Thursday, 30 July 2015

The Little Boy Lost

This limited edition publication is one of two publications produced by London based photographer  and artist Christopher Paul Sharpe.
This first book titled The Little Boy Lost (the second book is called Little Boy Found) contains images edited by Lu Bowan, with each of the photographs relating to the theme of ‘lost and found’ ...a very eclectic mix.
Size is 210x148mm (A5), portrait with a 4pp cover printed on Omnia 200gsm and 36pp text printed on Omnia 120gsm. 
Click on images to enlarge
The book is digitally printed on an HP Indigo press by Gavin Martin Colournet. Omnia is suitable for use on HP Indigo presses if it has been 'sapphire coated'. The colours are strong and punchy and the whole book has a matt, tactile look and feel, the effect of which is every bit as good as litho.
The book is 'singer sewn' with a white thread which is a perfect little detail that just adds to the overall effect of this beautifully produced little book.
Design is by Studio Thomson and the book has a limited print edition size of 150 copies. Print and finishing is by Gavin Martin Colournet.
Posted by Justin Hobson 30.07.2015

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

RA Summer Exhibition

For 247 years, the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition has offered a snapshot of contemporary art – and this year’s exhibition is a riot of colour, variety and discovery with over 1,100 works. This year, the exhibition is co-ordinated by Michael Craig-Martin RA – a leading artist of his generation and the teacher who nurtured the talents of Gary Hume, Sarah Lucas and Damien Hirst. This year's choice was made from over 12,000 entries!

The Summer Exhibition is the world’s oldest open-submission exhibition: its earliest exhibitors included the likes of Reynolds, Constable and Turner.

This is the invitation to the private view on the 3rd June. In line with the exhibition's "vibrant summer of colour" theme, it is a very striking and colourful invitation.
Click on images to enlarge
Size is A5 Portrait (210x148mm). As I hope you will be able to tell from the image above, it has a pearlescent effect and this is because it is printed on Stardream Crystal, which is our pearlescent and metallic range ( fact it's the largest pearlescent and metallic range on the market!). What many people don't realise is that printing a solid colour onto a pearlescent board results in the solid having a pearlescent effect - this is because litho inks are transparent.
The invitations are printed offset litho using pantone special colours (three colours) and it really does convey a riot of colour.
The Stardream Crystal 120gsm has been pasted onto a 1500micron mount board which has then been edge coloured in the matching vibrant yellow. The result is superb.
Art direction and design is by Constanza Gaggero, at her London studio Gaggero Works. Print is by Basingstoke based Liquorice Press.

The Summer Exhibition is on at Burlington House in Piccadilly until 16th August.
Posted by Justin Hobson 28.07.2015

Friday, 24 July 2015

Bamford Haybarn

The Bamford brand is associated with a philosophy of natural ingredients. Having originally started with organic farming, the founder, Lady Bamford, embarked on a range of clothing from only natural fibres and purest bodycare from organic and botanical ingredients together.  Haybarn is the Bamford Spa and treatments brand and they have facilities at Daylesford and a few other exclusive locations.
This brochure has been produced by Sinéad Madden for the Bamford Haybarn at the Berkeley health club and spa at the Berkeley Hotel in Knightsbridge.
To convey the natural materials and ingredients used at the spa, the 4pp cover is embossed with a wood grain embossing ( ...printed on a well known text and cover from a Hull based paper merchant!). The brochure is 210mm square. The 64pp text is printed on our Omnia 150gsm, which has reproduced the images beautifully, whilst having that uncoated, tactile feel which the cover conveys.
Click on images to enlarge
There are 16pp of full size pages in the first section and the remaining 48pp appear in seven shorter sections, creating a divider feeling.
Each of the divider pages are printed with different wood grain effects to work with the embossing on the front cover.
The brochure is PUR bound and the overall spine thickness is 7mm.
The publication is printed CMYK, Offset Litho. The Omnia prints superbly and the fleshtones, which are notoriously difficult to reproduce well, look exquisite.
Design and art direction is by Sinéad Madden who runs her studio in London. This is a beautifully designed and luxurious publication. Print is by Pureprint.
Posted by Justin Hobson 24.06.2015

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Run & Achieve

Run & Achieve is the creation of Lily Mo, an Edinburgh jewellery designer. They are bracelets for half-marathon and marathon runners with the distances engraved – each bracelet is handmade in Edinburgh using sterling silver and cord that is water resistant.

This elegant packaging was designed and produced by Evgenia Kochkina, based in Edinburgh and is a brilliant piece of packaging design.
Click on images to enlarge
The card is 95mm square and is letterpress printed in two colours - a metallic silver halftone and dark orange and dark orange on the reverse. It is printed on our Matrisse 350gsm, which is very bulky, and is then duplexed making this 700gsm and 1mm thick. There are die cut notches for the cord to sit in and the cards are also 'round cornered'. The card gets inserted into a wallet (115mm square) made from Matrisse 350gsm which is letterpress printed in the same two colours on one side only.
If you click on the image to enlarge the picture, you'll be able to see the coarse screen of the halftone in silver - wonderfully effective use of halftone and letterpress.
You can read more about the project here:
Design, print and production is by Evgenia Kochkina at Stoneberry Press in Edinburgh. Her email says "I only discovered Matrisse qualities during this job. Very elegant paper and good for colours!"

This is a very simple, elegantly produced packaging solution ..and with the perfect paper!
Posted by Justin Hobson 21.07.2015

Friday, 17 July 2015

What is ...The Blue Angel Mark?

What is ...Number 19
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 ...The Blue Angel Mark?

The Blue Angel (Der Blaue Engel) is a German certification for products and services that have environmentally friendly aspects. The Blue Angel mark is the oldest ecolabel in the world, and it covers some 10,000 products in some 80 product categories!

