Friday, 13 September 2019

Victorian Blogging exhibition

Yesterday evening, the opening event for the exhibition titled Victorian Blogging opened at the Conway Hall.

Conway Hall is the oldest surviving freethought organisation in the world. The only surviving ethical surviving ethical society in the world, it is named in honour of Moncure Daniel Conway (1832 – 1907), anti-slavery advocate, out-spoken supporter of free thought and biographer of Thomas Paine.
The exhibition is about the humble Pamphlet, the original type of blog. Since the invention of the printing press in the fifteenth century, pamphlets have been used for a variety of purposes – from reports of meetings and court cases to reproducing political speeches, from spreading religious messages to spreading gossip and tall stories – but their great strength lies in the weaponry of their words for political and social protest. Where previously the political elite had been able to easily keep information from the masses, pamphlets opened access to ‘ordinary people’, enabling them to begin to criticise their political and religious masters and demand involvement in the decisions that affected their daily lives.
This exhibition will showcases the key campaigns, movements and agitators represented in Conway Hall Library’s nineteenth-century pamphlet collection. It is part of the Conway Hall's National Lottery Heritage Funded project to digitise the pamphlets and make them freely available online.

This is the publication that accompanies the exhibition. It's an 18pp concertina folded publication, size is 104x146mm, folding out to 308x438mm.
It is digitally printed on our Redeem 100% Recycled 100gsm and as you can see, the result is superb. The paper is uncoated with a neutral white shade giving the publication a feel which really works with the subject and is sympathetic with the period.
Design is by Gareth Humphreys. Digital printing is by Typecast Colour in Paddock Wood.

You can read more about the exhibition which runs until the end of January here:

Posted by Justin Hobson 13.09.2019

Tuesday, 10 September 2019


The Playbook of Form is notebook style publication produced for Accenture. Size is 210x137mm portrait with a 4pp cover and 108pp text and is PUR bound, the spine is 9mm thick. On the outside cover and on the spine, it is hot foil blocked in two colours with foil supplied by Foilco. The cover is printed on Zeta Hammer, Brilliant White 350gsm.
Being an internal publication, it isn't appropriate to show you the inside text pages, suffice it to say the job is printed in three colours (purple, blue and black) offset litho. the majority of pages are just printed as squares for writing notes...
The 108pp text is printed on Shiro Echo, Bright White 120gsm, which is our 100% recycled paper with FSC accreditation.
Spine is 9mm, below image shows the PUR binding...
Print and hot foiling is by Identity Print, based in Paddock Wood with Paul Martin handling the project.
Posted by Justin Hobson 10.09.2019

Friday, 6 September 2019

Assila Hotel, Jeddah

Offering a rooftop outdoor pool and spa center, the Assila Hotel, part of the Rocco Forte hotel group, is located in Jeddah in the Makkah Al Mukarramah province.

This superb brochure for the hotel, reveals the new Rocco Forte branding by Pentagram.

The format is A5 (210x148mm) portrait and is saddle stitched. The 8pp cover is printed and foiled on Dali, Perla 200gsm and the 36pp text is printed on our Marazion Ultra 135gsm.
Click on images to enlarge
Below shows a detail image of the 8pp cover showing the full width flaps.
The book is written and produced entirely in arabic and therefore it opens at what we in the west consider to be the back, so the image below shows the inside front spread.
The material used for the cover is our Dali range, which is a 'felt-marked' paper with a linear effect and a natural, tactile feel. If you click on the image below, you will be able to see the texture in the paper.
The 36pp text is printed offset litho on our Marazion Ultra 135gsm, chosen because of it's dead matt flatness which would reproduce the interior images well without a glossiness which would detract from the cool look and feel of the hotel.
Inside back cover with cover flap opened...
Below image showing that it sits nice and flat without 'gaping' in the centre of the spine.
The excellent print, repro and finishing is by Gavin Martin Colournet, based in London.
Posted by Justin Hobson 06.09.2019

Monday, 2 September 2019

Jobs from the past - Number 119

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 2002. 

