Friday, 30 July 2010

Just the cover makes the difference

Here's a job that is worth a look at because it uses paper to increase the quality and feel of the whole project. This is a piece of literature produced for care home, Headingley Hall in Leeds. The size of the job is 200x250mm portrait. What makes it a worth writing about is that it wasn't produced with a massive budget but the designer used our Omnia for the cover to give it a more tactile engaging feel. The gold hot foil blocking, also gives it a quality feel and keeps it miles away from the naff "glossy" brochure which is often produced for this type of publication. Having said that, the text paper is on a gloss art (which works well and fitted the budget) but the cover has already set the tone and feel.
Omnia on inside front cover working with the gloss coated on page 1:
Inside back cover spread with pocket
This is a good example of using a material for a part of a project which can just lift the whole look and feel and make a piece of literature special as opposed to being ordinary.
The job is designed by Bradford based designer Mark Starbuck and thank you for the note...
Posted by Justin Hobson 30.07.2010

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Pixels at Dawn

Here's a great poster printed on our Colorset which was given to me the other day by David Azurdia at Magpie Studio...

This is for an event described as a "Pub Debate" and organised between D&AD and Ravensbourne.

Designed by Magpie Studio. Silkscreened in two colours (black and white) by K2 Screen. Printed on Colorset Solar 120gsm. Size is 800mm x 570mm.

Posted by Justin Hobson 28.07.2010

Monday, 26 July 2010

V&A Illustration Award Winner

The V&A Illustration Awards are held annually to highlight the best book and editorial illustration published in the UK in the previous year. Their aim is to encourage, recognise and celebrate high standards of creativity in the industry. The awards are free to enter and offer some of the most substantial financial prizes for illustration in the UK. The awards are sponsored by the Enid Linder Foundation.

This years winner, announced at the awards ceremony held at the V&A is Sarah Carr, a designer at Here Design based in London. Not only is she the 2010 Illustrated Book Award Winner but also the 2010 Overall Winner!

Now sadly this particular project isn't actually printed on our paper (so that isn't why I'm writing this post!) but I've known Sarah and have worked with her over the years. Firstly at Pearlfisher shortly after she graduated from Kingston, then at Antidote (on the 'we are what we do' project) and most recently at Here Design which is where she is now a Senior Designer.

...and here's the write up from the awards publication:
"Sarah Carr's innovative and complete use of letterpress printing to form the illustrations of How to Drink immediately caught the judges' attention. The fact that only two colours are used throughout, and the stylised look of the illustrations in addition to the quality of the paper, kept bringing them back to touch and engage with the book. It was described as a 'friendly book'.

Carr took inspiration from the work of the Dutch artist and typographer H.N. Werkman: 'I tried to create images by abstracting theletterforms. The textured quality achieved in woodblock printing gives character and warmth to the print, which helps the illustrations feel lively and animated.'
'How To Drink' is published by Granta Books, London. The author is Victoria Moore. Text design and illustration by Here Design. Printed and bound in Italy by Legoprint.
Congratulations to Sarah for winning this prestigious award and to all at Here Design.
Posted by Justin Hobson 26.07.2010

Thursday, 22 July 2010

The Bury St Edmunds Eco-Fair

Fenner Paper took the new SHIRO range from FAVINI to the Eco- Fair held at Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk last weekend. We were invited to be involved by Green Party Councillor Mark Ereira-Guyer and organiser Paul Turner who is Fire Brigade Union Environmental representative who hosted the fair. Suffolk is aiming at creating the Greenest County (

Rather than just having a stand at a show with samples and swatches, my colleague Marcus, wanted to add another dimension! he decided to get the ingredients from the mill and using a hand-made paper frame made his very own version of "TREE FREE" paper! 

