15/115 (15 Years, 115 Projects) is the second book from designer Mark Bloom of Mash Creative.
It features 115 projects spanning a 15 year career to-date, divided into three chapters: 15 x posters, 80 x logos and 25 x case studies. Mark also asked me to write a foreword, which I was more than happy to do (he was one of the kind contributors to my second book).
Royal Mail identity idea (above), previously featured on Identity Designed
I asked Mark a few questions about his self-published project.
Q/ How much has this book cost to produce in terms of time and money?
A/ Let’s just say it’s several thousand pounds in total — it’s been a labour of love. Time, probably around six months, but not solid, this was in between client work.
A/ They didn’t print my first book but I knew they had a good reputation for producing high quality print. The print spec on 15/115 is quite special so I wanted to ensure the printer I used would meet my high standards. Screaming Colour is only a 10-minute walk from my studio, I went to visit them and was very impressed. They’ve invested a lot of time and effort into the book, even before the job went ahead, and they’ve been very hands-on during the whole process. I was initially tempted to get the book printed in the Far East to reduce costs, but being able to meet with the printers, check proofs, etc. has given me far more peace of mind.
Q/ What particular GF Smith papers did you choose, and why?
A/ Cover stock: GF Smith Colorplan Ebony Black 350gsm with gravure emboss. I’d seen a piece of print that used a gravure emboss and really liked it, I think it gives a nice contrast against the white foil text and internal pages. The black and white colour scheme follows on from my previous book, 14/41.
Internal page stock: GF Smith Accent Smooth Glacier White 135gsm (subject to any last-minute change). The book showcases several projects which were printed in fluorescent inks, so colour reproduction was very important. After some print testing and discussions with GF Smith it seemed like Accent Smooth was the most suitable choice.
Q/ What exposure have the books generated for Mash Creative?
A/ It’s hard to put this into figures but it has certainly helped me gain exposure through design blogs, which in turn has raised Mash Creative’s profile, making potential clients more aware of my work.
Q/ Have any clients specifically mentioned your first book when contacting you?
A/ Yes, in fact even since launching my second book just four days ago I’ve had several work enquires off the back of it. 14/41 also helped win new business last year, mainly smaller companies. I also used 14/41 as a showcase of my identity design work when meeting with two well known London design studios, both of whom ended up giving me freelance commissions.
Q/ Would you recommend that other designers create similar work archives?
A/ Not necessarily in terms of a book — it’s very time consuming, stressful, and not to mention expensive — but I definitely think it’s important they keep an archive of their work, at least in digital form.
Over the years I’ve always had an AI file into which I simply copy and paste any logo I design, a simple and easy way of archiving my logo work. This makes it very easy to find older designs without having to go through external hard drives or similar. I also have a folder on my computer called “press images.” That’s where I keep high-res and web-res images of all the work I’ve produced since starting Mash Creative nearly four years ago. I’m fortunate enough to get a lot of press requests from book publishers such as Victionary to feature my work, and by keeping a press folder on my system it means I can access all relevant images very quickly. When designing 15/115 it meant I already had a lot of high-res images close at hand.
The finish really does look superb, featuring a white foiled cover with a thread sewn spine for lay-flat spreads. I’m looking forward to picking up a copy.
- 15/115 is available to pre-order at the discounted rate of £17.50 (normal price £22.50)
- Pages: 140pp, size: 170 x 230 mm, supported by GF Smith Papers
- Shipping date estimated at end of June to early July 2013
- Available to pre-order from: http://thisisourshop.com/
See a few photos of Mark’s first book, 14/41, over on Logo Design Love.