Thursday, 30 June 2011

#the50 is coming to D&AD New Blood 2011

On Monday 4th July 2011, #the50 will be hosting an advice panel at D&AD New Blood 2011, bringing established creatives from all disciplines to talk to students one-to-one on all aspects of life-after-college. All organised by Jamie Wieck from Airside.

...and it struck Jamie that a paper merchant might be a good inclusion - so he asked me! The panel will be present for the entire day offering free advice and portfolio reviews for anyone who wishes to drop by (my slot is between 5-6pm)
Posted by Justin Hobson 30.06.2011

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Topman SS2011

Now hold on to your seats! ...this could possibly be one of the best jobs of the year!
This is the latest collection from TOPMAN. As you might expect from one of the Arcadia group's fashion concious male brand, this piece of literature is produced to the very highest standard with superb art direction, photography and print reproduction - and a few little tricksy surprises lurk within as well!
This lookbook is 280x350mm, portrait format which is just a lovely size - different (not uneconomical either) but just feels right for it's sub A3 and slightly squarer format. The piece has a 4pp cover and a 68pp text and is perfect bound.

For me, one of the joys of this piece of literature is the way it easily flows in the hand. Many designers will use a really heavy cover when producing a document with a substantial number of pages and this can cause disruption with the way the cover interacts with the text - it can be way too flicky!  The cover of this job is 200gsm - it is on Omnia, which is a bulky material, but it is the perfect weight. The cover is hot foiled blocked in gloss white foil. The 68pp text is printed on Omnia 120gsm which gives it that dead matt, tactile feel but with great reproduction - let the pictures do the talking...

...and here's for the surprise (well three of them actually). There are three smaller (310x230mm) right hand page "throw outs" with closer up detail shots. These are printed on our high gloss, one sided cast coated paper Astralux 115gsm. The images are printed on the gloss side and the uncoated reverse is printed in a flat solid cool grey.

and if that wasn't enought the whole book is inserted into a custom made capacity
envelope, also made out of Omnia 200gsmArt Direction and design is by Gill Patchett. Production is by Stephanie Johnson. Photographer is Boo George (at Streeters). Printing is by Ortek printers in Walsall and they have made a superb job of it - colour reproduction is fantastic - solid flat areas of colour work amazingly well as do the mono images - it is difficult for me to say too much more about it - the images speak for the job...
and a big thank you to Gill for sending me some file copies.
Posted by Justin Hobson 28.06.2011

DesignWeek - a newsworthy event

It was announced yesterday that the publisher Centaur Media is to axe the print editions of Design Week and New Media Age.

The last editions of the magazines are expected to go on sale this week, with both titles going online-only after that.

The "death of print" has often been mooted but it seems to me that there are more and more independent magazines starting off and setting up (in print) than ever before, it's curious as to why this is and why traditional publishers such as Centaur magazines are pulling away from print. This is especially strange given the parallel that the uber succesful blog, having run a great blog started to put it's work "in print". I guess the thing is that people only want to read good stuff, it doesn't matter whether it's in print or on line - if content is good people will want it.

Posted by Justin Hobson 28.06.2011

Thursday, 23 June 2011

GAP Corso Como

This piece is for a limited edition that links a US brand, soon debuting in Italy, with a concept store: GAP and 10 Corso Como. The launch was at 2011 Milan Fashion Week.

Garments and accessories are signature GAP, cotton t-shirts, hooded sweatshirts, canvas shopping bags.  The printed motif is the distinctive feature of 10 Corso Como: the pattern with the loops.

The "private view" invitation is for this launch is 145x103mm folding out to 595x415mm. It is formed by a poster which is concertina folded in both directions and then has heavyweight cards mounted on both the front and the back. Confused? ...hopefully the pictures will make it clearer!

The invitation is printed in just one colour using one of the GAP Corso Como collection images. The paper weight used is our lightweight Redeem 100% Recycled in 80gsm and the card mounted front and back is Flora Noce 350gsm.

Printing is by Absolute Ink who are based in Clapton in London and who work directly with many of the large brands such as GAP. Art director and designer on the project was Jonathan Baron working in conjunction with the in-house production team at Gap.
...and thanks to Jonathan for sending me some copies.

Posted by Justin Hobson 23.06.2011

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

2011 ISTD Student Assesment Scheme - Part 2!

Following on from my post yesterday about the ISTD Student Assesment scheme, I thought it might be of interest to readers if they could see one of the set briefs and an example of the way a finished piece looked...

