Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Print does have value!

Now, I've not come across many promotional pieces from printing companies in the past that are coveted, let alone put up for sale!  However, a copy of the recently produced photographic book from London print company Push has been put up for auction on e-bay!

This beautifully produced, limited edition book, with photography by Peter Guenzel records the journey of Push's new Heidelberg press from Germany to their factory in London.

Book design is by Studio Thomson. Photography by Peter Guenzel ...and unsurprisingly it's printed by Push on their spanky new press!

You can read more about it on the ebay post:

I was fortunate enough to receive my own copy, so I won't be joining in the bidding but it'll be interesting to see how much it goes for!

Posted by Justin Hobson 28.02.2012

Friday, 24 February 2012

BERG at St Bride

Following the highly successful Critical Tensions conference last November, St Bride Foundation is pleased to welcome Timo Arnall and friends to a talk about the design studio BERG.

"A growing and significant amount of design work takes place in systems, software and electronics. But these technologies are increasingly abstracted and black-boxed, so how can designers engage with these things meaningfully? How might we be involved in developing, critiquing and reflecting upon complex, opaque and invisible technologies?"

"Over the last four years BERG have produced a series of films exploring and explaining emerging technologies, building models and materials for understanding and invention.
Timo Arnall is creative director at the design studio BERG in London and a research fellow at the Oslo School of Architecture & Design. Timo has been making films, designing digital products, and researching emerging technologies for 15 years"

The lecture is on Wednesday 21 March 2012 at 7pm in the Bridewell Hall, St Bride Foundation London EC4.

The price is a very reasonable £12.00 (concessions for Students and Friends of St Bride Library available). You can book at: http://bergatstbride.eventbrite.co.uk/

PS - just an extra little note from me - if you haven't seen it, these are the guys that have developed the "Little Printer" have a look (and do watch the video!): http://bergcloud.com/littleprinter/

Posted by Justin Hobson 24.02.2012

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Pretty Green

 There's a really good interview with Dave Uprichard on the new Principal Colour blog about the new 2012 look book for Liam Gallagher’s clothing brand Pretty Green.

It’s inspired by the British music scene of the 60s & 70s, the format is an LP size (that's 12” square!) with a black slipcase to echo a record sleeve - all produced on our Colorset Nero 270gsm with some lovely foiling.

There's no point in me re-writing Amelia Gregory's excellent interview with Dave, so please have a peek for yourself....

Posted by Justin Hobson 23.02.2012

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Relish the Rib-Tone!

This is a lovely set of menu literature developed for "destination" restaurant, RELISH at the new Radisson Edwardian in Guildford.

Relish's ‘best of British' philosophy makes the most of their fresh produce. Ingredients are honest, of exceptional quality and always in season and the restaurant design, materials, layout and literature have been developed to reflect this.

Our Rib-Tone 2 sided 340gsm which has a natural brown shade and feint rib, was chosen to produce the menus, wine list, cards and bill holder wallets. The identity was printed in three colours, silver, black and a special brown. The wine list and menus are A4 size in a 4pp format, the cards are 85x55mm and the bill holder wallets are A5 portrait with a simple glued pocket.

Art direction for Relish is by Scott Wittman of the Gorgeous Group. The artwork production is by Suzanna Reed of Reedesigns.

Print was handled by Jason Maclaren at Cantate  ...and a couple of extra points worth noting about this project from a printing point of view:   The silver used in the image (wire around jar) is printed in high lustre base silver (www.color-logic.com) which has given an excellent, truly metallic result. The other thing is that the board has been sealed with an "Aquaseal" which is a watermissable triseal varnish, which although not making a noticeable difference to the surface of the paper, will offer some protection against fingermarking in the restaurant environment - good thinking!
...all in all, it's just the perfect choice of material.

Posted by Justin Hobson 21.02.2012

Friday, 17 February 2012

e-Bay Fashion Outlet

Design for online applications doesn't get too many column inches on this blog as it's mainly about paper based communications, but when the online world turns to print, I get interested!

London based design company, The Grid, created launch materials for eBay's Fashion Outlet in the UK communicating with press, bloggers and across social media channels.

eBay's Fashion Outlet aims to be an accessible experience, to be a fashion destination - not about fashion on the catwalk but about real and attainable style.

So with this in mind, The Grid, working with eBay creative director Andrea Linett, produced a lookbook shooting two well-known fashion bloggers - Sandra Hagelstam & Jennifer Inglis, as the models. Photography is by Damon Heath from Lula mag.

