Monday, 29 November 2010

Forever Manchester

I just saw an article that there's to be an exhibition and sale of limited edition posters from prolific illustrator Si Scott at the Tarif Street Gallery in Manchester with proceeds going to local charitable community foundation Forever Manchester. The exhibition runs for two weeks and comprises series of 11 posters. Each uses as its focus lyrics from Manchester bands including The Buzzcocks, Elbow, Oasis, The Stone Roses, The Fall, The Doves and Joy Division. The unique typeface used in the pieces has been specially created by Si for the posters. Prices start from £100 with proceeds going to Forever Manchester.

Now I first met Si Scott way back in 2002 when he and Zoë Bather had just graduated. I didn't know them and they didn't know each other but they had individually won a D&AD competition to design the next issue of D&AD Ampersand magazine. The publication was then designed at Frost in London and Si and Zoë were literally thrown together for two weeks working with senior designer John Dowling at the Frost studio.

Well obviously things have moved a long way on from then! Si Scott is now ranked as one of the top 200 illustrators in the world. Zoë Bather worked at Frost in London with Matt Willey, they then established Studio8 which celebrates it's 5th anniversary this very week! congratulations all round!
Posted by Justin Hobson 29.11.2010

Friday, 26 November 2010

Crispin Finn 2011 planner

The lovely Anna Fidalgo from Crispin Finn has sent me this excellent 2011 year planner. It is a full 700x1000mm (B1) size and is hand printed, silkscreened in two colours.

Now rather sadly this year's planner is not produced on our Colorset 100% Recycled (as it was last year) because it came out more expensive than another recycled paper but she's promised to get back to us about the 2012 year planner and give us a crack at it again! I do hope so, as it's a really lovely job. So even though it's not on our paper, here it is:

...there's lots of other lovely stuff on the site, perfect for Christmas presents.
Posted by Justin Hobson 26.11.2010

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Rapha - Spring/Summer 2010

I put last years Rapha books which were shot in Norddal in Norway on the blog a couple of months ago but this is the pair produced for this year's Spring Summer season. The two publications I show here are part of the same set, both with photography taken by Ben Ingham in the South East of Sicily in the ancient town of Siracusa.

Firstly there is the lookbook which is a 4pp cover and 48pp text. The size is 150x195mm, portrait, perfect bound, produced on our Neptune Unique SoftWhite 250gsm and 155gsm. The natural shade gives this job a really classic feel and works really well with the four colour black and whites and the muted colours.
Now the above job is paired with a slightly larger job which is produced purely as a photographic piece, all printed in CMYK black & white and it is a beautiful piece of work. It is 170x225mm Portrait, has an 8pp cover and 16pp text and is "singer sewn" with a salmon colour thread. It is also printed on Neptune Unique SoftWhite but this time all on 250gsm. The cover illustration is the title page from a 10th Century depiction of the Siege of Siracusa.
The art direction and photography on these jobs is simply stunning and really seems to convey the quality and refinement of the Rapha brand.

The designer for both jobs is Ultan Coyle working for Rapha and the superb repro, print and finishing is by Orchid Print.
Posted by Justin Hobson 24.11.2010

Monday, 22 November 2010

This blog makes the top 50!

Best Blogs: Design is a chart of the most inspirational design blogs from around the world and part of the Best Blogs Network and believe it or not this very blog comes in at Number 50!
An initial top 50 has been compiled through a set of criteria that includes design and content, Alexa and Technorati ratings, Twitter followers and curation from an expert team alongside known industry insiders.
I've checked it out and it comes as no surprise that 'It's Nice That' is the current Number 1.

Anyway, I'm flattered to be on there  ...thank you! (and thanks to Alex Parrott for letting me know I was on there!)
Posted by Justin Hobson 22.11.2010

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Magnum 19|57

Now hold on to your seats! ...this could possibly be one of the best jobs of the year - and a job with a real difference!

19|57 is a new publication which represents the 19 photographers in the first part of a three part series showcasing the work of the entire Magnum collective (currently numbering 57, hence 19|57). This first book features a wide range of work from the likes of Indian photographer Raghu Rai, the powerful editorial work of Gilles Peress and iconic images by Thomas Hoepecker.
The size of the book is 120x170mm, portrait. The 8pp cover is simply hot foil blocked in matt white foil with a deboss on the reverse on Notturno 170gsm (yes that's right 170gsm - which most people consider too light for a cover but on a book this size with an 8pp cover, it's perfect). The text pages are printed on Omnia 120gsm and it is a great example of just how well Omnia prints, having said that images of this quality would look pretty good on anything!  The high bulk of Omnia gives this 96pp job a respectable 10mm spine which gives the book a nice chunky feel.

So what about this "job with a difference" that I mentioned at the start of this post, I hear you ask?  Well if you didn't notice, the pics of the spreads (pictured above) have something unusual about them, they are lying flat with perfect readovers - how come? 

Well this job incorporates a new 'Layflat binding' technique. It was important for this job in particular, which is designed to work as spreads and it works - it opens completely flat and open - and it doesn't fall apart. To be honest when you see a book opening as well as this, you have to question why anyone would use conventional binding ever again!  See the pics below:
Design is by Crescent Lodge. Creative Director is Lynda Brockbank and senior designer on the project is Andrew Collier ( ...who came up with the lay flat binding idea!) 

Print production, including the layflat binding, was handled by Push Print in London.

Luckily I was able to get hold of some copies of this piece and I posted out some this week (together with a new Omnia swatch), so one may pop on your doormat soon. If it doesn't arrive or you think I've missed you out and would like a copy, please drop me an e-mail and I'll see what I can do (first come, first served!) 