You can read all the briefs on the ISTD website

Brief No 5: FLATLAND
With this brief we take a different approach. Rather than offer a theme that requires you to generate the content, we are directing you towards existing content – the Victorian (1884) novella Flatland by the English schoolmaster, Edwin A. Abbott. You will find a mass of references and the full text freely available online.

The Brief
Your task is to produce a proposal for a new edition of Flatland that doesn’t necessarily engage with the conventions of ‘the book’ as we understand them, although it may have text matter, pages and a cover – or not. It could be a pamphlet, a chapbook, a poster, a landscape, a happening, a dream, an installation, a text, a sound piece, an animation, a moment.

Interpret the text typographically – you can be as ambitious as you wish to be, but you must deal with the full contents of at least one chapter and show how the rest of the text would develop.
There are no restrictions, no conventions, no rules, no given formats. Static work, moving image, physical, virtual, ephemeral are all up to you, as is the navigation of the piece, its viewer/reader/user engagement, its scale, simplicity, complexity, composition. What can it become? There is a quote in the film Amadeus that says if you have four people talking at once, then that’s an argument . . .
if you have four people singing at once, then that’s Opera. Make an opera, not an argument !

Target Market
Define your market, and how you will target it, in your Strategy.

• Research and Development
• Strategy
• Specifications/Grid(s)
• Dummy/Prototype(s)
• Presentation

Tom Nurse is a 3rd Year student on the BA Graphic Design course at the University of Portsmouth and his tutor is Mike Harkins. Below are pictured Tom's interpretation of the above brief for which he was awarded a Pass at the awards.
Flatland - folded to finished size.

Flatland - partially unfolded

Flatland - fully unfolded

Flatland - detail
I know it's difficult to look at four pictures of any piece of work and make a judgement from it, especially as I can't reproduce the supporting presentation. I just want to comment that as well as being fully scrutinised from a typographical point of view, what really impresses me is that entrants must support the piece of work with a full type layout specification and when there is print involved, a written print specification as well. This is the sort of discipline which many courses do not seem to insist on and which is where many students are let down by not being taught some of the skills essential for the workplace. Well done to the ISTD and I hope they continue this scheme ad infinitum.

So congratulations to Tom on his Pass and if anyone is interested in seeing more of his work (or get him in to have a look at his portfolio...!) you can see more on:

[PS just in case you were wondering, this isn't a shameless plug for a member of my family, we're not related! He did however blag some Redeem 100% Recycled 80gsm from us for his presentation, so that also shows some initiative!]
Posted by Justin Hobson 22.06.2011

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

ISTD Student Awards

On Friday evening I was invited to the ISTD Student awards ceremony, held at the Design Museum in London. Erik Spiekermann (past president of the ISTD) presented the certificates to the successful students and tutors.
A wet June evening on the embankment

Although it was an extremely wet summer evening, as with all ISTD events it was a very warm and friendly event with drinks and food provided. The surroundings of the museum are impressive and entry to the Wim Crouwel exhibition was also included!

Erik Spiekermann presenting the awards
This awards ceremony is the culmination of the Student Assesment Scheme which is now in it's 36th year. This is both a tribute to the organisation and more importantly the people that run the scheme. The awards were introduced by Professor John McMillan who is the education officer and handed over to Erik, who talked and joked about being a German without a sense of humour in a very humourous way! He emphasised to the students his mantra of learn, learn, learn which is surely what makes this 60 something man such a dynamic individual.
ISTD Education Team
The speakers also emphasised that this is not a competition, it is an assesment scheme and that only a third of entrants are successful in gaining an award. It is a high bar but one that the education team are keen to maintain.

There are three levels of awards: Pass, Merit and Commendation. Universities and colleges from all over the country were well represented with the most number of awards going to Bristol.

I met Philippa Wood from Uni of Lincoln and Mike Harkins and Maaike Van Neck from Uni of Portsmouth who were all there with their students. Thanks in particular to Tom Nurse (Uni of Portsmouth) who took the above pics.

Crouwelclock app
Before the awards I went round the Wim Crouwel exhibition...

Wim Crouwel is a living legend of Dutch Modernism and this exhibition could not have been more appropriate at the time of these awards. There was a fantastic body of work on display from 1960's onwards and all displayed in a digestible and well layed out format. When you see all the work together it's easy to see what an undeniable influence on designers and design this one person has been and continues to be. (Pictures are courtesy of Michael Johnson's 'Thought for the Week' blog as I saw and took notice of the NO PHOTOGRAPHY signs, so I didn't take any myself!)
Intersesting to note that although the posters on display use colour, not one of them was a "four (process) colour" printed poster - that makes you think, doesn't it? Exhibition ends on 3rd July.

