Friday, 29 April 2011

Royal Wedding Day

Contrary to popular belief (and my april fool post) I won't actually be at the wedding today! However, to celebrate, I thought I would share this extremely collectable plate titled "cheers for the day off" by El Famoso Illustration!
Congratulations to the happy couple....
Posted by Justin Hobson 29.04.2011

Thursday, 28 April 2011

Pentawards 2011

Now you don't see much about pacakging on this blog, because apart from a few pieces of quite specialist stuff, we aren't really involved in mainstream packaging.  However, I thought it would be worth drawing you attention to an international competition called the Pentawards (, nothing to do with Pentagram!)

Pentawards is the first and (apparently) only worldwide competition exclusively devoted to packaging design in all its forms. It is open to everybody in all countries who are associated with the creation and marketing of packaging. The winners receive bronze, silver, gold, platinum or diamond Pentawards according to the creative quality of their work.
2011 entry is open up to the 20th of May. You can read more at:
Posted by Justin Hobson 28.04.2011

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Mad Hen - Case Study

This publication is the first in a series of "case studies" published by design company Mad Hen, who are based in Wales.

This case study is about Halen Môn Sea Salt which over the last decade has built up a profile as a premium, gourmet product.

The booklet is a saddle stitched, 12pp self cover, A6 (148x105mm) portrait produced on Omnia 150gsm.
Design is by Creative Director Sid Madge at Mad Hen. Omnia was chosen because the colour reproduction is superb as are the solids combined with the fact that this little job just feels 'special' - and as Sid says in his lovely note to me:  Omnia ...Yum!
It does occur to me that this is a great way of a design company getting it's own work out there. I know that these days, the emphasis is very much on websites but you still need to give a client a reason for looking at a site and a simple, clear precise publication like this is just the thing for thought!
Posted by Justin Hobson 26.04.2011

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

ISTD Typographic Awards - Call for entries

Over the last couple of weeks you may have received the very nice mailing, pictured below:
It is the International Society of Typographic Designers (ISTD) call for entries for the 2011 awards. The mailer is 145x195mm which folds out to a poster sized 390x580mm. It is printed in CMYK on one side only on our Offenbach Bible 60gsm.
Design and Art Direction is by Liam Bonar and Gilmar Wendt. It is printed by Gavin Martin.

Now the deadline is looming, so if you haven't got your entries ready, you'd better get on with it right now! they need to be in by 12th May 2011. There are 19 categories and the judges are Robert Boon, Simon Dixon, Tom Hingston, Lynda Relph-Knight and Astrid Stavro.

If you didn't get a mailer and would like to find out more about the awards, more details are available from

...and thanks to David Coates and the board for the kind note:

Posted by Justin Hobson 20.04.2011

Monday, 18 April 2011

Dorchester Collection 2011

This is the 2011 desk calendar for hotel group, the Dorchester Collection. It is a superbly produced calendar of the highest quality (as one might expect!)

The Dorchester Collection has a collection of hotels around the world from the Beverley Hills Hotel to Le Meurice in Paris to the Dorchester itself. Combined, the hotels boast 11 Michelin stars and it is the chefs (and the food) that are the stars of this calendar.

The size of the calendar is 148x200mm wiro-bound onto an extended "tent card" which is 25mm deeper.

The overiding feeling that you get with this piece is one of quality and prestige, which is down to the feel, quality of materials and processes used. The Calendar has been produced using a mixture of our Monoblack 1400mics (yes that's the black material - 1.4mm thick!) which makes a lovely sturdy tent and front cover. The cover is de-bossed and the tent card is hot foil blocked in a silver foil. The seventeen text sheets are printed on our StarFine White 170gsm and there is a 90gsm trace material interleaving the sheets. 
To celebrate the collections outstanding restaurants, photographer Joakim Blockström was commissioned to photograph each Michelin starred chef and signature dish in London, New York, Milan, Paris and Los Angeles. First and foremost it has to work as a functional calendar...
Design and (superb) art direction is by OMD Design and the Creative Director on the project was Chris Mettrick. The beautiful photography by Joakim Blockstrom ...and now we get to the print and production. This was a big project (65,000 copies in total) and required excellent print, finishing and logistics. It was produced by Gavin Martin and I have to say it is a really fantastically produced piece of print and finishing - for example the creases on the tent card have been "kiss-cut"  so they are really sharp and it sits up beautifully square, stable and erect. All in all it's a cracking job Grommit!
Posted by Justin Hobson 18.04.2011

