Ruth Ewan: Sympathetic Magick Booklet

Ruth Ewan: Sympathetic Magick

Designed by James Brook for Edinburgh Art Festival, 2018

Booklet | 125 x 85mm | 32 pages plus cover
Printed by Allander, Edinburgh, on Cocoon Pre-print 100% Recycled 100gsm

This is a booklet that I designed for Sympathetic Magick, Ruth Ewan’s project for the 2018 Edinburgh Art Festival which used the ancient art of street performance to bring magic onto the streets of Edinburgh. Visitors encountered magical experiences such as ‘The Class Struggle Rope Trick’ and other political magic tricks developed during Ruth’s project, around the city, as part of streets performances on the High Street and in other venues. The booklet includes contextual material from Ruth’s research alongside information on all the magicians and performers, as well as a timetable of events and performances.

The full colour cover includes a detail of a toy diorama made in Britain by J C Clark about 1825, from the collection of City of Edinburgh Council at the Museum of Childhood. The booklet is typeset in Minion Pro, Rosewood and Heavitas and, like the majority of Ruth’s printed material, is printed in two colours on the text pages. Ruth had originally suggested that all the images should be printed in blue: I felt that Karl Marx would be much happier printed in red so he is the exception. The booklet is the same proportion as – and just a little larger than – a magician's playing card; it has rounded corners to further push this magical connection.

Proofs of Edinburgh Art Festival Commissions Programme Leaflets

I have now designed four books for the Edinburgh Art Festival’s Commissions Programme: Where Do I End and You Begin (2014); The Improbable City (2015); More Lasting than Bronze (2016); and The Making of the Future: Now (2017). This year, unlike previous years, there is not an over-riding theme that unites the commissions, so the Festival decided not to do a publication but to produce four interpretative leaflets, one for each artist. The 2018 Commissions Programme presents new work by four artists at sites across the city, ranging from the street performance sites of the Royal Mile, to a 15th century kirk, a Victorian fire station, and Scotland’s smallest wildlife reserve. Touching on current political and social concerns, several of the 2018 commissions have been developed in dialogue with other artforms – including poetry, music and magic. Strategies of orchestration and the act of close listening inform a number of the works, while freedom of expression and a questioning of economic models feature prominently as themes within the programme.

The 2018 Commissions Programme runs from 26 July – 26 August and includes:

Ross Birrell & David Harding: Triptych
Trinity Apse, Chalmers Close, 42 High Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1SS

Ruth Ewan: Sympathetic Magick
Various venues – see for details

Shilpa Gupta: For, in your tongue, I cannot hide

The Fire Station at Edinburgh College of Art, 76-78 Lauriston Place, Edinburgh, EH3 9DE

Adam Lewis Jacob: No Easy Answers
Institut Français d’Écosse, West Parliament Square, Edinburgh, EH1 1RF

Here are the proofs for the leaflets, which are being printed by Allander, Edinburgh on 160gsm Cocoon Offset. The leaflets have six pages, folded to 210 x 165mm – these are the dimensions of the last three Commissions Programme books that I designed for the Festival, the aim being that there will be a visual link to these previous publications. In addition to the leaflets, I have also designed a small booklet for Sympathetic Magick, Ruth Ewan’s project for the Festival.

Proof of Platform: 2018 Leaflet

Here is a proof of the leaflet that I have designed for the Edinburgh Art Festival’s Platform: 2018. Now in its fourth year, Platform is an annual opportunity for artists in the early stages of their careers to make and present new work as part of the Festival. The artists were selected from an open call by artists Jonathan Owen and Hanna Tuulikki, the 2018 edition brings together four female artists: Renèe Helèna Browne, Annie Crabtree, Isobel Lutz-Smith, and Rae-Yen Song. The selected practitioners, drawn from across Scotland, reflect a wide range of approaches to art making.

This is the fourth year that I have designed the leaflet, using the logo and identity that I developed in 2015. Each iteration has a different arrangement of the cover elements; this year introduces a new cover colour, taken from the imagery within. The leaflet is being prinbted by Allander in Edinburgh on 160gsm Cocoon Offset.

Platform: 2018 runs from 27 July – 26 August and will be held at the City Arts Centre, 2 Market Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1DE.

More information can be found here.

