James Brook / Design

‘Much Obliged’ Book by Stephen Sutcliffe



Much Obliged

Stephen Sutcliffe

Published by Book Works, London, 2019

Edited by Gavin Everall

Proofreading by Jenny Fisher

Designed by James Brook

ISBN 978 1 906012 81 6

Soft cover | 195 x 130 mm | 144 pages | Printed by Albe de Coker in Antwerp, Belgium,
on Symbol Tatami, Munken Pure and LumiArt papers | Typeset in Adobe Caslon Pro and Nimbus Sans

Much Obliged is a book by the Glasgow-based artist, Stephen Sutcliffe, that I designed for Book Works in London. Much Obliged is inspired by Joe Brainard’s seminal memoir, I Remember, and is a similarly constructed assemblage of loosely connected reminiscences drawing on Stephen’s experiences of childhood, family, art school, friends and work. Like me, Stephen is from Yorkshire so it was been a real treat to typeset words and phrases that are familiar from my own childhood. I very much enjoyed working on this project and Stephen’s text was been a joy to read, often making me laugh out loud.

This story is typical of the dry humour running through the book:
In Greenacres Stephen’s mam and dad once had John Spooner and his wife over for dinner. During the meal Stephen’s mam said, ‘You look brown John. Have you had your shirt off at work?’ John was a miner.

Printed on uncoated paper, the book features a glossy central section of images including Stephen’s own collages – often made as birthday cards for his friends – alongside family snapshots. My favourite is Stephen at a fancy dress party, dressed as Camila Batmanghelidjh. The cover has a high gloss finish – I've always wanted to do a book with a glossy cover so was delighted that the artist shared this ambition!

www.bookworks.org






























Gavin Everall, Co-Director, Book Works: James has a long history of involvement with Book Works, as a former valued colleague and friend, but this was the first time we had worked with him as a freelance designer. And it was a complete pleasure to work with someone who really understands artists, artists’ books, and the role of a designer in the publication process. Not only is he meticulous in his approach and delivery, but it was also a pleasure to be reminded of what fun he is to work with. 


Cover of ‘Much Obliged’ Book by Stephen Sutcliffe



This is the cover of Much Obliged, a new book by the Glasgow-based artist, Stephen Sutcliffe, that I designed for Book Works in London. Much Obliged is inspired by Joe Brainard’s seminal memoir, I Remember, and is a similarly constructed assemblage of loosely connected reminiscences drawing on Stephen’s experiences of childhood, family, art school, friends and work. Like me, Stephen is from Yorkshire so it has been a real treat to typeset words and phrases that are familiar from my own childhood. I’ve very much enjoyed working on this project and Stephen’s text has been a joy to read, often making me laugh out loud. This story is typical of the dry humour running through the book:

In Greenacres Stephen’s mam and dad once had John Spooner and his wife over for dinner. During the meal Stephen’s mam said, ‘You look brown John. Have you had your shirt off at work?’ John was a miner.

Printed on uncoated paper, the book features a glossy central section of images including Stephen’s own collages – often made as birthday cards for his friends – alongside family snapshots. My favourite is Stephen at a fancy dress party, dressed as Camila Batmanghelidjh.

More photos of the book to come soon…


Much Obliged Stephen Sutcliffe

Edited by Gavin Everall

Proofreading by Jenny Fisher

Designed by James Brook

Published by Book Works, London, 2019

ISBN 978 1 906012 81 6

Soft cover | 195 x 130 mm | 144 pages
Printed by Albe de Coker in Antwerp, Belgium,
on Symbol Tatami, Munken Pure and LumiArt papers
Typeset in Adobe Caslon Pro and Nimbus Sans

Discover RSA Autumn 2019



Discover RSA | Issue 112 | Autumn 2019

Designed by James Brook for the Friends of the Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh, 2019

Booklet | 210 x 148 mm | 16 pages
Printed by Events Armoury, Edinburgh

I originally designed this newsletter in 2016, subsequently designing three further issues before the RSA handed the work to their in-house designer. I was approached again in early 2018 to update the design of the newsletter as a 16 page A5 booklet. This is the fourth edition that I have designed in this new format and style.

The newsletter takes visual cues from the design of the RSA Friends membership leaflet that I designed in 2018. The design is clean and rationalised, with a limited palette of colours and with just one typeface in different weights throughout. I used the burgundy that I had used in my refresh of the RSA Friends logo as an accent colour alongside an extended palette of greys. I typeset the newsletter in Aktiv Grotesk, a typeface that sits well with the Akzidenz Grotesk that I used on the logo and that is easy to read, even at a small scale. My original intention was to keep most of the typography aligned to the same baseline grid – however, over five issues, with varying amounts of copy and images to fit in, I have had to be more relaxed about being faithful to the grid, and, although there is an underlying rationale to the layout, I have had to be more playful, which has been strangely liberating!

I am particularly pleased with this cover, which features an image of a modified found ceramic piece by Jessica Harrison.



















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