Clean Air

By Francis Atterbury

Remember the discovery last year that Volkswagen were falsifying pollution data from their cars and the subsequent revelation of the poor air quality in our cities? That scandal was revealed just as Drayson Technologies launched CleanSpace, a way of monitoring and reporting the quality of the air we breathe. And, I’m happy and proud to say, CleanSpace used an Artisan Book to get the message across.

The project began with an urgent request for sample books for a 9am meeting. Since this came to me as a text the previous evening, 6am saw me on a train delivering books to an address in London. Our books were a success: I think that people have become so used to the way most books are often so ‘tight’ and inflexible with anodyne paper choices that it comes as a revelation to hold a book that feels good, opens easily and reads well.

Then began what we often call the ‘quote dance’ as the specification was made, re-made, tweaked, altered, amended, revised, changed, re-thought and finally, decided upon. Before being changed again as the artwork arrived.


getting the message across

The books were fully bound in a white cloth. Normally, we’d advise against white purely on practical grounds , but white was perfect for the message in these books and, together with the full page text foil-blocked onto the cover made for a clean and elegant look, one that made you want to open and read. The texts within the books were a medley of ordinary Londoners telling their stories about what air quality meant to their every day journeys with a photograph by documentary photographer Anders Birger. Our Mohawk Superfine paper allows the life, colour and drama inherent in these images to really sing whilst making the text so clear it’s as if it were being read to you.


The photography and text were simple and honest and demanded a simple and honest book.

At Hurtwood Press we are keen walkers and cyclists and wholeheartedly support the values and aims of CleanSpace and of this book. Having just received our own CleanSpace Tag, we are already sending our air quality data back to Drayson.


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