Size is 295x195mm, portrait, saddle stitched. It has a 4pp cover printed on Omnia 320gsm with a 36pp text on Omnia 150gsm. The job was a limited run of 250 copies and was printed digitally on a Xerox 1000. You may have spotted from the pics that there's an 8pp 'dustjacket' - which was litho printed (because the format was too large for digital) which was also printed on Omnia 200gsm - and as you can see from the pic below, the saddle stitching was covered up by a 4mm square "spine" formed on the dustjacket by parallel creases. Very simple and effective.
Creative Director at The Grid is Johnathan Collins and the designer on the project is Lewis Dace. Print is by Bermondsey based printer Scanplus (Dan Cattle). 

Jennifer Inglis - Style Crusader blog: http://www.thestylecrusader.org/
Sandra Hagelstam - Five inch and up blog: http://5inchandup.blogspot.com/
Damon Heath Photography:http://damonheath.com/
Posted by Justin Hobson 17.02.2012

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Picasso and Modern British Art

Pablo Picasso
The Three Dancers 1925
Tate © Succession Picasso/DACS 2011
This Monday I was invited to the press view of this major new exhition at Tate Britain. Unfortunately I was unable to go but it certainly requires a mention here...

"Picasso and Modern British Art explores his extensive legacy and influence on British art, how this played a role in the acceptance of modern art in Britain, alongside the fascinating story of Picasso’s lifelong connections to and affection for this country.

It brings together over 150 spectacular artworks, with over 60 stunning Picassos including sublime paintings from the most remarkable moments in his career, such as Weeping Woman 1937 and The Three Dancers 1925.

Picasso and Modern British Art is the first exhibition to trace Picasso’s rise in Britain as a figure of both controversy and celebrity. From his London visit in 1919, working on the scenery and costumes for Diaghilev’s ballet The Three Cornered Hat; to his post-war reputation and political appearances; leading up to the phenomenally successful 1960 Tate exhibition.

Full of beautiful and inspirational artworks, this exhibition is an unmissable treat and a fascinating insight into how British art became modern"
Pablo Picasso Nude Woman in a Red Armchair 1932
 © Succession Picasso/DACS, London 2011. Tate
The exhibition is on from today until 5th July 2012.
...and thanks to the Tate press office for inviting me.

Posted by Justin Hobson16.02.2012

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Mythology from Annoushka

This is one of the teeniest little jobs that I've worked on! It is only 64mm square. It is a piece of literature for boutique jewellery brand, Annoushka. The job is made up of 16 individual leaves in CMYK plus 2 extra leaves of trace paper printed in one colour with the original design illustrations of the jewellery range. The whole thing is held together with a brass rivet on which the pages spin round.
It is printed on our lovely Omnia 120gsm which reproduces the gold and amulets beautifully. The other thing worth pointing out is that when I was discussing the project in the early stages with the designer, I was able to make up a dummy ....because we have a riveting machine in our sample room - how about that!

Designer on the project is Jennifer Campbell-Colquhoun. Printing (...and the tricksy little rivets!) is by Push.
Posted by Justin Hobson 15.02.2012 

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Linotype: The Film

Now I'm not a great one for reading film reviews, but here's one that I found tucked away on the Printweek.com site which I read with great interest....

Review - Linotype: The Film

Published in PRINTWEEK  By James Chase  Thursday, 09 February 2012

Tucked away from the roar of the Super Bowl, a rather more unassuming event is taking place on New York's 23rd Street - the world premiere of Linotype: The Film. This narrative may be comparatively modest but its subject was world-changing:

It’s Friday night in the Big Apple and Super Bowl weekend is underway. Local heroes the New York Giants are preparing for battle against perennial foes the New England Patriots in Sunday’s big showdown and the whole place is buzzing

Meanwhile, down on 23rd Street, a much smaller crowd, of maybe 250 hardcore fans, is assembling for a very different occasion. But their enthusiasm, passion, loyalty and commitment is no less intense. If any of them gives a damn about the Super Bowl at all, they don’t show it.

Tonight, the School of Visual Arts Theatre is hosting the world premiere of Linotype: The Film and, in the first of the evening’s many thrills, Steven Heller takes the stage for the opening remarks. Author, curator, lecturer and an art director of The New York Times for 33 years, Heller is something of a typographical cult hero in these parts. They lap him up.

Just five words in and, already, I am out of my depth. "Is Etaoin Shrdlu here tonight?" Heller asks. Immediately, around a third of the audience squeals with delight and – just like that – the tone is set for the rest of the evening. Etaoin Shrdlu spells out the first two rows, or rather columns, of keys on a Linotype machine. They represent the most common 12 letters of the English language, in approximate order of popularity. Apparently, one of the more common outcomes of the "90 or so things that can go wrong with a linotype machine" was the rogue appearance of these two words in a row of printed type. Mr Shrdlu, it seems, has long been a part of typesetting folklore, and don’t this lot just know it.

