Thursday, 28 August 2014

Your Story Starts Here...

Writer’s Notes is a notebook for writers, containing ‘advice on how to write well from the experts at the Ministry of Stories’. The book was initially commissioned by The Story conference, as a gift to their guests. It is now available for sale in the Hoxton Street Monster Supplies Shop.

The 'experts' who wrote the advice reproduced on the dividers are aged between 9 and 13, and their notes are printed on eight asymmetric dividers throughout the notebook. Here's a bit about the Ministry of Stories:
The Ministry of Stories is a charity that aims to inspire young people through creative writing. Founded by Nick Hornby, Lucy Macnab and Ben Payne, and operating out of the Hoxton Street Monster Supplies shop, they run workshops and provide one to one mentoring to local children.
The finished size of the notebooks is A5 portrait and they are wiro-bound. The covers are 'French folded' (to give a double thickness) on our Flora Betulla 240gsm, which gives it a deliberately 'exercise book/notebook' feel. The eight dividers are all printed (both sides) on different colours of  Colorset 270gsm, distributed throughout 90pp of ruled pages.
Design and production was handled by Burgess Studio. You can read more about the project here:
Creative director is Alexis Burgess and the designer on the project is Ed Cornish.
This is a truly fantastic piece of printed literature - it has a real WOW factor!

As a charitable organisation, the budget was limited which meant the project was a labour of love which included some of the printing being done in-house! Guillotine cutting and wiro-binding handled by Dash Finishers based in Croydon.
Posted by Justin Hobson 27.08.2014

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Responsibility Matters #2

Shire plc is a leading specialty biopharmaceutical company. The company has grown globally, through acquisition, recently completing a series of major transactions that have brought growth and diversification in a company that employs over 5,000 people.

Bostock and Pollitt have been working with Shire for ten years on brand communications, which includes this regular publication.
This piece of literature is mainly intended as an internal piece of communication and as such has a 'newsy' look and feel. The format is 410mm x 285mm, portrait, has 8pp and is 'loose bound'. The paper used is Offenbach Bible 60gsm which is a lightweight material and lends itself to a newspapery feel. It has also been 'endorsement folded' (ie in half, as the above pic). The colour reproduction, in particular the illustrations are superb. Printed offset litho in CMYK throughout.
Art direction and design is by Bostock and Pollitt. Print is managed by Urban Print Support.
Posted by Justin Hobson 26.08.2014

Friday, 22 August 2014

My Card

This post is basically a 're-blog' ...a bit of a cheat really!
The renowned London based studio, Atelier Works have recently printed their new business cards. They are printed letterpress on our Colorset White 350gsm - simply and beautifully produced.
Their blog post about the printing and craft of letterpress printing is superbly written, so I'm not going to do anymore than suggest you click on the following link and read their post: 
The three partners at Atelier Works are Quentin Newark, John Powner and Ian Chilvers.

Cards are printed on Colorset 100% recycled 350gsm and are printed by Phil Abel at Hand & Eye Letterpress, who are based in a charmingly characterful railway arch in Shadwell, London E1 ...but you'll know that already, if you've taken my advice and read their blog link!
Posted by Justin Hobson 22.08.2014

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Lower Mill Estate

Lower Mill Estate is an award-winning community of sustainable vacation homes set in a private, fully managed, 550-acre reserve in the Cotswolds. The estate was established by the Paxton family 16 years ago with a vision to create a residential nature reserve providing a sense of security and the freedom to escape the demands of urban life.

This is simply a stunning piece of literature and is one of the best pieces of print that I've recently been involved with. This book has been produced to show everything the estate has to offer, conveying the quality of the development in a contemporary and beautifully readable way.
The size is 220x148mm, portrait. The cover is bookcloth, mounted onto board, with silver hot foil blocking on front and back cover. the foiling is a simplified version of the illustrations by Russell Cobb, commissioned for the project which were used for the press ads and on line and mobile applications - you can see them here:
The cover is very clever as it is effectively a case-bound book but the text is actually 'singer sewn', which means that the book opens nicely and sits flat. The fact that there isn't a formal, squared off, spine and that the board used is flexible means that, although it feels like a book it isn't as serious as a book, it has a lighter "browse me" feel.
You can read more about Singer sewing here:
The end papers are printed on Flora Anice, 130gsm and are printed all over, again using the illustrations.
If you aren't familiar with Flora, it is a recycled text and cover paper with a deliberately recycled look and feel with specks and inclusions, so it looks deliberately flecky and specky. The thing this project exemplifies is creativity in print! Very few designers take a paper like Flora and print all over it ...and get this terrific effect!
Click to enlarge and see the specks!
Inks for offset litho are transparent. Designers (and often printers) forget this, so effects like this are often forgotten about! Design and print on plain white paper is easy (well, easier) - it's projects like this which challenge and push the boundaries.
The 32pp text is printed on our Omnia 150gsm - absolutely perfect for this project as it has a natural feel but reproduces the superb photography and interior shots beautifully.
...and here in the text is another fantastic surprise - six 148x98mm 'tip-ins' appearing throughout the text which use the illustrated theme with details highlighted in silver hot foil blocking.
The tip-ins are on the same as the end papers (Flora Anice 130gsm) - and beautifully executed
But "how come all these different colours?" I hear people asking. Quite simply, the sheets are all printed up on one sheet (Flora Anice 130gsm) in CMYK - simple idea, well thought out and beautifully executed.
Design for the whole Lower Mill campaign including this book is by Johnston Works. The campaign also encompasses press, on line and mobile applications, which were all created by Johnston Works.
Director on the project is Kirsten Johnston. The excellent print and finishing is by Push.

