Friday, 31 January 2014

The Miners' Hymns

The Miners' Hymns is a film by American artist Bill Morrison, set in the former coal mining communities in North East England. The film is entirely without words, the soundtrack featuring an original score by Icelandic composer Jóhann Jóhannsson. The film depicts the hardship of pit work, increasing mechanisation, the role of trade unions in organising and fighting for workers’ rights. The film uses archive footage from different eras spanning 100 years – from early footage of primitive conditions, through large scale mechanisation up to the miner's strike of 1984-5.

The promotional literature consisting of flyers and cards. They are reminiscent in their look and feel of leaflets that were used when printing a leaflet to be handed out during large meetings and rallies was the only effective way to disseminate information to a large audience, rather than the social media of today.
Printed in just one colour, offset litho, they are printed on our Colorset (100% recycled) coloured range. The A5 flyers are printed on our Colorset Lemon 120gsm.
The A6 postcards are printed on Colorset, Sandstone 350gsm (also printed in one colour)
Design is by London design agency ARPA (A Research Projects Agency). The studio is run by creative partners Jasmine Raznahan and Ted Lovett.
The film is currently on a tour around the North east of England until the end of February and is supported by the Arts Council. Print is by Principal Colour.
Posted by Justin Hobson 31.01.2014

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

The Wimpole Building

This is simply one of those really amazing projects which has lots of different features. It's a property brochure for an amazingly high specification building. The Wimpole Building was formerly the Western District Postal Office built in 1909. The redevelopment of the offices in the building retains the original Portland Stone façade which is an impressive frontage on Wimpole Street.
The book is an impressive 330x250mm and has a hard "case-bound" cover. On the front cover there is a high gloss white panel with a hot foil and emboss which is platesunk. Very beautiful. The cover is printed on a linear embossed covering paper.
The overall thickness of the book is 12mm thick
The material chosen for the text pages is our Omnia 150gsm. This material has a high bulk, required as effectively this is only a 28pp text. The photography has reproduced brilliantly on the Omnia, as has the beautiful flat pale mint, solids...
Above is the opening spread, showing the impressive façade. The picture below shows the spread which is one of the lovely features of this project. The pages are double thickness (folded back on themselves and glued) and in the die cut corner slots are individually inserted photographic prints, as in a traditional photograph album.
Close up to show inserted photographs:
There are two spreads with the inserted photographs.
The remaining pages show the interior and exterior of the building from a variety of different angles.
Lovely grey flat solids for the floorplans, which also have two throw-outs.
Design is by Egelnick and Webb. Creative Directors are Toby Egelnick and Malcolm Webb.  There are some beautiful touches, really high production values which make this a truly exquisite piece of literature. Royal London Asset Management, CBRE and  Strutt & Parker commissioned Egelnick and Webb for the whole branding exercise, including the website and hoardings:

Printing of the sales brochure is by Identity, based in Paddock Wood, Kent and they have made a superb job of it - colour reproduction is fantastic - the solids look amazing as do the colour images. The finishing with the inserted pictures and throw-outs is stunning.
Posted by Justin Hobson 29.01.2014

Monday, 27 January 2014

Big Book Parade Catalogue

This is the  'The Big Book Parade' catalogue which showcases the new books from HarperCollins publishers, in the Autumn. Throughout the publication are the same illustrations as on the invitations to the launch event (see previous post) by Brett Ryder (Heart Agency) commissioned to reflect the wide and diverse range of titles 'on parade' at the event and in the catalogue. 
The size of the catalogue is 297 x 165mm, portrait and is saddle stitched. The 4pp cover is on our Modigliani Candido 260gsm, which has a "feltmark" texture similar to that of a watercolour paper which works brilliantly with Brett's illustrations. The 32pp text is on our Neptune Unique FSC 135gsm, which is a smooth uncoated with a dazzlingly white shade and the illustrations have reproduced fantastically. 
The choice of material for the text of this job was important. Typically illustration on a coated paper looks "wrong" (in my opinion and in the opinions of many designers!) However, this publication also had lots of great commissioned photography included, so it was important to have a material which worked for both without compromising either and as I hope these pictures show, it looks great.
Design and art direction is by Zoë Bather.

