Archive for the 'Design' Category

Michael Harvey, Adventures With Letters

26 June 2012

Adventures With LettersMichael Harvey has been working with letters for more than sixty years. He has drawn them and cut them, he has written about them and taught them, he has made fonts. He was taught by Joseph Cribb and Reynolds Stone who in turn were taught by Eric Gill, so he links the current generation of lettering and type design with the great revival of the Arts and Crafts movement. Having absorbed its influence he moved on to other letter forms, sometimes exploring for its own sake, always considering the function of what he was doing.

Now he has told the story of his Adventures with Letters in a book that he has written, designed and illustrated with numerous drawings, photographs and type specimens. It’s published by his 47 editions imprint, and we’re very pleased that he’s asked us to distribute it. It is available here, now!


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.

Parenthesis 20

4 April 2011

Cover of Parenthesis 20The latest issue of Parenthesis, the journal of the Fine Press Book Association, arrived last week. We were particularly keen to see it, because we designed and printed the cover. The numerals were cut in wood by Michael Harvey and we set everything else in metal by hand and by machine.

Parenthesis is published twice yearly, with alternate issues being produced in the UK and North America. The UK editor is Sebastian Carter, who once again has put together an exciting issue. Can you really afford to miss articles about the resurgence in French book design in the final year of the Second World War? Or posters at the Whittington Press? Or Times Classic, a significant improvement on Times New Roman? The list goes on. All that and our cover.

If you don’t subscribe already, why not?

Made to make your mouth water

9 April 2009


We’ve had a lot of fun printing this poster, and we’re rather proud of it.

We started off by setting the wood type and proofing it in black to get position. We then decided on the colours, using our trusty Pantone book as a guide, and set about separating the type for each printing. We checked each colour against the black proof, lining it up on our light box.

Called Tutti Frutti, it’s available from our ebay shop. There are also some more pictures on our Flickr site.

We hope you enjoy it as much as we do.

High Speed One

10 July 2008

We made this little book for a talk at the Art Workers Guild about the restoration of St Pancras station. Stephanie Gerra, a member of the Guild, wrote a poem about the newly opened station, which made a very pretty four page book designed by Brian Webb.

Bog Child

30 May 2008

Our friends at David Fickling Books asked us to design and print these invitations to the launch of Bog Child by Siobhan Dowd. We were pleased to do so, because it is an excellent novel. We thought they came out well.