Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Punchline Tag

I first met Erika Rennel Bjorkman when she was working at Pentagram in John Rushworth's team back in the mid nineties (I know that's quite a long time ago now!). Even though Erika returned to Sweden with her young family we have still stayed in touch and she now lives and works in Stockholm.
Here is her range of her quirky and original "Punchline Tags" which combine a gift tag and greeting in a unique self-standing concertina card - and I think they're great (...they aren't even on our paper and I still think they're great!)
Erika now has an on-line shop here and you can read more about them here:

Posted by Justin Hobson 26.09.2017

Friday, 22 September 2017


Yesterday, I popped into Old Spitalfields Market to an event that is part of the London Design Festival 2017. For this event Kingston School of Art’s Design Departments has migrate en-masse to the old market. They've reshaped the metal stalls as makerspaces and are inviting in locals, visitors, schools and businesses to re-imagine the Market together. It is Kingston's first whole-School event run by tutors, students and recent graduates and it runs 21–23 September at Old Spitalfields Market - so you can still catch it now - on today and on Saturday.
...and why should you go? Because there are 31 activities including live Signwriting (by Josh Hallam Holden who I met and is a very nice guy) to making chairs out of rubbish, a scribe and the wonderfully named Megatron.
Of particular interest is the "Paper-Print-Bind" section run by tutors Rose Gridneff, Andrew Haslam and Simon Goode.
Using waste card and paper collected from the Market itself, you can experience the process of book production from start to finish—through paper making, letterpress printing, and bookbinding.

Here is Simon Goode demonstrating handmade papermaking:
 ...and here is a visitor participating - she is actually couching (pronounced ‘coo-ching’) which is the term papermakers use to describe transferring a newly formed sheet of paper from the mould to the drying felts, which serves to remove the moisture:
 ...and a finished sheet of paper that I made!
Below is Andy Haslam printing on the Farley proofing press
...and Simon Goode getting visitors involved in book-making
These processes were historically prevalent in this area of the city - particularly towards Clerkenwell and are now used in the workshops at Kingston School of Art. Working with pre-digital processes gives their students a deeper understanding of materiality within graphic design. Well done to Kieran O'Connor for all his hard work co-ordinating the event.

..and a quick plug for the paper! the A2 size 'maps' are riso printed on our Redeem 100% Recycled 80gsm - lovely.
Why not go along today or tomorrow and have a go and connect to these traditional, locally significant methods of making, and take away your very own sketchbook in which to develop ideas for a productive future for Spitalfields!

Posted by Justin Hobson 22.09.2017

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

The Bristol

The Doyle Collection is a carefully curated collection of eight Irish family-owned luxury and urban hotels. Each hotel has a strong identity that is closely connected to its location. Set in the city's vibrant harbourside, The Bristol’s contemporary exterior overlooks the busy harbour. With 187 well appointed guest rooms and suites, this is a wonderfully luxurious hotel.
Branding agency, Brave New World  undertook an extensive re-branding exercise of the parent brand and of each individual hotel. The work included everything from strategy to interior design, website, high-profile advertising campaigns and the literature for each hotel.
Click on images to enlarge
The size of the brochure is 260x185mm, portrait and is saddle stitched. The cover is printed on an uncoated 300gsm board. 
The brochure is saddle stitched using three stitches:
The text material chosen was our Omnia, which would beautifully reproduce the photography with the rich interiors and exteriors superbly  ...and it looks wonderful! The 20pp text is on Omnia White 150gsm, printed offset litho in CMYK throughout.
Click on images to enlarge
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 wedding venue and the reproduction of the fine voile used on the chairs. An ordinary feeling silk or gloss coated paper wasn't an option, so Omnia fitted the bill perfectly.
Omnia is a very bulky paper but with a 20pp text and the saddle stitching, it lays nice and flat allowing each spread to be enjoyed without 'fighting' against the binding.
Branding and creative direction is by Brave New World. The designer on this project is Caroline King. Print by 21 Colour, based in Glasgow.