Fourth Estate Catalogue 
July-December 2002
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 is a particularly distinctive catalogue, printed in just one colour - white onto a black paper and board...
The effect of printing it onto black paper, means that the edge is a solid black and the white silkscreen ink looks really white and jumps off the page. Below shows the black edge.
The design and art direction is by Vince Frost with the superb illustrations by Marion Deuchars. This is a very special project where the creative direction, excellent execution of the images and high production values all come together.
Click on images to enlarge
The size of the book is 225x160mm, portrait. It has an 8pp cover and a 72pp text. The 8pp cover has full width flaps (148mm wide) which you can see in this birsdseye image here...
Click on images to enlarge
It is printed on our Colorset Nero (100% Recycled) 270gsm and 120gsm. Some of the pages towards the back of the publication are just listings, which again are superbly printed given that it is silkscreen ink, which cannot print as finely as litho.
Click on images to enlarge
 Detail showing the quality of the type reproduction:
 The spine measures 7mm...
 The 120gsm text weight flows really nicely...

Design and art direction is by Vince Frost. Illustrations by Marion Deuchars. The print production was undertaken by Lauren Displays in Ayelsford in Kent and they made a superb job of it.
So, where is everybody now?....
Victoria Barnsley, founder of Fourth Estate, joined Harper Collins as CEO and Publisher in 2000 when it acquired her company, leaving in 2013.
The silkscreen printer, Lauren Displays, have been taken over and are now part of the DS Smith Group.

Marion Deuchars is a very popular illustrator and works through the Heart Agency in London.

Vince Frost left for the sunnier climate of Australia around eighteen years ago and runs Frost* in Sydney.

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

Posted by Justin Hobson 02.08.2019

Thursday, 29 August 2019

Abandoned Time Capsule Paper Mill

Robert Fletcher company logo
I recently discovered a video on you You tube about an abandoned paper mill which is absolutely fascinating.

The paper mill, based on the outskirts of Manchester was called Robert Fletcher. The mill was established in the 19th century and you can read more about the history and the mill site here. We used to buy from this paper mill in the 1990's and they specialised in the production of thin printing papers for books and directories.
The mill closed literally overnight in June 2001. The workers were called to a meeting saying the mill was closing and told to go home. It is in exactly the same conditions as when the workers walked out eighteen years ago.

Below shows the dust covered boardroom table...
Forklifts in a row look like they were parked there yesterday.
This is a fascinating insights into the site of a paper mill and shows just how huge a paper mill (with three paper machines) is. The team at Urbandoned, who specialise in taking videos of abandoned buildings and sites have done an excellent job and this twenty minute video is fascinating. You can watch the video here...
Images used taken from Urbandonedteam, with grateful thanks.
Posted by Justin Hobson 29.08.2019

Monday, 26 August 2019

The Dark Self

Shown at York St Mary's in the city of York, Susan Aldworth’s exhibition The Dark Self was inspired by her research into sleep during her three year residency at the University of York working with neuroscientist Professor Miles Whittington and art historian Professor Michael White.

This is the supporting literature, which is a single piece of paper but which folds down in a most interesting way, forming a diagonal fold.
The finished size is 210x120mm and is folded so it forms this 8pp format as you can see from the birds eye view below...
...and below shows the way the text concertina's into the folded spine.
Below shows it folded out flat.
Images showing the way that the diagonal fold works
The publication folds out to a finished size of 420x600mm (see below) which as I mentioned previously folds down to a size of 210x120mm - which actually makes a 20pp, however as the front and back cover has the fold, it's probably more accurately described as a 16pp - it's a very clever fold indeed!
Monoprint by Susan Aldworth 2017

It is printed offset litho in just two metallic colours - silver and gold, the gold only featuring on the Monoprint image above. One of our black paper ranges, Notturno 110gsm was chosen as it is a bit smoother than other black ranges and is lightweight enough (but not too light!) to perform the tricky fold. Below shows the detail of the front cover and the type in the silver which works superbly.
The literature concept and design is by Valle Walkley. Print and finishing is by Calverts.
Posted by Justin Hobson 26.08.2019