14 May, 2009

Some Nice Publications

Posted by: admin In: Creative Review

Here is a selection of some rather nice publications that have landed on our desks recently here at CR towers…

First up is a set of six books that make up the Manchester Independent Economic Review – designed by Manchester-based design studio, Music

“The reports are a series of strategic publications that provide an assessment of the current state and future potential of the City’s economy,” explains Music’s Ali Johnson. “The real challenge for us was to take the quite serious and, to be honest, sometimes quite dry information and present it in an engaging way without being over indulgent with the design.”


Nobrow is a new publishing venture set up late last year by Sam Arthur. Regular readers of CR may recognise Arthur’s name: he has featured in our pages as a music video director (he directed the animated promo for Röyksopp’s 2002 record Poor Leno). The new venture’s aim is, Arthur explains, to provide a platform for illustration, graphics and commercial art oriented publications.

Here are some images of Nobrow magazine issue 1: Gods & Monsters, a 52 page, oversize A4 volume printed in two spot colours in a numbered edition of 3000 copies – which features work by a host of illustrators, including Stuart Kolakovic (who illustrated the cover), Eda Akaltun, Alex Bland, Jordan Crane, Benjamin Guedel, Sarah King, Toby Leigh and more…

“We will be releasing issue 2 in November,” says Arthur, “and twice annually from here on in. We are also working with a variety of artists, illustrators and designers on screen printed books in editions of 100 with our Nobrow Small Press. We have a fully equipped screenprinting studio in the basement of our premises. We are also going to be releasing some comics and graphic novellas as offset litho projects with Nobrow Press.”


Issue two of the Alaska, a “bookazine” featuring previously unpublished photography by emerging talent, is hot off the press. Quarter-bound in velvet with an uncoated recycled board cover and gold edged pages, it feels like a lavish affair. Here’s a sneak preview at some spreads:


Eleven is a collection of images of footballers (originally commissioned for a campaign by Medhi Benmamar and Alvin Chan at Nike) shot by Rick Guest. Designed by Yacht Associates, printed by Generation Press and published through by Generation Yacht, Eleven sports an embossed soft white leather hardback cover. “The concept for this book was to create ‘prints’ that were bound into a book, rather than images to be ‘designed’ around, hence it became very much an exercise in removing superfluous content and almost designing out the design to leave something that communicated through it’s tactility and functionality,” explains Yacht Associates’ Richard Bull.

“Each page has a serrated tear line down the inner edge, which serves to aid removal but more importantly acts as ‘nod’ to the owner that permission is granted to remove pages if desired,” adds Bull. “There are eleven ‘Hero’ shots and eleven ‘Action Shots’, the later images are fold out landscapes and the look follows a format where a fold-out appears after every ‘Hero’ shot. The technical challenges we faced required an enormous amount of research and development with Generation Press and Hipwell’s Book Binders – which culminated in the book taking almost a year from conception to finished item. Published by Generation Yacht this book exists in a very limited edition of 100 copies and is not for sale.”

“The book was initially a reaction to the ephemeral nature of commercial work, to give substance to not just the work, but to the experience of shooting it,” says Guest of the project. “A reminder of the journey, travelling madly around Europe, every day a different country, a different player, working with a fantastically tight crew, shooting frenetically within the tiny windows in the players schedules. Later however, it became more of a thankyou to all those involved; of course they get paid and get to tell their mates they were involved, but it’s not the same as holding something you were part of in your hands, something to be proud of. All the people involved gave more than they were asked, it made sense to say thanks in a way that did justice to that.”


At just under A3 in size, and given that it is printed on newsprint, FIle magazine has a tabloid feel – although that word does the art direction and design, by Thorbjørn Ankerstjerne and Fabio Sebastinelli, something of a disservice…

Editorially, File focuses on “graphic design, art and visual communication” according to its website, although to us, it would seem more accurate to say that it looks at music video and short film / interviews relating to musical endeavours. As well as the printed magazine, File consists of a DVD containing over two hours of short films, music videos and interviews, not to mention a limited edition print by Geoff McFetridge. Nice!


Studio8 has designed and art directed SHOP, a new magazine published by Global Refund  – an organisation dedicated to promoting tax free shopping opportunities for travellers in foreign cities. “SHOP aims to be the ultimate luxury traveller publication,” says its editor-in-chief, Emma Cheevers. “Studio8 has really captured the essence of discreet elegance that we were looking for. There’s a palpable retro feel, but it also feels completely modern.”


The magazine will look to offer tips on what to buy and where to buy it from leading style journalists and will be published bi-annually in two editions: Luxury and Style (both shown above). SHOP will be distributed in leading London hotels as well as route specific journeys with leading airlines, first class airline lounges and partner retailers. Initially launching in London, SHOP Istanbul and SHOP Singapore will follow shortly, with plans to publish magazines in 45 countries by 2012.

This rather nice SHOP launch poster, which shows off the titles masthead, came folded with the issues we were sent.


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