The catalogues are printed offset litho in four colour process. Print was handled by Alan Mountain at Forward Print (
Posted by Justin Hobson 30.10.2013

Thursday, 23 January 2014

The Orangery

The Orangery is an exclusive wedding venue situated just outside Maidstone in the grounds of the old Turkey Mill, where paper was made for over 200 years. The site now boasts a business park and this stunning wedding location.
This is the marketing collateral produced for the venue, which includes the brochure, with inserts, together with compliment slips and business cards.
The brochure size is 230mm square and is saddle stitched. It has a 4pp cover with a 8pp text printed on Omnia 280gsm and 150gsm. The photography supplied by three professional wedding photographers, has reproduced brilliantly on the Omnia as has the light metallic gold solid areas and type. The whole job still has the tactility and natural uncoated feel that was required. The literature has a self-assured look and feel.
Picture below showing half height pocket on inside back cover with three stepped printed inserts on Omnia 200gsm.
Business cards (280gsm) and compliment slips (150gsm) printed in the pale metallic gold on Omnia.
Branding and literature design is by Maidstone based consultancy We are Tangerine. Design director on the project is Claire Hobbs. The printing (which is excellent - the metallic is superb) is by Tunbridge Wells based printer Fox Print.
Posted by Justin Hobson 23.01.2014

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

What is ...Acid Free Paper?

What is ...Number 1
This is the first of my "What is ....? posts. Published in the middle of the month, they will cover various aspects of paper, printing and finishing in greater depth. Many of these subjects are complex, so these posts are intended to be a brief description and summary.

What is ...Acid Free Paper?
It is an unfortunate fact that that no paper and printed literature will last forever. Paper is a 100% natural product which is affected by light and air and can yellow and become brittle over time.

Papers described as "Acid Free" are more resistant to the effects of ageing and will are more suitable for producing literature for archival purposes.

Acid free symbol
Acid free papers can be produced from all kinds of cellulose fibres. The papers made from wood fibre which are best able to resist ageing are manufactured from fully bleached chemical pulp and do not contain any residual lignin. Lignin is the stuff that makes the walls of plant cells strong and it's tough to break down and is acidic by it's nature (it’s like tree sap but is not actually sap). To produce acid free papers it is essential to remove the lignin to trace amounts.

During the papermaking process, 'sizing' is added both internally (in the pulp) and on the surface of the sheet. The purpose of 'sizing' (which is added to most paper types) is to resist the penetration of liquid in the finished product and in the case of printing papers, to assist with printability. The chemicals used in sizing for acid free papers are alkaline in nature and chalk (calcium carbonate) is generally used to size the surface (which is also alkaline). The paper will also be 'buffered' with a solution which prevent changes in the pH. To be regarded as truly "acid free" the end product needs to have a pH value of between 7.5-10.0

Today, the vast majority of  papers produced for the print market are acid-free and this is mainly because paper mills now use chalk (calcium carbonate) rather than china clay as the filler in the manufacturing process. Chalk reacts with acids and therefore the pulp needs to be chemically neutral or alkaline.

Although acid free papers have a longer life and are regarded as 'archival', they are not necessarily regarded as true 'archival papers' ...that maybe a future subject for another  "What is ...."
Posted by Justin Hobson 21.01.2014

Monday, 20 January 2014

What is ...?

Several people have suggested it would be good if I could write about various aspects of paper, printing and finishing in greater depth. Articles that take a subject at a time rather than explaining a processs or technique as it may occur in a project. Having said that, many of these subjects would require whole books to describe, so these posts are intended to be a brief description and summary.

It's a lovely idea (and slightly burdensome to write!), so I've decided that I'll make it roughly the middle post in every month. So tomorrow is the first of the "What is...?" posts.
Posted by Justin Hobson 20.01.2014

Friday, 17 January 2014

James Blake Tour Poster - No. 2

This is another, lovely, James Blake poster for the Overgrown Tour...
Size of the posters is 670x485mm and they are printed in four colour process plus one special, offset litho. The beautiful illustration by Cary Kwok has a lot of detail, really dark colours - letterforms made out of entangled branches, so it was essential to keep the detail without everything filling in.
At the same time, in order to work with the illustration a coated paper was not desirable, a more tactile paper was selected. Omnia was chosen because it has all the tactile qualities of an uncoated material but reproduces fine detail and dark colours amazingly. This poster is printed on Omnia White 200gsm.

Design is by Burgess Studio. Creative Director is Alexis Burgess, designer on the project is Ed Cornish. Illustration is by Cary Kwok.

Print is by London based Jigsaw Colour. This poster was printed with no coating (sealer) the result is beautifully flat, matt and tactile -  just how it should be.
Posted by Justin Hobson 17.01.2014
03.11.2014 - I amended this post today. I had wrongly credited another illustrator and amended it today to read Cary Kwok, my apologies.

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

RBB|Economics - Corporate Brochure

This is the corporate brochure for RBB Economics, a specialist in the field of economics of competition law. This piece of literature demonstrates the company's abilities using a combination of essential facts and figures together with client testimonials.