If nothing else, it’s a reminder that we’re here to see a movie about a machine. Don’t worry – as terrible as that might sound, turns out it’s brilliant.

There are really only three things you need to know about the Linotype machine. One, it’s pretty much the most complicated thing ever invented. Two, it completely transformed our society. And three, few folks outside of SVA Theatre tonight are aware of that. Or, as the film’s director and producer Doug Wilson put it in the Q&A session following the film, "The more I learned how it impacted the world, the more I was surprised that none of us knew about it."

But once you do know about it, it becomes a source of frustration. The story goes like this: in 1886, Ottmar Mergenthaler, a German watchmaker, invented a machine that enabled lines of type to be set six times faster than by handsetters. Printers went from talking "minutes-per-line to lines-per-minute," says one of the film’s subjects. Guess what? It revolutionized mass media communication, generating huge demand for print, driving down the cost of newspapers and spawning a gigantic leap in literacy. So how is it that Mergenthaler is barely even acknowledged for such a gargantuan contribution to society? Heck, he even died tragically young, aged 44 from tuberculosis. What more did he have to do to become an international hero?

Wilson's movie does, of course, pay homage to Mergenthaler’s greatness, but it’s not really about him. In fact, for much of it, even the machine takes a back seat. Like you couldn’t see this coming, it turns out it’s all about people.

Linotype: The Film somehow manages to reconstruct history in the most gripping fashion, without ever calling on a narrator. Essentially, it’s one glorious piece of footage after another of the most naturally gifted, genuinely interesting, passionately crazy storytellers — and they are mostly very funny, too. All are operators, but forget any preconceptions of this job title for a moment.
"Operators were the artists who created this wonderful typography that we try to emulate digitally," says one of the movie’s stars. "They are artistic people posing as industrial types in dirty overalls."
And so Wilson takes us on an unforgettable journey, from character to character, each blissfully unaware that their performances are superb. "We would just show up at people’s doors and invade their lives for a day and they would let us do it," he tells tonight's audience. "People just opened up their lives and told a story to us."
Wilson himself was amazed at how the human stories took over. "I started out just loving the machine; I thought it was an amazing machine," he says. "But I realized what you need is these operators. They worked with these machines for 60 years. The machines were the hearts of these people. So I think that’s when we realized we had a film." Perhaps the fact it takes years and years to get any good at operating a Linotype that makes these folks so unique. "It’s one of the most complicated machines I’ve ever seen, and it’s one of the most fun things I’ve ever been around," says one subject. "It’s a cacophony of sounds, but in itself a symphony." In fact, Wilson pointed out that many of the operators he interviewed were musically gifted in some way. It’s this synergy, this love affair between man and machine, that really comes through, time and time again.

One of the film’s biggest stars, Carl Schlesinger, spent 35 years operating Linotypes at the New York Times. He recalls a visit from Marilyn Monroe one day while he was at his workstation. She asked him to print something for her, so he wrote her name in bold because he thought she’d like it in bold (Monroe’s favorite font was Garamond, according to Heller in the Q&A). She then kissed him on the top of his head for his troubles. "There goes the day," he says in the movie. "All I’m going to think about now is my head."

The New York Times was produced with Linotypes for 80 years, until they were decommissioned in July 1978. Schlesinger, a VIP guest at tonight’s premiere, had the foresight to document that final day on film, some of which was used in the movie. "We poured some glasses and said: ‘To yesterday—goodbye to the past, hello to the future,’" he recalls.

Despite its historical context, Linotype: The Film is not meant to be nostalgia trip. "The last thing we wanted was for the whole thing to be narrated by honky-tonk music and old blues," explained audio and sound man Jess Heugel in the Q&A. "We wanted it to feel clean, fresh, and we didn’t want it to be overly dramatic." The majority of the soundtrack comes from friends’ bands Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin and Cornbelt Chorus, along three original cuts from Heugel’s own group The Preservation Society.

The film’s finest moment comes right at the end when another of its stars, Joel, has little choice but to get rid of his linotype machine. After a fruitless search to find a museum that will take it, reluctantly he calls a salvage guy to take it away. The cameras follow him to the scrap yard where a quite brilliant scene ensues, in which Joel cannot bear to turn around and watch as a giant claw attempts to smash his beloved Linotype into the piles of already-twisted metal on the ground. This should be a tear-jerking scene but somehow it becomes as funny as hell. The machine refuses to break up at first and we all start laughing. Joel eventually turns around and, with a mixture of pride and genius comic timing, declares: "This is pretty devastating… but it shows you the durability of the thing!"

