Thursday, 2 June 2016

Jobs from the past - Number 80

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 and here's one from 1996.

Fourth Estate Catalogue 
July-December 1998
The Fourth Estate is a publishers that many people will be familiar with. Founded by Victoria Barnsley in 1984, Fourth Estate built a reputation as one of the most innovative and eclectic imprints in the industry, with a reputation for publishing a wide variety of critically-acclaimed and beautifully-produced titles including many prize winning authors (Booker, Orange etc).

One of the things that made the Fourth Estate stand out from the crowd was their catalogues - they were simply amazing pieces of design and print! I was lucky enough to work on a few different catalogues in the late 90's and early 2000's. Every single one was different and brilliant. Good designers were commissioned, Bogue & Hopgood, Instinct, Pentagram, Rose Design, Frost, Neville Brody, Tom Hingston to name a few. In line with their reputation for publishing unconventional yet innovative titles, the design of the catalogue was equally eclectic.

This is a particularly distinctive catalogue, bound using a post and screw, using just coloured paper, printed letterpress in opaque white ink.
The size of the catalogue is 105x280mm and is either portrait or landscape depending on your point of view! Binding is simply by one brass post and screw fitting. The total thickness is 15mm.  
There are front and back covers, which are printed CMYK offset litho one side only, which were printed by Tadberry Evedale on our Avrowhite [1 sided] 325gsm
Click on images to enlarge
Back in those days, we didn't have our Colorset range, but it was a range of coloured papers that was required! I looked around various ranges and taking care to avoid some of the more expensive (and obvious) coloured text & cover papers on the market, I came up Rothmill. This was a coloured paper range made by the Tullis Russell mill in Scotland, who sadly closed last year. There are six different colours of Rothmill 280mics board used in the publication, one for each of the sections (fiction, non fiction etc)
You can see from these detail shots that the type printed in opaque white works ...but only just! It is a bit marginal. But the overall effect is great.

As you can see from the below picture the section printed on the Rothmill Mulberry (Non Fiction) is by far the most significant section in the catalogue.
Design and art direction is by Vince Frost. The text of the catalogue was set and letterpress printed by the House of Naylor on Saffron Hill in Clerkenwell.

So, where is everybody now?....
Victoria Barnsley, founder of Fourth Estate, joined Harper Collins as CEO and Publisher in 2000 when it acquired her company. These distinctive publications continued to be commissioned and produced for a few years after becoming part of a larger group. Sadly (and I guess it was just a matter of time) the Fourth Estate became a section within the Harper Collins specialist catalogue. She left Harper Collins in 2013.

The House of Naylor went into liquidation in the early 2000's re-emerging as The Letterpress House in Hemel Hempstead. Bill Naylor finally retired a about five years ago and the machinery dispersed (all going to good homes).

Vince Frost left for the sunnier climate of Australia just over fifteen years ago and runs Frost* in Sydney.

...and Fenner Paper? ...yep, we're still here!
Posted by Justin Hobson 02.06.2016

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for your comment! If I like it, I'll add it on. Cheers J