Friday, 15 April 2011

Warner Music

This document is for a strategic overview of the brand partnerships for Warner Music. They represent such artists as Alesha Dixon, Cee Lo, Plan B etc. It is A5 format and saddle stitched. It looks and feels great and yet the run was only 200 copies!
The job was printed on an Indigo digital press by Spring and the print result is fantastic. It is printed on our Marazion Ultra 300gsm (4pp cover) with a matt lamination and our Omnia (FSC) 150gsm for the 20pp text. Although Omnia was not developed for digital, it has been "sapphire treated" by the printer. This treatment is often applied to more unusual papers and provides a "key" so that the inks (which are different to litho inks) work on the paper surface. The great thing is the job just doesn't look and feel digital.
Spring Imaging Solutions made a lovely job of producing this piece and the black wire on the saddle stitches (staples) are a really lovely touch!

The review was designed in house by Rhiannon Jones (who I actually first met when I did a talk at Lincoln University)
...and thanks to Rhiannon for sending me a file copy and a lovely note:
Spring Imaging Solutions:
Posted by Justin Hobson 15.04 2011

Thursday, 14 April 2011

A touch of Sunshine!

Here's a lovely identity for Spring-time!

This is an identity for a laser cutting company based in south London called "Cut Laser Cut". The identity has been based around two geometric shapes and our Colorset Solar which is a very bright (almost fluorescent) yellow.

The brand encompasses everything from signage to interior, but is all based around this vibrant yellow.
 Even the files follow the colour scheme...
Below are the business cards (on Colorset Solar, 270gsm) - and if you enlarge the pic you can see the semi circle which is hot foil blocked with a gloss clear foil.
Design is by Linda Byrne at Alphabetical Order. Printed literature was produced by Furnival Press and foiling was by Benwell Sebard. Ed Reeve photographed the images.

...and I recommend having a look at the CLC (Cut Laser Cut) website, they laser cut into some amazing materials:
Posted by Justin 14.04.2011

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

MD Flacks - Invitations

This is a series of invitations for New York gallery MD Flacks. It is a gallery that specialises in Chinese Furniture from the Ming and early Qing dynasties (17th – 18th Centuries). 

The invitations, which are sent to a very discerning audience, need to reflect the quality of the objects themselves. The four invitations pictured below are for four different individual exhibitions: Brush Pots, Zitan, Marble, Roots and Rocks.
Each invitation is A3 size folded to an A6 finished size, with a detail of each subject plus examples of the items printed on the open spreads. 
They are printed on our Offenbach Bible 60gsm and they are particularly beautiful. Particular care has been taken over the quality of the photography and print reproduction. These are extremely fine objects and in many cases have subtle detail, grains and texture which need to be seen and appreciated by the collector, so the reproduction achieved on the Offenbach Bible is of paramount importance to the sucess of this literature. The subtlety of the paper's weight is an equally important part of the project.

Design and Art Direction is by Ornan Rotem at Sylph Editions. Print is managed by Robert Marcuson Bespoke Publishing.
Posted by Justin Hobson 12.04.2011

Friday, 8 April 2011

Southwark Circle

This is a very interesting little job which is a membership/resource pack which was produced as a box within a box! The brief was such that a box which would have cards added to it over a period of time was required, but of course a box printed on a graphical board, even a heavy weight, can get crushed either in the post or in general handling. The solution was to build the job around a standard small brown corrugated mailing case that we keep in stock, which was silkscreened in just one colour.

So, how does it fit together? The size of the corrugated case is 165x223mm, with a 15mm capacity. The case is covered by a full length wrap, open at both ends printed in 2 colours only on Nptune Unique 250gsm. Inside the corrugated case is the main resouce box which is printed (again in just 2 colours) on our very solid Matrisse 450gsm. Inside the resource box is the main booklet, A5 portrait, self cover on Neptune Unique 160gsm, printed CMYK ...and with green coloured staples - a very nice touch!
The below pictures show how the package work in sequence:
Design is by James Ritchie at James Ritchie Design. This was a design job on a budget ( know what I mean!) so James coordinated the suppliers, so he could get the best value.