I'm sure that you can tell from the way that I've written about this project that this really is a special piece of print - it's one of those projects where all the elements that go into a piece of literature (concept/design/illustration/photography/print/paper/finishing etc) has all come together and collided (in a well orchestrated way!) to form a superb result.
Posted by Justin Hobson 20.08.2014

Monday, 18 August 2014

What is ...Loop Stitching?

What is ...Number 8
Regular followers of this blog will know that in the middle of the month, I publish a "What is ....? post. The article covers various aspects of paper, printing and finishing in greater depth. However, many of these subjects are complex, so these posts are only intended to be a brief introduction to the topic.

What is ...Loop Stitching?
Loop stitching is a variation of wire stitching or 'saddle stitching' (or a staple, as some would call it). In the way that it holds paper together, it performs exactly the same function as a normal staple finish but it is formed from a continuous length of wire (as is most commercial stitching) rather than a pre-formed staple and the wire forms a loop on the spine of the job.
The below picture shows a wire stitching machine, fed by a continuous roll of wire. 
The wire loop protrudes about 6mm from the spine and it's function is to allow documents to be held together and then files in a ring binder in one piece, rather than many loose, punched sheets. The picture below, shows the way the loops are held in a ring binder mechanism:
The ARB (Architects Registration Board) project (see below) was produced in 1999, designed by Cartlidge Levene - part of the functionality of these guidelines dictated that they could be kept in a ring binder and easily updated in the future.
Click on picture to enlarge
 ...and this picture show a ring binder with the contents, which are all loop stitched. An important point, not to be overlooked is the spacing between the loops, as this must be specified to the printer or finisher at the time of production. This is also often referred to as the 'pitch'.
Many binders have four rings and paper must be 'four hole punched' however it's worth remembering that you don't need to have four loops as two loops works perfectly in a four ring mechanism, as demonstrated below - that's certainly worth remembering!
 ...alternatively, you can just use the loops as an interesting finishing feature for purely aesthetic effect, even if it isn't being put into a ring binder, as this job for photographer, Andrew Douglas by Vince Frost.
From a cost point of view, it is more expensive than normal saddle stitching because the 'stitching heads' on the stitching line have to be changed and it just requires a bit more time to set up ...also, not all finishers have stitching lines that can loop stitch.
Posted by Justin Hobson 18.08.2014

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Sopianae Brand Book

This project is a brandbook for Sopianae, which is the most well known cigarette brand in Hungary. This book covers the history and culture of the brand whilst explaining the relationship with the Rountable Agency who are their brand communication consultancy.
It is a very large book at 415mmx260mm! It comes with a slipcase and the whole print package is superb and made extra special by the binding.

This is generally described as 'Japanese Binding' as it is in the Size|Format|Stock pamphlet that I wrote, although as I've pointed out in the same publication, terminology is certainly not universal - I doubt if they call this Japanese binding in Japan!
The cover is formed by a 2mm greyboard which is silkscreened in three colours and mounted on the cover. The 64pp text is on a mixture of an uncoated ivory coloured paper (unknown) and our Stardream Crystal 120gsm from Cordenons in Italy.
Now what has made this project particularly worthy of note is that there were not that many copies produced, so in the main, this job was produced on a digital press (HP Indigo). However because of some of the 'throw outs' - such as below, some of the pages had to be printed offset litho as the format of the digital press (in this case SRA3) wasn't large enough.
So the clever thing, from a print point of view, was to get the litho and digital sheets to match! not that easy to do but the end result is superb - as you can see below digital meets litho on the same spread.
The other thing that makes it slightly less complicated is that Stardream is kept in stock as HP Indigo ready, as well as the sheets for offset litho.
Stardream is a pearlescent and metallic range which shimmers and the pic below may give some idea of how it looks:
Design is by the Roundtable Agency. Head of Art is Franco Reda.
Printing and the terrific binding - which was all achieved in house is by Zone Graphics. They truly have excelled.
Posted by Justin Hobson 14.08.2014

Tuesday, 12 August 2014


The Glassboat restaurant is permanently berthed on the floating harbour in the heart of Bristol affording spectacular views of the city and harbourside. The Glassboat has a unique interior carefully restored to make the most of the original polished wooden decks, sculptured oak and portholes. The Head chef is Charlie Hurrell. This brochure is specifically for "private hire" clients who may wish to book one of the four different spaces on board.

Size is 270x210mm (a nicely 'squared off' A4 derivative), portrait format. It is an 8pp self cover and is saddle stitched.
It is produced on our Omnia White 200gsm (throughout as it is a 'self-cover'). It is a beautifully simple and functional piece of literature. The exquisite photography works brilliantly with the uncoated finish and tactile mattness of the Omnia.
Nice even solid, out of CMYK, looks superb - flat and even.
Design is by Peloton in Bristol. Creative directors are Karen Bird and Peter Thompson. The excellent print is by Park Lane Press, who are based in Corsham, Wiltshire.

...and an additional thanks to Peloton designer Stacey Martin who kindly lugged up the file copies to London on the train from Bristol for me.
Posted by Justin Hobson 12.08.2014