James Brook / Design

Proofs of Much Obliged by Stephen Sutcliffe




Here are the proofs of Much Obliged, a new book by the Glasgow-based artist, Stephen Sutcliffe, that I have been designing 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.


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













Below is a rough mock-up of the book. I have always wanted to do a book with a gloss cover – Stephen wanted his book to have the feel of a mass market paperback autobiography so I am delighted that the finished book will have a high gloss laminate finish. I'm very excited to see it. All being well, the book should be available to buy from the Book Works website in a few weeks: www.bookworks.org.uk






Discover RSA Newsletter Winter 2019



Discover RSA | Issue 110 | Winter 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, which had now finally become a 16 page A5 booklet; a change I had planned in 2016, but never implemented as the Academy had not approved this move while I was doing the design. This is the third edition that I have designed in this new format and style. I wanted to create a clean, rationalised design based on a grid, with a limited palette of colours and with just one typeface in different weights throughout. By keeping most of the typography aligned to the same baseline grid the newsletter looks ordered and rationalised – though due to the large amount of copy on some pages, I sometimes had to be more relaxed about remaining faithful to the grid. Taking visual cues from the design of the RSA Friends membership leaflet that I had designed earlier in 2018, 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.




















Joanna Kessel REVEAL Leaflet




Joanna Kessel REVEAL

Designed by James Brook

12 page leaflet | 105 x 148 mm folded | 630 x 148 mm flat
Printed by Print 24 on 120gsm white offset paper

Here is a leaflet that I designed for the very talented mosaic artist, Joanna Kessel. Joanna has been selected by the Crafts Council to showcase new work within Collect Open 2019 at the Saatchi Gallery, London from 28 February to 3 March 2019. For Collect, Joanna has created REVEAL, new architectural-scale work and sculptural objects, developing Italo-Scots links through mosaic and pursuing her interest in the work of the Venetian architect, Carlo Scarpa, and in the novel ‘Invisible Cities’ by Italo Calvino. The leaflet is intended to showcase some of Joanna’s work in Collect and to give readers an insight in to Joanna’s fascinating working process.

It has been a pleasure to collaborate with Joanna and to hear more about her work.

Click here to visit Joanna’s website.


















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