The Screen-printed capacity box with slipcase: Screen print by Atlantic Coast Studio based in Teweksbury (no website from them). The slipcase/wrap by Prom Print Digital in Cheltenham printed Indigo onto their house 300gsm uncoated - a run of 300! Tuck-flap box: printed by Granite, run of 1000 on Matrisse 450gsm board. 16pp booklet: printed by Granite, run of 1000 
...and a very nice thank you:
P.S. I should mention that further to my post about Granite in January, there is some good news:
they have since been acquired and merged into the Park Communications group ( They are now operating as a their own seperate entity (at the factory in Leigh on Sea) within a stronger and much larger group, so great news all round, especially for all the staff.
Posted by Justin Hobson 08.04.2011

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Jobs from the past - Number 18

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. So now all the April Foolery is over, here's the first serious post of the month...

V&A Annual Review 2001-2
This is the Annual (or bi-annual) review published by the V&A. It was an exciting time in the V&A's history as the new British galleries had just been opened in late 2001 and there was a lot of activity at the museum. Visitor numbers were up (breaking a record in 2002) and the outlook was extremely positive.

This review is 330x240mm, portrait, saddle stitched and is 4pp cover with a 28pp text. It is printed (as I recall) as a tritone - using a green, a grey and a black but with type also in a pale red (still a job using four colours).
It goes without saying that the V&A has an amazing collection of art and objects and this report makes the very best use of the subject with excellent art direction and photography.

The publication is designed by Johnson Banks. Creative director was Michael Johnson and the superb photography is by Philip Gatward. The above spreads convey some of the powerful images and space that has been created. The images work incredibly well in the tri-tone with rich, rich blacks and the muted red. The format works well with the material, the pages open nicely and it is pleasingly tactile.

The job was printed on our Neptune Unique (white) 250gsm and 135gsm. It was printed by a west London company called Fernedge (v.good in their day) who have sinced ceased trading. Pippa Redmond (Mustoe) who was MD at Fernedge, now runs the Kall Kwik franchise in Norwich! ( It is exceptionally well printed and still constitues one of the best samples on Neptune Unique that I have in my collection.

Posted by Justin Hobson 05.04.2011

Monday, 4 April 2011

April Fools...

As usual, there were some great April Fool's day gags around this year. John Dowling of Dowling Duncan forwarded the below spoof Creative Review article claiming that the use of non approved typefaces would be subject to a government charge in order to reduce the budget deficit.  It's a great piece of work and I particularly like the line "most of the regeneration of Shoreditch is built on the use of Helvetica"!
...and thanks to all those who wished me well on my invitation for the Royal Wedding, especially Pali at Johnson Banks who was first to spot it. I take my hat off to you all!
Posted by Justin Hobson 04.04.2011

Friday, 1 April 2011


Sadly, the below post (about the Royal Wedding) is an April Fool ...sorry!
Posted by Justin Hobson at 12.01 on 01.04.2011

Royal Wedding beckons!

This morning, I can reveal that I've been invited to the Royal Wedding on 29th April - how exciting is that!

...and as you can see below, I've already been for my morning suit and hat fitting (in the Fenner Paper van!)

Sadly, it's not because I have "blue blood" running through my veins, it's strictly a work related reason....

Most readers of this blog know that many people call me for recommendations about what materials to use, so I'm used to speaking to a wide range of people but even I was surprised when I received a call from Buckingham Palace!  Flight Lieutenant "Loof" Lirpa, the Prince's secretary and assistant, introduced himself by saying that I'd come highly recommended and he'd even checked out this very blog!

Due to security protocols, I can't reveal too much (or in fact anything) about the materials or processes used, or even the printer who did the job, so this isn't going to be a particularly revealing post - although I can say it's printed on a very white board.

As part of William and Kate's outreach programme, they wanted to invite some "ordinary" people and where better to start than some of the "tradespeople" who have been involved in all apects of the wedding and I was lucky enough to be one of the chosen ones.

Needless to say, I shall be checking out the paper used for the order of service sheets on the actual day!
Lady in waiting, Rt Hon. A.P. Rilf-Ool, sending out the invitations
...all I have to do now is remember the date!
Posted by Justin Hobson 01.04.2011