Archive for December, 2011

Great reception for Jekyll and Hyde

22 December 2011

We’re very pleased that Books and Vines has had some nice things to say about our Jekyll and Hyde. There are some interesting and complementary comments, too. We learnt there that the correct title of the book is Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, with no definite article, and were pleased to see Edward A Wilson’s illustrations for the Limited Editions Club edition of 1952.

We’ve also had a nice email from a reader in the USA:

‘My friend Chris Adamson,’ he writes, ‘who is the guiding light behind the fine press & private press blog and website “Books and Vines” sent digital photos of the book to me via e-mail and it is a clearcut  “home-run”, a book I simply could not pass on. The book design is superb and Ms. Barrett’s illustrations are splendid, atmospheric, perfectly in tune with the mood and feel of this small masterpiece.  I look forward to receiving it and adding it to my library.”

Insanely great

19 December 2011

‘Evan Davis decodes the formula that took Apple from suburban garage to global supremacy’, says BBC iPlayer of Steve Jobs: Billion Dollar Hippy. Well, up to a point. Interesting though it was, the programme didn’t seem to grasp the importance of design in Apple’s success. Lord Stephen Fry, apparently wheeled out as the voice of the user (why is this condescending, self-important public schoolboy so popular?), told us that when things look good we like using them and they work better. We needed a better insight.

Around the time of the first G5 Power Mac Jobs talked about the way design is central to Apple. How the computer worked, both software and hardware, was designed; design was more than a cosmetic afterthought. They thought about how people used computers and made the computers fit around the people, not the other way round. iPhones and iPads are successful not just because Apple found a way to package up the internet into small pieces, as Davis put it, but because using them is insanely easy.

That is an attitude that we share, despite the vast differences between our companies. ‘What will make this piece easy to read?’ is one of the key unspoken questions when we are asked to design something. The answers are usually pretty simple, things like the getting the right number of words on a line and the right relationship between word spacing and line spacing, but they are what make the difference.

Internship booking open for one day only

14 December 2011

It’s been a while since our last post, for the very good reason that we’ve been busy. We still are, but it’s time to take bookings for internships. For today only we’re taking applications for January – March.

If you’d like to apply please send an email to It’s unlikely that we can answer queries and we’ll only be replying to offer places. Making bookings can take several days, so please don’t expect an immediate answer. We ask successful applicants for a deposit of £25 in the form of a cheque made out to Disasters Emergency Committee. It’s returned at the start of the internship or sent to DEC if you cancel within three weeks of the start date.