Amelia’s Magazine | An interview with Pretty Green Look Book designer Dave Uprichard of One Big Company

Creative design agency One Big Company designed the new S/S 2012 look book for Liam Gallagher’s clothing brand Pretty Green, which was then printed by Principal Colour in Kent. This beautifully made object was inspired by record sleeves and features stunning photography shot on London’s Hampstead Heath. We caught up with designer Dave Uprichard to find out what goes into putting a look book together.

Your most recent project has been the creation of a look book for Liam Gallagher’s clothing company Pretty Green. How did the collaboration come about?

Myself, Matt and Neil (the other members of the One Big Company team) were contacted by a former colleague from our time at Ted Baker who now designs the collections for Pretty Green.

Have you worked on the design of many look books over the years?

Yes indeed, working at Ted Baker they were one of the bi-annually repeated projects we looked forward to most and as a bonus towards the end of my time there they started creating a High Summer mini-lookbook too so I got to turn my hand to that as well.

One of Dave’s Ted Baker look books (also printed by Principal Colour).

What do you think sets the Pretty Green collection apart from other fashion collections for men?

Apart from the inherent sense of cool which comes through its associations withLiam Gallagher and the best bits of the British music scene what’s great about Pretty Green compared to other fashion collections is that each season is different – obviously your staples are still there but there’s no taking the best selling styles from previous collections, adding a different button or pocket to it and rolling out something which is 99% the same as last year.

What inspired the design of the look book?

It’s inspired by the British music scene of the 60s & 70s, the format is a 12” with a black slipcase to echo a record sleeve and then all the shots have been graded to give an aged analogue feel. There’s no digital crispness with this book, we wanted it to look raw.

The sleeve was die-cut and foiled.

How did you choose the materials and print production techniques for your look book?

Firstly the paper stock had to be uncoated to be in keeping with the grading we’d added to the photography, we knew this would darken up any imagery so that had to be taken into account when printing. We picked Challenger Offset by Antalis McNaughton for this. Other than that it was a case of picking a great black stock for the cover and slipcase (Colorset by Fenner Paper) and ensuring that the foiling of the logos was of the highest quality. We haven’t been let down!

You’ve clocked up 10 years in the print design industry – what have your design highlights been?

The biggest highlight would be breaking free of corporate shackles and setting up with Matt & Neil, maybe not a design highlight but a highlight of my design career! Other than that, it’s hard to say… I’ve worked with so many great clients and brands from MTV to Ted Baker to Pretty Green. Can I just say that the past 10 years have been a highlight?

Where did you work before setting up One Trick Pony? And what skills did you learn at each different place?

I started at a boutique creative agency called Point Blank which was lead bySteve Wallington, it was the perfect place to cut my teeth as everyone had input into creative briefs – the ethos of PB was that a great idea was a great idea no matter whether it came from the Creative Director, Junior Designer or company accountant! After that I went in-house in fashion, working at Ted Baker for just over three years. Then I took a foray into retail design with Portland Associatesbefore setting up One Trick Pony with Matt Bishop and ultimately One Big Company with Matt & Neil.

Aldgate Lofts property brochure – produced for BMOR

What prompted you to start out on your own?

Without wanting to sound bitter it was getting made redundant for the third time! Admittedly Matt and myself had been freelancing for a year or so as One Trick Pony before my employment was cut short and it couldn’t have happened at a better time as Neil had just approached us with a very exciting offer of a monthly retainer from a fairly sizeable property client so everything fell into place perfectly.

Aldgate Lofts property brochure – produced for BMOR

One Trick Pony is about to become One Big Company – what’s the difference?

Pretty much the name is the only difference…

…you can read the rest of this blog over on the Principal Colour tumblr. Please do visit!

Categories ,Aldgate Lofts, ,Antalis McNaughton, ,Bluewater, ,BMOR, ,Challenger Offset, ,Colorset, ,Dave Uprichard, ,Die-cut, ,Fenner Paper, ,Foiled, ,Hampstead Heath, ,Liam Gallagher, ,Matt Bishop, ,O’Dear, ,One Big Company, ,One Trick Pony, ,Point Blank, ,Portland Associates, ,Pretty Green, ,principal colour, ,Ted Baker

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Amelia’s Magazine | An interview about Lithographic Print Design and Production with Ornan Rotem of Sylph Editions

xu lei brochure by Ornan Rotem of Sylph Editions 2
Meet designer Ornan Rotem of specialist art book publishers Sylph Editions. Over the last five years he has worked on a series of upscale book and brochure design projects with high quality lithographic printers Principal Colour of Paddock Wood, Kent. I spoke with him to find out more about how this relationship works, and what it takes to produce something wonderful in print.

A Labour of Moles, Cahier Series by Sylph Editions
A Labour of Moles, The Cahier Series by Sylph Editions.