Wilson is just 29 years old and, on the face of it, had no business making a film about Linotype machines. He was introduced to it at university and a fascination set in, but while he’d had the idea for a film in his head for a while, it was several years before an accidental opportunity arose.
"I was set to go to grad school in Switzerland and they wouldn’t give my wife a visa," he says tonight, "So, I said ‘screw it, I’m making a film.’" Wilson had never made a film before, but is hugely proud of what he has achieved (and extremely grateful to Kickstarter for two rounds of fundraising).
"Sadly, a lot of operators are passing away and five years from now probably 30% of the people in our film won’t be around any more," he continues. "We thought someone had to tell the story."
At the end of the evening, Heller summarises the movie as "a major contribution to the history of communications".

While the triumphant trio of Wilson, Heugel and director of photography Brandon Goodwin have clearly shown a relentless passion and commitment to both the movie and subject over the past couple of years, you get the feeling they could use a break from Linotype machines for a while.
"I think the next film would be about something that’s happening now, not something that already happened," declares Wilson as he wraps up the event. "It’s so hard to reconstruct history in an entertaining way. Oh, and we’d shoot it in one week. With an $8M budget. Not some obscure thing, but something that I could explain at the airport. Like Justin Bieber or something. But not type-related."

Talking of big bucks and celebrities, later that weekend, the New York Giants would go on to create history of their own in the Super Bowl. But that's not world-changing history on the scale of Mergenthaler’s contribution. And while Linotype: The Film is a hugely engaging wake-up to the importance of his invention to society, you don’t need a penchant for history and machines to appreciate its brilliance. If you’re interested in human beings at all, then you’re going to love it.

--- THE END ---

Thanks to the author James Chase and Printweek for an interesting and well written review.

The screening at the SVA Theatre in New York that is written about in the article was on 3rd February. I don't know if there are any plans for it being shown on this side of the Atlantic, unless anyone out there knows differently....

Posted by Justin Hobson 14.02.2012

Friday, 10 February 2012

Typographic 69 - Australasian issue

This is the latest edition of Typographic, published by ISTD (International Society of Typographic Designers) issue 69.

This is a good read and always something in it to inspire and as the "Australasian Issue", the content is entirely devoted to those practising typographic design, both past and present, in the Southern Hemisphere.

The contents are eight articles by/about: Cal Swann, Gail Devine, Simon Pemberton, James de Vries, Annette O'Sullivan, Stephen Banham, Jack Yan and Vince Frost. The Editor is Nick Kapica.

Design is by Frost based in Sydney, Australia. Art direction and design is by Vince Frost, Ray Parslow and Graziela Machado.

It is A4 Portrait, with a 4pp cover and 48pp text, perfect bound ...and in true Oz fashion, all the folio numbers are printed upside down.

And now for the paper plug! ...now if the truth be known, because Vince is is on the other side of the planet, he'd originally spec'd Mohawk Superfine but it's bonkers expensive! So after getting real and looking at the budget and considering the page count and postal weight, I suggested our StarFine 115gsm text and 240gsm cover. It came in on budget and the Fluoro pink looks brilliant on it. It is beautifully printed by Gavin Martin in London.

If you aren't already a member, you should really think about joining - there are many benefits, this is just one! www.istd.org.uk

...and if you aren't a member, have a look http://www.istd.org.uk/ - it costs less than £10 per month - still excellent value!

Posted by Justin Hobson 10.02.2012

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

CDG Brochure

This is a lovely, simple piece of literature for legal maritime specialist CDG. The brochure is designed by Crescent Lodge who had also previously designed the CDG identity a couple of years ago.
Brochure size is 260x220mm, portrait, saddle stitched. It has a 4pp cover on Omnia 280gsm and 24pp text on Omnia 150gsm.

The photography for the four section divider spreads is by Rodger Banning. I believe, he created the images by mixing oil and water (photographed on glass, I think?). Very effective.

Creative Director on the project is Lynda Brockbank and the designer is Malcolm Metcalfe.

Now this was only a short run job of 200 copies and was printed digitally on an HP Indigo press by the re-incarnated FS Moore at DG3 - see previous post... http://justinsamazingworldatfennerpaper.blogspot.com/2011/09/sad-end-for-fs-moore.html

Posted by Justin Hobson 08.02.2012