Carol Rhodes Monograph

Carol Rhodes

Edited by Andrew Mummery

Published by Skira, Milano, Italy, 2018

Designed by James Brook

ISBN 978 88 572 3814 2

Hardback | 270 x 240 mm | 196 pages
Printed and bound in Italy on Gardapat Bianka 135 gsm with endpapers of Sirio Fedrigoni Bitter Chocolate 150 gsm

Carol Rhodes makes smallscale paintings depicting, from aerial viewpoints, encounters between the natural environment and human intervention, fictional syntheses resulting from a re-mixing of photographic sources. This new monograph reproduces over forty of Carol Rhodes’s paintings and, for the first time, a significant number of drawings. Specially commissioned texts by curator Lynda Morris and art critic Moira Jeffrey discuss Rhodes’s work in the context of her biography and cultural background, and examine its place and importance in contemporary art.

The monograph also includes an interview with Rhodes by consultant and former gallerist Andrew Mummery. Rhodes’s thoughts about her art have rarely appeared in print before and their inclusion here is especially valuable. As well as the full-page plates, archival and documentary photographs accompany the texts, chronology, exhibition history and bibliography sections. The book provides the most comprehensive overview of Rhodes’s work yet available, and will be a standard reference work on the artist.

Dovecot What’s On Guide Summer-Autumn 2018

Dovecot What’s On Guide | Summer-Autumn 2018

Designed by James Brook for Dovecot Studios, Edinburgh, 2018

Leaflet | 420 x 297 mm folding to 210 x 148 mm | 8 pages
Printed by Allander, Edinburgh, on Vision Superior 135gsm

After designing six issues of Dovecot’s twice yearly What’s On guide as a 12 page booklet with half cover, Dovecot asked me to re-format the guide as an A3 leaflet folded to A5. This new format will concentrate on the many events that Dovecot promote and its more cost-effective size will allow Dovecot to update the guide more frequently than before. The new format retains the look and feel of the original guide with a white stripe on the cover representing the half cover. The layout and typography follows the style of the original, using Dovecot’s ‘official typeface’, Whitney, with a mixture of full-bleed and thumbnail images on a white background. As before, the guide is printed on Vision Superior in the same weight as the inside pages of the original guide. This issue of the guide contains a fold-out poster (not designed by me) for Liberty: Art Fashion & Fabrics, Dovecot’s summer exhibition but future issues will contain a fold-out events listing in the central section.

Here are all six of the Dovecot What’s On guides that I designed, 2015-18:

Rhythm & Colour Book

Rhythm & Colour
Hélène Vanel, Loïs Hutton & Margaret Morris

Richard Emerson

Published by Golden Hare, Edinburgh, 2018

Designed by James Brook

ISBN 9781527221703

Hardback with dust jacket | 245 x 178mm | 624 pages | Printed by Allander, Edinburgh on Olin Regular Cream with cover of Keaycolor Sombre Grey

Hélène Vanel (1898-1989), Loïs Hutton (1893-1972), and Margaret Morris (1891-1980) were dancers of the avant-garde who performed in their own theatres, in costumes they designed, against backcloths they painted themselves. Without money, precedent or male support, these three women achieved fame and notoriety at the centre of the great artistic movements of the 20th century. Their history has been largely forgotten, but in this book Richard Emerson uncovers this extraordinary story, which sees the three women moving from London and Wales to Paris and the French Riviera.

Through newly discovered letters, photographs, journals, memoirs, and contemporary criticism, the book considers the place of dance in post-WWI Modernism from Morris’ involvement with Futurism and Vorticism to Vanel’s dances at the opening of the 1938 International Surrealist Exhibition in Paris which are now heralded as the beginning of Performance Art.

Rhythm & Colour charts the dancers’ uncompromising commitment to their art and their vibrant love affairs, both with the places they lived and with each other, notably Hutton’s affair with American poet Edna St Vincent Millay, Morris’ relationship with J.D. Fergusson, and the pursuit of Vanel by Scottish Colourist painter, Leslie Hunter. Their theatres in Chelsea, Paris and the French Riviera attracted, among many others Scott Fitzgerald, Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Ernest Hemingway, Pablo Picasso and James Joyce (whose daughter Lucia was among their pupils). The dancers worked with Jean Renoir, Marcel Duchamp and Salvador Dalí.

The book’s author, Richard Emerson is an Art Historian. Formerly the Deputy Conway Librarian at The Courtauld Institute of Art in London, and Chief Inspector of Historic Buildings at Historic Scotland.




Click here to subscribe to James Brook / Design

Please visit for more information

The content (content being images and text) of this website is copyright © James Brook
All rights expressly reserved
Powered by Blogger.