What dictates your choice of paper and print? And how important is fine quality in a publication – what decides this do you think?
In all of our of publications, paper and printing technique is paramount. It seems to me that the more people rely on the web the more the nature of printed material will be positively affected. A lot of printed material can look mundane and outdated compared with its web counterpart. Gradually, the web will take over and its printed sibling will either be marginalised or become redundant, like the telephone book. At the same time the computer screen is a great leveller: everything ends up being seen through the glassy filter of monitors of varying quality. This gives a new lease of life for books if they offer a satisfying physical or tactile experience, if they are publications that are a pleasure to behold. I would even go so far as to say that the ubiquity of the web creates an unprecedented quest for good quality printing. Our goal is to match the look of a publication with its content so that they enhance each other. This seems to me to be crucial: it isn’t just about finding pretty paper or getting it to look nice, it is about the ability to make use of the unique possibilities that the printed medium offers in order to enhance and bolster the content. For example, if I want to convey to you that a text is meant to be read, it has to be conveyed through its physical qualities; that is to say: legibility-driven of typography, paper that isn’t too bright and that doesn’t have any reflections, proportions and sizes that relate to the human body, etc.

In the Thick of Things Cahier Series Sylph Editions
In the Thick of Things, The Cahier Series by Sylph Editions.

You have been working with Principal Colour for awhile now – how did that relationship start and what has been the best aspect of this relationship?
We have been working with Principal Colour continuously for the last 5 years. Not only that, but we have been working on a vast array of projects: from simple A5 leaflets to limited edition books – and everything in between. The way it began is typical of Principal Colour. I designed a very intricate calendar that had to be finished a few weeks before Christmas. I engaged one of the better known UK printers (who have since gone bust) and initially everything was going fine. One day, I ring up to make sure we are on course only to be told that they simply won’t be able to do it before January. Needless to say I was appalled by this callousness. I asked Justin Hobson of Fenner Paper if he could think of some other printer who could save the day (and my reputation too). Alan and Martin called me up and I drove out that to see them after a brief introduction. They began working on the job straight away. They had to work weekends and do some of the binding in house so as to meet the deadline. I was so impressed by this kind of dedication and the quality of their work that we have been working ever since. This, I must say, was not a one-off event: it has been characteristic of everything we have done over the past years. You ask what the best aspect of the relationship is? It is the feeling that I am not just handing over a job, but that we are doing it together, that they care about it as much as I do, whether its a leaflet or a book. This is something quite commendable. 

xu lei brochure by Ornan Rotem of Sylph Editions
xu lei brochure by Ornan Rotem of Sylph Editions
xu lei brochure by Ornan Rotem of Sylph Editions
The Xu Lei exhibition brochure is very unique and interesting – can you tell us a bit more about the design and production of it?
I was asked to do a brochure that will celebrate this much feted Chinese artist. The brief was do to something that would not only be informative, but also covey the richness and special qualities of his art. I was looking into different kinds of folds: there is Trish Witkowski‘s encyclopaedic Fold Factory where one is spoilt for choice, in fact, completely spoilt. At around the same time I met a very talented young designer, George Hadley, who showed me a leaflet he had produced using this fold and I felt it just made perfect sense because this fold would allow me to create a brochure that functions both as a booklet and a poster. However, working out the mechanical details wasn’t that simple and we had to make several dummies (with Fenner Paper) to try it out before it actually worked. It can easily go wrong if the paper is not the right stock or the right weight, and the die must be serious precision work. Armed with his endless and unwavering patience, Alan worked out the details and we created what I think is a marvellous publication.

Text on Textile Cahier Series Sylph Editions
Text on Textile, The Cahier Series by Sylph Editions.

I understand you have also been printing the Cahiers Series at Principal Colour: 16 editions over 4 years. How did this series come about and what paper and print techniques are used?
The Cahier Series was set up jointly by Sylph Editions and The Center for Writers and Translators at the American University of Paris. The underlying idea was to set up a publication series dedicated to translating and writing. It is a natural collaboration, since we have the production and publishing capabilities as well as being very interested in literature and more specifically in translated literature. The university, on the other hand, sits at the hub of intellectual activity with far-reaching ties and commands the respect from many notable figures. From a material point of view, all the editions are identical: they are between 40 to 44 pages, always printed on Neptune Unique Soft White 105gsm with a ColorSet cover and dust jacket printed on the beautiful Cordenons Chagall (all supplied by Fenner). They are always three-hole-sewn and always have a fifth colour to identify them. So the format is a very closed format; on the other hand, the actual printing and the printing techniques is like a showcase of current techniques. We use single gatefolds, double gatefolds, metallic colours, duotones, tritones, spot varnish, tip ins, bellybands – you name we do it. I very much like this idea of expressing oneself within the confines of a strict and closed framework.

Hop on over to the Principal Colour tumblr to read the rest of this interview with Ornan Rotem, including what he considers the best advice for anyone working with print design production and two exclusive videos that show in detail how the Xu Lei brochure folds…

Categories ,Alan Flack, ,Art Books, ,Bellybands, ,Booklets, ,Brochures, ,Colorset, ,Cordenons Chagall, ,Double Gatefolds, ,Duotones, ,exhibition, ,Fenner Paper, ,Fold Factory, ,Justin Hobson, ,Lithographic Print, ,Martin Darby, ,Metallic Colours, ,Neptune Unique Soft White, ,Ornan Rotem, ,Print Design, ,Print Production, ,publishing, ,Single Gatefolds, ,Specialist, ,Spot varnish, ,Sylph Editions, ,The Cahier Series, ,The Center for Writers and Translators at the American University of Paris, ,Tip ins, ,Trish Witkowski, ,Tritones, ,typography, ,Xu Lei

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