The size is 232x165mm, portrait. and is singer sewn. It has an 8pp cover and a 16pp text. The cover is printed on our StarFine White 300gsm, which is an uncoated text and cover range. The cover is printed in two specials (blue and green) and the type is blind embossed. Text is printed on our Marazion Ultra 135gsm and is printed offset litho in CMYK plus two specials.
The below picture shows the front cover which is 'blind embossed' and shows the singer sewing with the light green thread. The brochure has an engaging feel, the singer sewing making it feel special with the combination of uncoated and coated materials working well with the content. it's also worth mentioning that the large areas of blue solid has been well printed and looks great which is both testament to the quality of the printing and the papers used (for those not in the know, blue is generally regarded as the hardest colour to print and can be a test to a printer and if the paper isn't up to the job, the result can looked mottled and patchy).
Art direction and design is by Hatton Garden based consultancy, 400. Creative Director is Paul Dennis, designer on the project is Liam Bonar. Print and finishing is by London printer Push.
Posted by Justin Hobson 15.01.2014

Monday, 13 January 2014

Graphic Birdwatching Map

The Graphic Design Walk, organised by Graphic Birdwatching is a combined open studio walk and design exhibition celebrating the work and practise of both local and international female creatives.

Last year's walk (2013) took place over two days in September during the London Design Festival and there were a dozen studios in East London who opened their doors. On registering for the walk, you were given this lovely map to navigate your way around the studios. Size of the map is 420x593mm folding down to 210x132mm.
This year, the map is illustrated and it looks absolutely stunning:
The paper chosen is our Redeem 100% Recycled which is a neutral white recycled paper. It works just beautifully with this illustration. Below picture shows the 65mm flap which provides the index overlaying the map:
On the reverse of the map is information and work of the various studios. The map was printed offset litho and finished by SPM Print who sponsored the printing. Chris Chadbon dealt with the print production.The map is printed on Redeem 100% Recycled 100gsm in CMYK on both sides and we sponsored the paper for the map, as we have in previous years.
The map is designed and illustrated by Karolin Schnoor who is one of the Graphic Birdwatching members.

Posted by Justin Hobson 13.01.2014

Thursday, 9 January 2014

Matt Cant without his diary!

Matt Cant is a photographer based in Wales and the Fenner Paper diary is part of his 'must have' equipment. He kindly got in touch this year, together with a picture showing the well used diaries that he's used over the years!
Thanks Matt.

Have a look at his blog and website:
Posted by Justin Hobson 09.01.2014

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

John Bellany: A Passion For Life

This is a private view invitation for a major exhibition titled 'A Passion for Life' devoted to one of Scotland’s most outstanding contemporary artists John Bellany.  Works from a career spanning over fifty years have been brought together in this retrospective exhibition also celebrating his 70th birthday year held at the Scottish National Gallery in Edinburgh, last year. On display were paintings, watercolours, drawings and prints, many of which have rarely, if ever, been exhibited.
The invitations which are printed on our Omnia 320gsm and which (as you can see) faithfully reproduces the detail and of Bellany's work.

This invitation is a 4pp, portrait, A5 (210x148mm) format and is printed offset litho. The colour reproduction is strong and vivid and the whole invitation has a matt, tactile look and feel.
The inside of the invite is printed with a flat red solid with reversed out type. Again, the red solid is dead flat, tactile and looks great.
You can read more about the exhibition here:

Design and Art direction is by Freytag Anderson, a Glasgow based studio run by creative partners Daniel Freytag and Greig Anderson. A beautifully executed piece of work.

Printed by J. Thompson Colour Printers, who are one of Scotland's leading printers (who co-incidentally have a stunning array of printing presses)
Posted by Justin Hobson 08.01.2014

Monday, 6 January 2014

Jobs from the past - Number 51

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...

Manchester Dogs Home Annual Review

This is a stunningly produced charity annual report. Manchester based agency, The Chase provided creative services for the dogs home on a pro-bono basis which resulted in many great pieces of literature being produced in the early 2000's. This report, under the title, 6,796 Dogs, was produced by the London office of The Chase and was much talked and written about, winning several awards. 
Size of the report is 420x297mm, portrait and is a 28pp 'self-cover' and is unbound. It was produced on our Optimale, Blanc Naturel 120gsm (which sadly is no longer available, since the mill closed).
The superb photography is by Manchester based photographer, Mat Wright.
Above, one of the illustrated images made up using binary code characters.
Picture below, showing the fact that it is unbound - left loose, just like a newspaper:
The report won the DesignWeek Award for Annual Reports in 2003, was nominated for a D&AD award, received a Gold award from the Art Directors Club together with various other accolades and regional awards.

Creative Director on the project was Harriet Devoy at The Chase in London, senior designer was Stephen Royle. Harriet moved to Apple in 2007 and Steve has since returned to his roots in Manchester and is creative director at The Chase in Manchester.
The report was printed offset litho by New Leaf Press, based in Manchester who made a beautiful job of printing the project. The project was sponsored by the Co-Operative Insurance Services (CIS) who funded the printing, so it's only fair that over ten years later, they should get some credit. 
Posted by Justin Hobson 06.01.2014