The reason that I thought I would draw people's attention to it, is that here in the UK, it is hardly known about or recognised, whereas on mainland Europe it is both highly visible on products and very highly regarded.

It was originally conceived and put in place by the government of the former West Germany and has been awarded since 1978. The Environmental Label Jury (Jury Umweltzeichen) is an independent, decision-making body for the Blue Angel and includes representatives from environmental and consumer associations, trade unions, industry, the trade, crafts, local authorities, academia, the media, churches, young people and the German federal states. As a result, it isn't open to political interference, industry pressure groups or vested interests, either from industry or the fanatical green groups. This is the reason that I rate the scheme so highly and it annoys me that the UK government has never had the guts to put such an independent system in place in the UK - equally it's a shame that there isn't a pan European system.

The award of the Blue Angel is preceded by a review of the entire life cycle of the products. Such review considers as many aspects of environmental and health protection as possible for the respective product. Subsequently, the criteria limit or rule out those environmental impacts which are considered to be the most important impacts for the respective product. The Basic Award Criteria for a product are specified for each product group and they are all published

The Blue Angel covers a wide range of different products including paints, gardening products, construction, electronics and many more, including paper and board.

We carry products which have been awarded the Blue Angel mark (including our Colorset range) but because of the lack of recognition in the UK, it hasn't been worth becoming a stakeholder, in the way that we hold FSC accreditation for example.

You can read more about the scheme here:
Posted by Justin Hobson 17.07.2015

Thursday, 16 July 2015

Dalziel and Pow - A Year in Review

Every year Dalziel and Pow produce a yearbook to examine and appraise the company's work over the previous year. This would be a big ask for most companies, let alone one that has such a varied and diverse portfolio of work, over just a period of one year. Producing a book like this every year not only shows a commitment to the work that they have produced for clients but is also an historical record, which is an increasingly important factor in these days of electronic on-line impermanence!
This book is just a peerless production. The subject matter and images are superb and the creative direction, design, print production and binding make the publication absolutely superlative. In the beginning is their company statement and you can't get a clearer, or brighter image!
Size of the book is 305x245mm, portrait, with a limp bound, 4pp cover and a 104pp text. It is printed on our lovely Omnia 320gsm (cover) and 150gsm (text). The pantone special (fluoro) yellow, is flat, matt and tactile just like you would want it and with a real intensity of colour.
Click on images to enlarge
I hope the images will do the talking...
...and here we go for the plug about the paper!  - As you can see from the images here, there is loads of colour and images with CMYK dark areas - lots of ink going down and it looks great on the Omnia, reproducing bright vibrant colours as well and the lighter more subtle tones as well, whilst retaining all that detail in those dark areas (in my opinion- but I would say that wouldn't I?)
Included within the 104pp page count are the first and last pages which have both been printed in the special pantone yellow which form 'end papers'.
An important feature that makes all the difference to this publication is the binding. It is a square backed limp bound book but the binding type that is used is called OTAbinding. This is a method of bookbinding that offers an elegant binding solution with advantages over conventional soft cover binding. One of the main advantages is that it lays flatter than a conventional section sewn book. It mimics the construction of a case bound book, so the spine of the text is free from the cover (see image below). It is this that results in the text and whole book laying flatter.
You can read more about it here:
The only visible difference between conventional binding and Otabound is the second crease (see above). Omnia 150gsm is very bulky paper, so the 104pp text gives the book a spine of 12mm.
Creative direction and design is by Dalziel and Pow. The main designers on the project are Kane Davis and Robin Gillard. One would expect their own book to be excellent and this publication is simply exceptional.
The book was printed by Team Impression in Leeds and just from the print point of view alone, it is superlative. The images are strikingly consistent and the finishing and binding are exemplary. A truly outstanding piece of print work. 
...and thanks to Simon Bucktrout at Team Impression for kindly sending me over some file copies.
Posted by Justin Hobson 16.07.2015

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Summer Club Cocktails

Dirty Martini  is an exclusive chain of seven London cocktail bars. As their name might suggest, they have a bespoke range of Martinis and signature cocktails.

The bars all have glamorous interiors and some of London’s best DJs regularly perform live sets at the bars.

This is the Summer Cocktails menu offering five exclusive and reasonably priced cocktails. The summer promotion is called Summerclub.

The simple 4pp menu is very simply printed in one colour, offset litho on our Stardream Gold 285gsm. Size is 160x90mm, portrait. Stardream is a mica coated board with a pearlescent/metallic finish.
Very kindly, Jason Maclaren at Cantate sent me file copies. I asked him to write a couple of paragraphs to explain the project...

"My client wanted to promote a drinks promotion and had no idea what paper to use, initially the brief was an ‘orange’ look, with black foil and a short text section. After looking at various finishes, combined with the problems in procuring material held at a paper mill in Italy (a 7 day delay) it was finally settled to use a more cost effective material called Stardream Gold, held in the UK by Fenner Paper ...and almost 60% cheaper than an alternative board from Bavaria!

A simple choice of paper adds gravitas to an important brand, this brand has used exquisite papers / finishes for its main menu. Having used fully oxidising inks, the sheets were movable 24 hours later allowing delivery 24 hours after this, in time for the launch. Having a knowledge of papers available, combined with simple planning, and simple technical research enabled a fast turnaround. It proves that relationships with your paper suppliers helps you to provide a solution for your clients."   Jason Maclaren, Cantate 
This is a project which is simple, from an "ink on paper" point of view has been well creased - something that is often overlooked. As you can see from the image below, a nice crisp well creased fold.
Print is by Cantate, a division of the John Good Group and thanks to Jason Maclaren at Cantate for sending me file copies and for his insight into the reasons for using this board.
Posted by Justin Hobson 14.07.2015