Wednesday, 29 November 2017

To The Trains

Yesterday evening I was at the St Brides Foundation in London for the launch of a wonderful notebook titled "To the Trains". The project was a collaboration between design agency Carter Wong, printer Boss Print and us! This is the fourth notebook in the series, each one with a different and equally fascinating subject!

This edition showcases the tiles on display throughout the London underground system and the rich history that accompanies them.

The evening started with lashings of beer and wine and the opportunity to look at the images that are the subject of the book taken by photographer Josh Exell.
There was then an introduction to the project by Sarah Turner, Managing Director of Carter Wong followed by a short presentation of the influence of Leslie Green, who was appointed in 1903 to design over 50 stations for the underground and introduced a wayfinding system using symbols set in tiles. As you can see, there were over 150 people who attended....
The splendour of Green's original designs continues to excite and the tile work has been joined in more recent times, as refurbishment takes place, by prestigious artists and designers such as Abram Games, Alan Fletcher, Nicholas Munro and Eduardo Paolozzi.
...and here is the actual notebook that was the centre of attention. 
The wonderfully debossed cover is on a vinyl based cover material. Flexible, durable and just right for a notebook. There are a number of different cover/colour combinations available, this is the deep, burgundy red. Below shows the opening spread...
...a birds eye view showing the binding and the pages with the images of the tiles printed, which are "french folded"
The below image shows a spread of the notebook with the image page on the right - what you cannot see and is impossible to show/photograph is that the tiles are all beautifully and superbly embossed, so they are actually in relief - a truly amazing effect.
...I hope the image below shows just how three dimensional the result is.
Below are the tiles by Abram Games (Stockwell, 1969) where I hope you can see the french folding and the embossing.
The paper used in the books is our Redeem 100% Recycled 80gsm for the text pages and our new Gardapat 13, Bianka 135gsm for the tile pages.

Printing is all offset litho. Embossing, binding and finishing is all by Boss print and it is all to an exceptionally high standard.

I had a small display, showing our ranges and printed examples and was kept busy all evening! Below I'm talking to Jason Maclaren from Cantate Communications.
A big thank you to Carter Wong, Boss Print and of course, our friends at the St Brides Foundation who made the event special as always.
Posted by Justin Hobson on 29.11.2017

Monday, 27 November 2017

F&F Autumn Winter 2017

The 2017 Autumn Winter collection from F&F could be mistaken for Prada, Louis Vuitton or Ferragamo. This new collection from Tesco's in-house label is inspired by the British countryside, rugged rural landscapes, delivering a contemporary take on heritage fashion. The collection has been delivered by F&F Creative Director, Jan Marchant.

The format is A5 portrait and is saddle stitched with two wires. The cover is on a cover board from that other well known, Hull based, paper company and is beautifully hot foil blocked in a pigmented, matt red foil.
The 28pp text (plus 4pp throwouts) the text is printed on our Shiro Echo, Bright White, 120gsm which is 100% Recycled.
Click on images to enlarge
There is a "4pp throwout" at the back of the book, revealing miniature images with the picture credits.
...and let's not forget the men! The men's range is included from the centre spread backwards.
Shiro Echo 120gsm is quite bulky but 28pp sits well without the gap in the middle "gaping" too much.
The quality of the art direction, photography, repro, print and finishing is superb. The paper also happens to have performed brilliantly - fleshtones and close up detail looking superb, as you can see from the detail image below:
Art direction and design is by London creative agency Odd. The excellent print, repro and finishing is by Gavin Martin Colournet, based in London E3.
Posted by Justin Hobson 27.11.2017

Friday, 24 November 2017

Art of Ping Pong closing party

Regular readers of this blog may remember that last month I went to the launch of The Art of Ping Pong exhibition which I wrote about here.
It was a great evening and it's not over yet! The auction to the 2017 auction closing party is next Wednesday 29th November. The event is your last chance to see the full collection before the auction ends ...and you can go!
You can can be there for an evening of ping pong, music and esspresso martinis by coffee guru's Perky Blenders. In addition to the paddles, they will be showcasing two mini ping pong tables painted by Charlie Oscar Patterson and Mr Doodle (see above) as well as prints and a t-shirt campaign in partnership with Everpress. The profits from the t-shirts also goes to charity and you can buy them here.

Entry is FREE, you just need to rsvp here:

The profits from this year's auction are being donated to Trekstock, a UK charity that supports young adults thrive through and beyond cancer. The auction is live now and closes at midnight on 30th November. To take part in the auction you can place your bids here –

The party is on Wednesday, November 29th 6:00 -11:00pm at Creative Debuts 115 Curtain Road London EC2A 3AD
Posted by Justin Hobson 24.11.2017

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Puck Collected #2

Puck Collective is an evolving group of creatives from around the world. Founded in 2010 by 5 illustrators and artists, Puck has grown into one of the largest and most revered illustration collectives in the UK. What makes Puck unique is that every year they launch a call for entries in order to replenish and invigorate the group with fresh work, new ideas and exciting creatives. Each year, the roster will have a limited amount of spaces, trying to bring in the right mix of people to produce shows and exhibitions, create print runs, small press comics and generally have a whole load of fun in the process. During that year all members contribute towards the publication "Puck Collected" showcasing the groups art, talent and creativity in a beautifully produced limited edition run.