Posted by Justin Hobson 20.09.2017

Thursday, 14 September 2017

Beyond the Great Wave

Katsushika Hokusai (1760–1849) is widely regarded as one of Japan’s most famous and influential artists. He produced works of astonishing quality right up until his death at the age of 90. This new exhibition held this Summer at the British Museum covers the period of the last 30 years of Hokusai’s life – a time when he produced some of his most memorable masterpieces. The exhibition was a phenomenal success resulting in most tickets being sold out.

These are the private view invitations produced for the launch of the exhibition in May. The two invitations are both 8pp, A5 portrait and feature Hokusai’s artwork.
This invitation is printed on our Omnia 320gsm, which is a very bulky board with a subtle, natural texture and tactile surface. Reproduction is superb with the all the detail retained in the images. 
The images as reproduced on each of the invitations:
Click on images to enlarge
Below show the invitations laid out flat, front and back
Click on images to enlarge
Below is a birds eye view of the invitation:
One thing that I must point out here is just how amazing the black solid on Omnia looks - a real dense, even black solid - nice and even.
Design is by the in-house team at the British Museum, headed by Ann Lumley.

The invitation is printed by Park Lane Press. It is printed offset litho but Park Lane print using a 'waterless' process that eliminates the water or dampening system used in conventional printing. The specialist plates allow the printed dot to be held more securely preventing any unwanted movement of ink and minimising dot gain to create a sharper image in ultra fine definition. They are one of the very few printers who champion the use of this waterless process.

Posted by Justin Hobson 14.09.2017

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Surfers against Sewage - Plastic Free Coastlines

https://www.sas.org.uk/Surfers Against Sewage is widely recognised as one of the UK’s leading marine conservation charities. Surfers Against Sewage today deals with a wide spectrum of marine conservation issues from marine litter to climate change.

Established in 1990 by people (originally surfers) who were sick of seeing sewage in the sea and on beaches.  It was their direct contact with the ocean and sadly the chronic sewage pollution of the time that was the visceral driving force behind the emerging organisation, something that remains strong to this day. However marine plastic pollution and climate change are now the new issues of concern.

This literature has been produced to accompany their PLASTIC FREE COASTLINES campaign. There are two pieces of literature, a 'Community Toolkit' booklet and a 'Individual Action Plan' broadsheet.
The paper used is our Favini SHIRO Alga Carta, Bianco, chosen because it was in keeping with the sustainable nature of the project, because it is manufactured partly using algae harvested from the Venice lagoon, combined with recycled and FSC certified fibres. Algae blooms at the end of Summer in the Venice lagoon as the warm water combines with pollution and must be harvested to maintain the lagoon's eco-balance. 
The Community Toolkit booklet is A6 size (148x105mm). It has a 4pp cover printed on 300gsm and 44pp text on 120gsm.
Printed offset litho in two colours (red and black)
If you aren't familiar with Shiro Alga Carta, the specs of Alga are actually visible in the sheet as you can see in the detail below:
Click on images to enlarge
The 'Individual Action Plan' document is an A5 broadsheet format which folds out to A3, again printed in two colours, offset Litho.
Above is A5 (210x148mm) folding out to below:
...which then opens out to the below (A3)
The below image shows both sides of the broadsheet open:
Design of the literature is by Cornish based studio Leap. Matt Hocking, principal at Leap got FAVINI interested in the project, so that they sponsored the paper ...and it's worth remembering that the money to produce these publications is all raised by SAS members.

The publication is printed by St Austell Printing Company in Cornwall chosen as they have excellent sustainable credentials, print using vegetable inks and as they are close by to Leap and SAS, it keeps the carbon footprint down too!