Posted by Justin Hobson 18.11.2010

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Crossing the Channel

This is an exhibition catalogue produced for the Gagosian Gallery in London for an exhibition held in the summer and it's just an exquisite piece of literature. The exhibition examines the cross-germination of ideas between London and Paris in the post war years focusing on the work and relationship of three artists, Francis Bacon, Lucian Freud and Alberto Giacometti.
The size of the catalogue is 216x268mm, Portrait. The cover is our Construction Blackstone 1500 micron which works as a "raw" uncovered cover. The title is printed on paper and tipped on to a plate sunk panel on the front cover - really beautiful attention to detail.
The text pages are a combination of Offenbach Bible 60gsm which are 'French Folded' (32pp) and the 'Work'section which is printed on Hello (not ours ...from Robert Horne). The end papers are printed on Omnia Natural 150gsm.
Much of the work is reproduced in four colour black and white and a great deal of effort has been made at repro stage to make these not too colourful, they are very monotone but incredibly rich. Colour seperations are credited as being done by a company called Echelon in Los Angeles.

The image below shows the way in which the binding works - a cloth spine with the Construction Blackstone mounted over the top.
Design and art direction is by Sinéad Madden and it really is a beautifully designed publication. The superb print and finishing is by Beacon Press.

Posted by Justin Hobson 16.11.2010

Monday, 15 November 2010

Horrible Logos

Logos for only $5! What a bargain. I've been sent this link by one of my blog readers who thought I'd enjoy this and yes I do. Truly dreadful logos but a truly brilliant idea. Have a look:
The site proudly states: "Drawing Bad Logos for beer money, since 2010" and is brilliantly awful. There's one thing which I'm sure a lot of you will appreciate - there are some clients giving feedback on the site who want their money back!
Posted by Justin Hobson 15.11.2010

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Whistles A/W 2010

This is another superbly produced lookbook for Whistles - Autumn/Winter 2010
The size is 235x290mm Portrait, saddle stitched. It has a 4pp cover (which is deliberately lightweight) on our Colorset (100% Recycled) Bright Red 120gsm which is printed in just one colour litho (black) with a 28pp text on Marazion Ultra 90gsm, so the whole job has a deliberately 'floppy' feel.
Many of the spreads alternate between CMYK in colour and four colour black and white images, and on some spreads there's even a completely blank page which creates a feeling of space. The background for the shoot is amongst London rooftops and it's a real pity that I can't show all the spreads here as the backdrop of high rise buildings is used to great effect.

Art Direction and design is by Simmonds Ltd. Photography is by Karim Sadli and Styling is by Francesca Burns. Print is by Push.
Posted by Justin Hobson 11.11.2010

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

You saw it here first!

Here is some truly excellent news! In the Summer I wrote about the Central St Martin's MA Communication Design show that I went to and about a few people's work that was very special, including a photographic book on Soviet buildings in Bulgaria.

Well,  last week one of those students, Kristina Kostadinova, was in New York at the International Photography Awards competition, otherwise known as the LUCIE awards collecting the  'Discovery of the Year' prize having won the historic/architecture photography award.  

Here are some of the images from her work titled: " AMNESIA; House of Bulgarian Communist Party"
For more information on the work, follow the link:

And here's Kristina after accepting her award.

Congratulations to Kristina on this fantastic achievement and I look forward to hearing about what she does next and where she goes on to work ...if anyone offers her a job, don't forget where you saw her first!
Posted by Justin Hobson 10.11.2010

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Alga Carta written about in the Financial Times!

A nice surprise last week was to find that Shiro Alga Carta had made it into the Life and Arts column of the Financial Times.
The full article (and recipe) is available on

The leaflet referred to, reproduces the recipe written by Elizabeth David in December 1969. It has been reprinted by Sally Clarke to celebrate the publication of 'At Elizabeth David's Table' in October 2010 and for the patrons of Clarke's Restaurant in Kensington, where a week is being devoted to recipes inspired by Elizabeth David.
The 132x210mm recipe leaflet was designed and produced by Simon Rendall and printed in two colours on Alga Carta, Avorio 160gsm. The device is illustrated by Jon Gray.

Shiro Alga Carta is a paper manufactured by FAVINI 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.
Posted by Justin Hobson 09.11.2010

Friday, 5 November 2010

Wrangler Bluebell - Fall/Winter 2010

This is the latest collection from Wrangler's premium men's line  - Blue Bell. As you might expect from their top range, this piece of literature is produced to the highest standard. Art direction, photography and reproduction is superb.
This project was produced in both an A3 format and an A5 format which is a bit ususual and a bit different. They both share the same images and number of text leaves - 24pp and are both singer sewn along the spine with blue thread. The text is printed on our Omnia 150gsm which gives it that dead matt, tactile feel but with great reproduction. Cover is printed on Colorset Nero 270gsm and is hot foil blocked in Blue metallic gloss foil.

Art Direction, design and production is by Studio Thomson. Both jobs have a fantastic feel - it is difficult for me to say too much more about it - see the images below, they speak for the job...
...and here we go for a bit of a plug!  - As you can see from the above images, there are lots of CMYK black areas - loads of ink going down and it looks great on the Omnia - I'm not going to use this a a platform to slag off other products, but there are one or two other papers on the market which people regard as being similar to Omnia - but there is no way that they print dark black images as well as Omnia and retain detail in the dark areas (in my opinion- but I would say that wouldn't I?)

The cover for the A5 version, has the addition of our Monoblack 1400micron board, mounted onto the front and back covers which gives the job a lovely solidity (click on image to enlarge):
Below: a close up of the singer sewing and the Monoblack, mounted on the cover.
The art direction is by Mark and Chris Thomson and the quality of the direction and photography (by Petrovsky & Ramone) is matched by the exceptional printing (and finishing) by Push.
Posted by Justin Hobson 05.11.2010