Dovecot What's On Guide 4

Dovecot What's On Guide | January-June 2017

Designed by James Brook for Dovecot Studios, Edinburgh, 2016

210 x 148 mm | 12 pages with half cover
Printed by Allander, Edinburgh, on Vision Superior

This is the fourth edition of the Dovecot Gallery What's On Guide that I have designed. The guide is twelve pages plus cover, which is cut away on the front to reveal half of a full bleed image of a detail from a work by the artist Chris Ofili, that is being woven in collaboration with Dovecot, for a show at the National Gallery, London. As with previous guides, full-bleed images are used throughout in contrast with pages of pared back typography printed on the clean white of Vision Superior, an uncoated paper that has a pleasant tactility. The format and template remain the same as the previous editions but is always tweaked to accommodate new types of information, in this case, a section about venue hire at Dovecot and images from the Dovecot Shop's Instagram feed.

Happy Christmas!

Happy Christmas! Here are some Christmas cards that I designed for the Friends of the Royal Scottish Academy in Edinburgh. The cards are A6, 105 x 148 mm, printed on silk paper. The image on each card is from a series by the artist David Michie OBE RSA.

Tuft Loving Poster

Tuft Loving: Recent projects from Dovecot rug makers

Designed by James Brook for Dovecot Tapestry Studios, 2015

Poster | Two sizes: 620 x 850 mm and 290 x 205 mm
Vinyl Text | Dimensions variable
Label | 148 x 210 mm

A detail from a rug by the artist Linder, Diagrams of Love: Marriage of Eyes, created with Jonathan Cleaver, Dennis Reinm├╝ller and Kristi Vana Coleman at Dovecot Tapestry Studio in 2015, makes another appearance in print, this time on a poster for an exhibition of recent projects from Dovecot rug makers. The type treatment was used to create a large scale exhibition graphic and I also designed wall labels for the exhibition.

System, Chance Book

System, Chance

Carson & Miller

Published by National Galleries of Scotland, 2016

Designed and typeset by James Brook

ISBN 978 1 911054 03 0

Soft cover | 213 x 148 mm | 32 pages
Printed on 160gsm Vision Superior by Allander

From the National Galleries of Scotland website: 'This publication is a record of a relationship between an institutional archive and two artists, working in collaboration. The artists Carson & Miller proposed in 2013 that they might pursue their established practice of play and game-playing in the archives of the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, and a series of games and play took place during 2014 and 2015 before culminating in the exhibition Archive Games, 11 July – 25 October 2015.

Carson & Miller use play and game-play in their collaborative practice as a tool with which to navigate archives and collections, but also as a means of exploring wider archival notions of memory, keeping and caring. These themes are among those investigated in this book.'

This was a really interesting publication to work on: the design brief was extremely detailed and the artists had very clear ideas about how the book should look and function – the artists had already designed a visual essay for the opening pages as well as a cover that marked the start of the visual essay. The brief suggested that the typography and design of the book might reflect the elements of the visual essay. I spent some time thinking about the brief and the contents of the book and arrived at the idea that the book should be set in Courier – the artists had used a collage that included a typewritten text on the cover and I liked the connotations of the library and of the archive that the typewritten text carried. As the book was full colour, I was able to use a secondary colour for headings, sub-headings and page numbers: red was the natural choice as it is the second colour on a typewriter – there was also a lot of red in the artists' visual essay, appearing on storage boxes from the archive.

I typeset the chapter headings at an angle to give a punky, playful feel and to reflect the slightly anarchic hand-written texts that the artists had written on the walls in the exhibition at the Gallery of Modern Art. I also liked the secondary connotation of rubber-stamped due dates in library books. In contrast to the chapter headings I typeset the essays in a far more traditional and refined style – the essays included endnotes, references and quotations so this traditional style seemed to suit and created a nice tension on the page with the more playful headings. The essays were aligned left with a ragged right edge I worked hard to make sure that the line endings were balanced and there were no odd words left hanging.

The artists had indicated where images needed to appear in the essays so, in such a modest publication, it was a bit of a jigsaw that required some juggling to respect their wishes. I wanted the images to be at a reasonable and consistent size throughout the book and placed consistently on the page: this helped create a much greater emphasis and tension when one of the images (at the artists' request) broke this system and appeared at a larger scale and not placed within text. To make the image captions more distinct from the essay text I used Akzidenz Grotesk Light, which also had the advantage of being more compact than Courier so I was able to fit more text in the available spaces. I also used Akzidenz for the colophon, which appeared on the last page: as it needed to appear next to the notes and references of the final essay, this change of typeface made the break more clear – as did a change in column width.

System, Chance book on the National Galleries of Scotland website
Carson & Miller's Archive Games on the University of Salford website

Next of Kin Poster, Perth Museum & Art Gallery

A4 poster designed and illustrated by James Brook for Next of Kin, a National Museums Scotland touring programme commemorating the centenary of the First World War across Scotland through a touring exhibition, learning programme and online resources.

Find out more about Next of Kin here 

Colour & Light Posters

Colour & Light

Designed by James Brook for Dovecot Gallery, 2016

Series of posters | Two sizes: 620 x 850 mm and 290 x 205 mm

Discover RSA Newsletter Winter 2016

Discover RSA | Issue 103 | Winter 2016

Designed by James Brook for the Friends of the Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh, 2016

297 x 210 mm folded to 210 x 148 mm | 8 pages
Printed by Events Armoury, Edinburgh, on Vision Superior

I was asked to re-design a newsletter, published three times a year, for the Friends of the Royal Scottish Academy. The newsletter needed refreshing and updating to attract a new generation to join the Friends, but without isolating the current membership. The format of the old newsletter had been 8 pages, A4 folded to A5: I would have liked to have re-launched the newsletter as an A5 booklet, which I think would be more user-friendly, but, after discussions with the Friends, we decided to keep the size of the newsletter and refresh the design, retaining certain elements such as colours, with an option to change the size once the design had bedded in and been accepted by its audience.

I wanted to create a clean, rationalised design on a new grid, with a limited palette of colours and with the same typeface in different weights throughout. By keeping – almost – all of the typography aligned to the same baseline grid the newsletter looks ordered and avoids the feel of 'shrink-to-fit' typography.

I designed a new distinctive Discover RSA logo that aims to be recognisable both when the newsletter is opened but, more importantly, when it is folded and placed on its side in racks throughout the galleries. Rather than the previous generic silk paper stock, the newsletter is now printed on Vision Superior giving it a tactile touch and a sense of quality fitting to a visual arts organisation. The new design has, by all accounts, been incredibly popular, flying out of the gallery, and having to be re-printed.




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