Sheets of Cotton, bagasse and Bamboo pulp were sent from FAVINI in Italy and after a few trial goes in the company kitchinette, Marcus eventually became an expert at making handmade paper. So he packed up his papermaking kit, bucket, whisk and sheets of pulp and set off for deepest Suffolk. Below is pictured the "stock chest"
...and below is the finished "Tree Free" paper drying on tea towels.
Although this was all jolly good fun, there are a couple of serious points: paper can be made from anything fibrous and it takes a huge amount of water to make paper in the first place (see size of bucket) although it should be pointed out that at a paper mill, after cleaning, it is returned to the environment. 

Alga Carta - made using seaweed and FSC virgin fibres
Tree Free - made from annual plants such as bamboo, cotton or bagasse (100% non-tree fibres)
Echo - made from 50% Post Consumer Waste (PCW) combined with 50% FSC virgin fibres.
Posted by Justin Hobson 22.07.2010

Tuesday, 20 July 2010


D8 is a creative agency based in Glasgow and Birmingham and I've worked with them over the last couple of years on some projects (...yes, even though we are based in the 'soft' South East!). This  project is for themselves and is the first issue of their own self published biannual magazine. It is a cracking job but has proved very hard for us to photograph! - especially the cover (below) which has a very unconventional wrap which is folded back on itself to give three equal vertical strips and then folded over the top and bottom of the front cover - I hope with that description, you can make it out...
Now I want to point out that this is actually a magazine and not a promo brochure trying to look like a magazine. There are some extra pages showing their work, but there are 36pp of solid editorial, including an excellent article by Adrian Carroll - "Is Apple killing design?"

Now from a paper point of view it does break my personal three paper rule, which is "never use more than three materials in a job unless there's a really good reason" In this case there is a good reason because of the way the materials have been broken up to work with specific subjects and the gloss coated as half page width dividers etc. To give you a quick run through, Cover: Omnia 280gsm Text: Brand X FSC, Starfine White 115gsm, Redeem 100% Recycled (also for the wrap) and Concorde Pure Brilliance 135gsm.

The print, which I have to say is excellent, is by Hay Nisbet Press in Glasgow.

Design was by everyone at D8! ...but I worked specifically with Stephen Cappello on the project - and thank you for the lovely note...
Posted by Justin Hobson 20.07.2010

Friday, 16 July 2010

Goldsmiths MFA

Maria Fusco is the Director of Art Writing at Goldsmiths where she runs the postgraduate programme - MFA Art Writing. This is the first year of
graduation, and they were organising a live publishing project at the launch of the show. Louise Ramsay from APFEL suggested she got in touch with me to suggest a suitable paper to use, which was nice - thank you Louise.

It was a student-led project in collaboration with the designers, Ken Kirton and Clare Acheson. The sheets were pre-printed on a RISO machine at a print collective based in Camden called Hato Press. The sheets were then overprinted on an A3 duplex laser printer at the show.
One of the designers involved, Ken Kirton:
Designer Clare Acheson:
The live publishing event in action:
The finished result printed on our new SHIRO Alga Carta in 90gsm:
It was a really good event and the Goldsmiths MFA students showed some truly amazing exhibits!

The only thing that was maybe a bit disappointing at Goldsmiths was the rather half-hearted effort they've put into trying to stop education cuts! ...neither high impact or attracting a crowd!
Posted by Justin Hobson 16.07.2010

Thursday, 15 July 2010

All Over the Place

This is an exhibition catalogue which uses an interesting choice of material to great effect. It is for an exhibition which is currently on at the University of Leeds until 27th August which is billed as 'drawings in response to considerations of place' and is a collaborative venture with a creative practice-led research network called Land2.  
Size of the job is 235mm x 290mm Landscape and is perfect bound. It has a 4pp cover,  48pp text printed on Omnia 280gsm and 150gsm. It is published and designed by The Caseroom Press in Lincoln. Design is by Philippa Wood and cover design is by Barrie Tullett.

The reason I said that this was a slightly unusual material choice is that most people use Omnia because four colour work is fantastic and that means that most projects that people consider it for are heavily photographic. Omnia was chosen for this job because some of the illustrations are very fine and maintaining the detail was very important but a tactile uncoated feel was still essential - so there you have it, Omnia was the answer!