...and this is Puck Collected #2, titled Cosmic
It is a collection of 16 x A6 cards. They are held together in a wonderful folded envelope which is Riso printed in two colour - wonderful fluorescent colour.
These are launched once a year, with new content every issue. The cards (bar one) were printed Offset Litho, on a Heidelberg B2 5 colour Speedmaster at Calverts in London. One of the cards (Marylou Favre) was digitally on a Konica Minolta KM C1100 to give a 'shiny' effect.
The cards are all printed on our Neptune Unique SoftWhite 300gsm, The choice was for an off white board which would work better with the artworks rather than a harsh white. The reverse of the cards are all printed in one colour (blue)
The pack makes a thickness of 5mm.
The collective also spun off to found Puck Studio, an exhibition services and print studio based in East London. Visit the link for further details.

The job was printed and finished by Bethnal Green based print cooperative, Calverts. If you haven't come across them, maybe you should have a look. Unusually for a print company, they are a worker's cooperative, therefore the management, tasks and profits are all shared equitably - almost sounds too good to be true! Production was handled by Samuel Rogers at Calverts
Posted by Justin Hobson 21.11.2017

Friday, 17 November 2017

British Book Design & Production Awards 2017

Yesterday evening,  I was lucky enough to be at the British Book Design and Production Awards which is hosted and run by the British Printing Industries Federation (BPIF) at London's Millennium Hotel in Mayfair. A very lavish and swish occasion.
I was kindly invited by Fenton Smith and Bonnie Lo from London print company BOSS, who were also one of the sponsors and printed the awards catalogue.
On arrival, the nominated entries were all out on display and it was a truly wonderful array of books and catalogues. 
The evening was opened by Charles Jarrold, Chief Executive of the BPIF...
 ...a gathering of over 200 people from the world of publishing, print and design - and a few paper people in there as well!
It was particularly lovely that a project which I was involved with won the category for Exhibition catalogues.

The project is called "Searching For Eve in the American West" by photographer Maryam Eisler. It is designed by Roger Fawcett-Tang of Struktur Design and it was beautifully printed by Boss Print.

 ...and here is the team that made the book possible on stage, collecting the award from the compere Jenny Éclair.
I can just give you a teaser of what this award winning catalogue is like...
Click on images to enlarge
It is exquisitely printed offset litho throughout on Omnia 150gsm, using tritones, but I shall write about this project at length in the future.

It was a great evening - good company and food and my thanks go to BOSS for inviting me and many other old friends on the table too.
Posted by Justin Hobson 17.11.2017

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Signature Suites

The Radisson Blu Edwardian hotel in Manchester is set inside the historic Free Trade Hall, one of the city’s oldest and most iconic buildings, and is known for its musical past. The hotel has 263 luxurious rooms and suites and many of the suites are named after some of the artists that appeared at the venue before it was a hotel.

This brochure is about these "Signature Suites" and the facilities that the have to offer.
The format is A5 Landscape and is printed on our Omnia. It is an 8pp self cover printed on Omnia White 200gsm. A "self-cover" format is usually more economical as it can all be printed on one sheet, whereas if there is a different text and cover weight, they have to be printed on separate sheets.
Omnia is a very bulky paper so as just an 8pp saddle stitched, the 200gsm weight works really well.
Click on images to enlarge
Printed offset litho in CMYK throughout.
Image reproduction is paramount but it was also important that the publication also projected the tactility of the interiors and in the image below the detail of the bar area.  An ordinary feeling silk or gloss coated paper wasn't an option, so Omnia fitted the bill perfectly.
The outside front and back covers are hot foil blocked in silver foil.
Printing is by Stuart Van Den Bergh at Intaglio Communications based in London.
Posted by Justin Hobson 14.11.2017

Friday, 10 November 2017

De La Warr Pavilion

Q: When is a leaflet, not a leaflet? ....A: When it's designed and produced like this one!
I just received some file copies of this lovely new guide for the De La Warr Pavilion and it just looks and feels great. The De La Warr pavilion is on the seafront in Bexhill on Sea in Sussex. It is an iconic modernist building by the architects Erich Mendelsohn and Serge Chermayeff which opened in 1936. The enlightened town council opened this new space which was to provide culture and entertainment for the masses – a people‘s palace. Following renovation in 2005, the pavilion hosts many shows, exhibitions and cultural events.

Ostensibly, this is a leaflet but this has been printed on our StarFine White 130gsm which means that rather than feeling like the vast majority of mass produced leaflets printed on a bit of 115gsm silk or gloss, this has real character and value. Equally the design and beautiful imagery, really work to make this feel anything but a leaflet!
The finished size is 210x111mm, folding out to 420x509mm. The design is such that the listings of the exhibitions, activities and events are all listed on one side (outside) with the inside being reserved for a full size image of the exhibition.

...and there's a really neat design feature here, which is that the last fold on the right hand side forms a 65mm wide short panel, as you can see in the below image: 
This short panel is used to print the text about the exhibition, which folds back to reveal just the image in all it's glory without any unwanted interference as you can see in the image below...
The exhibition is called "The way things are" and is by Roy Voss featuring a sculpture that stretches the length of the Pavilion's ground floor gallery space.

The below image shows both sides opened out flat:
The new De La Warr identity and design (including the website) is by Playne Design who have studios in London and Hastings. Creative Director is Clare Playne. Print production is handled by Simon Hack. You can read more about the creation of the new identity here:

This project is just an excellent example of a well thought out and well executed piece of print. Good consideration of the format, materials and printing processes is where this job scores most highly. It's not lavish or expensive and it's entirely appropriate for the client.

The project is printed offset litho in CMYK by Banbury Litho.
Posted by Justin Hobson 10.11.2017