Thanks to the ISTD board for inviting me and congratulations to all the students who were awarded certificates.
Posted by Justin Hobson 21.06.2011

Friday, 17 June 2011

MD Flacks - Zitan catalogue

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

These objects are rare, valuable and extremely fine and this publication needs to reflect all these facets.
This catalogue is for the Zitan exhibition and is a combination of pencil illustrations and photography. Being the inventors of paper (and arguably printing!) the Chinese culture is very paper orientated. This piece of literature uses deliberately lightweight materials with transparency to work in sympathy with the cultural heritage of the subject matter.
The result is a tactile and visual experience which I'm afraid is impossible to translate into photographic images here.

Size is 225x310mm, portrait. Materials used are Virtual Clouds 160gsm for the dustjacket, wrapped around a StarFine Natural White 300gsm cover and the 32pp text is printed on our Offenbach Bible 60gsm.

Particular care has been taken over the print reproduction of these extremely fine objects. In many cases, these pieces 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 catalogue.

Design and Art Direction is by Ornan Rotem. Print production is managed by Robert Marcuson Bespoke Publishing.
Posted by Justin Hobson 17.06.2011

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Sebastian Magazine

Sebastian is a new biannual magazine from Shoreditch boutique Hostem. It's a beatifully conceived and put together publication - and this is one with a difference as each issue will have a new name - Sebastian exists for this one issue only.

The publication is a 160x240mm, portrait, perfect bound format with 4pp cover and 96pp text. The weight of the text and cover materials combined with the high page count gives it a 9mm spine giving the magazine a substantial, quality feel.

The publication is divided into ten features and as you can see from the pics above and below (courtesy of the design and imagery used throughout the magazine is diverse. The cover is printed on a little known paper of ours called Insize Modigliani in 260gsm - it's a "feltmarked" paper, which has a surface finish a bit like a traditional artists watercolour paper but this material has a coating which means it prints sharp detail. The editor of Magculture described it as "dimpled cover stock" which is rather missing the point but at least it got noticed!

The text paper used is our Redeem 100% Recycled 130gsm. 

Art direction is by Jonathan Baron. The editor is Matthew Holroyd. It's been well reviewed on the magazine design blog

Printing is by Pureprint who have made an excellent job of it given some of the very challenging images used.

Look out for the next issue but just don't look out for a magazine called Sebastian again!
Posted by Justin Hobson 15.06.2011

Monday, 13 June 2011

Dowling Duncan

Dowling|Duncan are anything but a conventional design company. The company was born out of the desire of two former work colleagues wishing to work together and the result is a pooling of resources by the two principals, John Dowling and Rob Duncan on either sides of the Atlantic.
The literature below is their first piece of promotional print in what has been a momentous year for the two D's. Not only have they celebrated their first year, but they have also opened a New York office in the Chrysler building. They now have offices in San Francisco, New York and Newark (UK).
The below piece is a simple 12pp folded affair in which the 8pp concertina folds into the last 4pp forming the cover. Size is 155mm x 220mm.
One side is almost entirely image based (pics above) while the other side is mailnly in black, demonstrating the marks and identities that they have completed (pic below)

The job is printed on our Omnia 200gsm which works just perfectly as the creasing and small (3mm) spine which enable the concertina to sit squarely in the cover is just right. Printing is offset litho in four colours and the printer is Gavin Martin. It was printed before they opened the New York office, so here's hoping for a re-print!

...and thanks to John and Rob for their note

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Halo 9

This is the latest issue of Halo which is the Central St Martins magazine for business published by University of the Arts London.
Central St Martins Innovation is an interesting concept, as part of the university which works with over 300 businesses.
This magazine is an interesting read; articles about Science and Art being reunited, CSM Students working with the Paralympic GB team (narrative environments) and of course a description of the new Central St Martins 64 acre (!) campus at Kings Cross.
The magazine itself is 210x270mm, portrait, saddle stitched with a 4pp cover and a 32pp text. The cover is an uncoated offset (250gsm?) and the text is printed on our Marazion Ultra 115gsm giving the publication a substantial feel without making it feel like a brochure.
Editor is Dani Salvadori, Director of Enterprise and Innovation at CSM. Printing is by Chapter Press.
Posted by Justin Hobson 08.06.2011