnier climate of Australia in the early 2000's and runs Frost* in Sydney. Derek Samuel worked in London and New York and has returned to his native Australia.

...and Fenner Paper? Yep, we're still here!

Looking through my pristine copies, it still looks and feels fantastic.

Posted by Justin Hobson 03.04.2018

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