Posted by Justin Hobson 12.09.2017

Friday, 8 September 2017

New Colorset Swatch

Many of you will know that a couple of years ago we started to bring in our Colorset range in 350gsm, so we now have ALL colours in 120gsm, 270gsm and 350gsm - all in B1 size (700x1000mm).
For those of you not familiar with Colorset, it is our range of coloured text and cover papers which is 100% recycled and more competitively priced than some other well known brands of coloured paper! Below is the updated swatch: 
The Colorset brand identity and swatch design was created by The Chase, some years ago but it's still going strong! Creative director on the project was Harriet Devoy and the designer was Monica Pirovano.

There are now 28 colours (including black and white) and two new shades, Chilli and Orchid -see image below
If you would like the updated swatch, please drop me an email and I'll pop one in the post
Posted by Justin Hobson 08.09.2017

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

The Wardian

Wardian London is a residential-led development under construction on the Isle of Dogs, London from Eco World-Ballymore and designed by architect firm Glenn Howells. The scheme consists of two skyscrapers and groundworks were started in 2015. Upon completion, expected to be in 2019, Wardian London will be one of the tallest residential developments in London and the UK.

This property brochure is not really a brochure at all - it is an amazingly produced, sumptuous case-bound book.

The size of the book is 320x245mm, portrait. It is case-bound with an 18mm spine and the text is section sewn 
The introduction 'flysheet' is actually a series of flysheets setting the scene of this development where each apartment has it's own 'sky garden' and the emphasis is on plants and the seasons.
There are 8pp of these 'flysheets' in both the front and back and they are printed on our lovely Offenbach Bible 60gsm  - just look at the print result, it's truly amazing, just remember this is a 60gsm sheet of uncoated paper! ...it just feels beautiful.
The majority of this 126pp book is printed on our Omnia 120gsm.The reason that Omnia was chosen is because it would beautifully reproduce the photography with the rich greens of the gardens, solid colours and dark photography and most importantly feel special - with the reproduction that you would expect on a silk or gloss but with a natural tactile uncoated feel.
Click on images to enlarge
There are six chapters within the book. Each of the chapters is preceded by a 'tip in' featuring a pen and ink illustrations of the type of plants studied by Nathaniel Ward after whom the development is named.
The size of the 'tip in' is 230x162mm and printed on our Astralux 90gsm which is a 1 sided cast coated paper. The illustration is printed on the uncoated side with the credit being printed in one colour on the reverse (glossy) side.
Throughout the publication there are 14 half pages which are 162mm wide. The dividers highlight particular features of the development as you can see below...
Click on images to enlarge
The below image shows the half page titled 'Natural Fragrances'. As you can see the half pages sit in these wonderfully luxurious spreads without disruption, they enhance the experience for the reader.
 The book is printed Offset litho throughout in CMYK plus a metallic gold pantone 'special' ink. This is the other very good reason that Omnia was chosen for this project. On most traditional uncoated papers, metallic inks can look flat and gold can just look a bit brown, but as I hope the below image demonstrates, the metallic gold type really does look metallic on Omnia.

Another feature is the use of gloss UV varnish. Unlike most uncoated products, you can successfully gloss UV varnish on Omnia (with a single hit) and it works really well - as you can see in the below pic...
This is a very effective and subtle use of gloss UV varnish.
For the floorplans there is also a 'throw- out'. Printed solid black plus the metallic gold keylines and type.
Click on images to enlarge
The book is beautifully bound, section sewn and neat black headbands and a divider ribbon.
Click on images to enlarge
This is an exquisitely produced book which using a great choice of materials does convey all the special features and luxury that this development offers. Design is by Made Thought.

Print production is by Push based in London. The quality of reproduction on the different materials and the excellent binding and attention to detail has simply got to be seen to be believed, it is a truly stunning job.

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 rare projects where all those elements that go into producing a piece of literature (concept/design/illustration/photography/print/paper/finishing etc) come together and combine to produce the most superlative result.
Posted by Justin Hobson 05.09.2017