Print is by Wyndeham Gait based in Grimsby.
...and thank you Barrie for sending me a couple of file copies.

Posted by Justin Hobson 15.07.2010

Wednesday, 14 July 2010


Last week I had the honour of being the very FIRST visitor to a newly established London studio called Interabang!

Ian McLean and Adam Giles have recently forged their new partnership in a spacious new studio in Rotherhithe (pictured below). Ian has freelanced at many different companies and our paths crossed when he was at NB:Studio. Adam has held full time positions at Zulver and most recently at Hat-Trick.

They have some exciting projects lined up and I wish them the very best of luck in their new venture...
and thanks for the tea and biccies!
Posted by Justin Hobson 14.07.2010

Monday, 12 July 2010


As most regular readers will know, I don't run this blog to 'flog' our papers and I rarely shamelessly plug our products ...but I'm going to now!  This is a launch of a new product range which we have put into stock called SHIRO. We are now the UK distributor of this new range from Italian manufacturer FAVINI. We have some spanky new swatches (below) and a mailer will be going out soon.
Favini is a paper mill based in Italy in Vicenza near the city of Venice. They have taken a lead in the utlisation of non wood pulps since the early 1990’s and they are the manufacturers of the SHIRO range. The complex issues of ecology and the environment have assumed an overwhelming importance for Favini over the last few years influencing manufacturing, quality and product development policies. The mill is pictured above and the paper machine is pictured below.
SHIRO is a range of environmentally friendly papers that is produced using carbon neutral electrical energy. It’s a total eco solution containing three different ranges each unique within their own environmental values.
The range is ideal for businesses with strong environmental policies and combines the very best paper-making innovation using renewable non-tree biomass, recycled waste and carbon neutral electrical energy. There are three papers in the SHIRO range: Alga Carta – Tree Free – Echo Recycled

SHIRO - Alga Carta
Alga Carta is a paper manufactured using polluting alga harvested from the Venice lagoon, combined with FSC certified fibres. Algae blooms at the end of Summer in the Venice lagoon as the warm water combines with pollution. The algae must be harvested to maintain the lagoon's eco-balance (circa 5,000 tonnes of wet algae is removed annually). The algae (seaweed) is used partly as pulp replacement but mainly as a filler and this accounts for its unusual smooth feel and the random specks.

SHIRO - Tree Free
Tree Free is a naturally different paper that uses fibres from annual plants such as bamboo, cotton or bagasse – it is made with 100% non-tree fibres – it is a naturally different paper – no trees!

SHIRO – Echo
Echo is the highest quality bright white and natural recycled paper. It’s made from 50% Post Consumer Waste (PCW) combined with 50% FSC virgin fibres. There are two shades, a bright White and a Natural and the weight range is from 90gsm up to 300gsm

Anyway that's the end of the commercial break!  - If you would like a swatch, drop me an e-mail: and as I mentioned earlier, there will be a mailing going out very soon...

Posted by Justin Hobson 12.07.2010

Friday, 9 July 2010

Craven College Prospectus

This is a really great piece of literature for Craven College. It's a quality prospectus with great photography and fantastic reproduction.

Size is 200x265mm. It has a 4pp cover and 152pp text and it also has a 8pp printed 'dustjacket' which gives this publication a really high quality feel.    
Design is by Leads Design (a division of L&K based in Leeds). Creative Director on the project was Lee Goater. Photography is by Kerry Harrison and Richard Moran.

It is produced on a paper that we supply on an 'ex-mill' basis. For those of you that haven't come across this expression before, it means that it's not a stock paper but is one that is offered to come direct from the paper mill straight to the printer. Often the paper is made to exactly the right size for the particular project. The paper supplied for this prospectus is an economical uncoated text and cover paper called TRUE FSC. It is 115gsm with a 300gsm cover. This paper was chosen to fit in with the budget and the environmental criteria.
The job was superbly printed by Team Impression. Four colour work and solids are superb.

...and thanks to Lee for the lovely note.
Posted by Justin Hobson 09.07.2010