An award winning book
This book had ‘oooer’ written all over it and I seriously considered turning it down. It’s an astonishing book created by a highly experienced Photoshop professional using almost every filter and algorithm the program could muster in order to tell a compellingly creative story. Violent colour panel meets delicate monochrome detail within an oppressive and solid black background; and that’s just page one. It was everything a printer looking for a quiet life should avoid.
There was a visual narrative that moved in a direction and a book is simply the most effective way to bring such a thing to life. Sanjay Kalideen who commissioned the book firstly wanted to make it to prove it could be made, and then to use as a selling tool to publishers.
Sanjay had already prepared it to a landscape format. Like most people he had started as A4 but DIN A sizes are so ugly and when he saw how much better our landscape size (235 x 300mm) worked, he adjusted to this size. As it happened, his original work fitted our size better (which often happens).
I felt under enormous pressure as I knew Sanjay would immediately see any shortcomings in our attempt to render his screen images to paper.
I felt that the secret to the job lay in our ability to maintain a neutral grey balance through the job. There were a lot of solid and deep blacks both within images and then out into full bleeds on the page. We had to interrogate all these solid areas and ensure that we had converted to our standard full black (70/70/70/100). Similarly the solid and bright areas of colour had to have consistency and, where possible, be made without black. In that way we could accentuate the contrast on the page and get closer to the drama achieved on screen.
I talked at length with Sanjay and he was confident I understood his intention for the book, and that we would be able to produce it to the standard he wanted.
The book has been incredibly well received and has just won a British Book Design & Production Award. Ten books were made and Sanjay plans to form an art publishing collective 500 milligrams. Read the academic review by Mikkel Bruun Zangenberg for a fuller understanding of the narrative of the book.
Sanjay’s photography is an art form, and this combined with skilled pre-press work, printing and binding have made this an extraordinary and arresting book.
It is a technical tour-de-force.
The BBD&P award judges commented ‘A visual assault of a book with eye-popping use of typography, overlays and photography; Inherent Madness lives up to its name with the horizontal format housing both full-bleed photography and a string of unconventional juxtapositions of image and type. The latter is executed superbly, with clear hierarchy and a pared-back colour palette, yet still enough scope to surprise. The monochrome images are rendered in excellent detail, too’.
Thanks must also go to our partners on this project, Pureprint and Ludlow Bookbinders, this was a winning book because of the excellence of all aspects of the production.