At the beginning of 3rd year after a lengthy summer break Mike and I were asked to design and make a book which combines 7 short stories written by Manchester Met students who graduated earlier this year, with a series of images created by 3rd year illustration students from Stockport College. The brief had a strict deadline with the book being sold at its launch on the 20th of October at the Cornerhouse and would also need posters and invites to promote the event.
The project was given an editorial team which we met regularly in the initial stages of development to discuss idea's etc. The direction Mike and I were heading towards was to make something that existed as a piece of art/design instead of something that would just contain the information we were given. We looked at the book made from the previous year and saw how much potential we had with making something different. We spent alot of time looking at points of reference and finding publications and styles of editorial design that we liked or felt displayed information in a different way, and relayed this to the editorial team.
Something we found early on was due to limitations of the budget and the amount of books required, sacrifices would have to be made in either the size, paper stock or colour of the book. We were keen to stay away from glossy paper (which is the cheapest) and quickly realised that reducing the book down to a 2 colour job from a full colour job would be the only real way to come within budget.
This was a difficult time within the project as alot of the illustrarion students were not happy with having to adapt their images, which was completely understandable however it was something that needed to be done for the benefit of the book as a whole and by the end of the project most of the students liked the rhythm and continual flow the book had all being blue/black (the colours chosen).
We were able to secure printing with a London based printers, Blackbox Press, whose lovely printing style we spotted on a publication of theirs, Crimson Hexagon. They very generously agreed to come within budget for us and are ready to collect as we speak. It has been great experience to work on a live brief which requires communicating with not only other pathways but printers aswell. Both Mike and I both feel like we've learnt a great deal about the pace of turning around a job like this. Now fingers crossed they turn out okay and the launch is a sucess.