We're loving the design of this hardback edition of Quantum of Solace (The Complete James Bond Short Stories) from Angus Hyland and Fabian Herrmann over at Pentagram.
The book is cloth bound, with just a Walther PPK (and silencer) on the front, the title, author and publisher on the spine, and a combined 007 and Penguin logo on the reverse; all foilblocked in silver.
It also has claret coloured endpapers, and a rather squat page size of 5" x 7", which lends it the rather pleasing air of prayer book. (Does anyone know if that's a standard book size, and if so, what it's called?)
It comes with an embossed manila belly-band that replicates the feeling of classified documents.
Deeply lovely. (And a tip-top Christmas present. Pick up Quantum of Solace at Amazon for just £14.)
On a side note, it feels like there's the beginnings of a trend starting for higher-end editions of popular fiction. We reckon it might be something to do with the growth of e-readers and online books. Perhaps people are beginning to look at books with new eyes, and realising that their tactile qualities are there to be celebrated and valued. After all, if you can just download a book, then when you buy one it's as something to love, cherish and keep. And heck, that's just great news for designers.
We made our way across to Cordy House on Curtain Road on Friday evening to catch first show in the new Behind the Shutters gallery that's just opened on the site.
And as first shows go, it's a belter. Mutate Britain is hosted by the Mutoid Waste Company - you might have caught their huge junkyard sculptures and performances at Glastonbury - and there are some incredible pieces MWC members Joe Rush and Giles Walker (including Rush's Home Guard, above).
It's a great exhibition - a bit like a fantastic degree show in a squat. Arranged over four floors, it's got a mix of sculpture, prints, installations, performances, and even a live screenprinting area run by Print Club. Check out Alistair's Flickr set for more exhibition goodness.
The gallery is open every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, from 1.30pm to 10pm, and it looks like the show will be running until Sunday 21 December.
If you were out and about between dusk last Friday and dawn on the Saturday morning, you might well have noticed some folk scouring the streets with a hungry look in their eye. Or perhaps you caught sight of the source of that look, one of the 1,000 screenprints that Adam Neate (and his teams of helpers) had distributed around London during the evening, creating his London Show. Each print featured the same image, in a range of colours, and hand-finished with stamps and staples.
Neate used to give away all his art like this, back before he became a big name on the street art scene - though back then he'd manage maybe a thousand pieces in a year, rather than the same number in just one night.
The prints were dropped all across the city, sealed in polythene to stop them getting soaked (though in the event the weather stayed fairly dry). Alistair took a ride round Lambeth in the insanely early hours of Saturday morning to look for one and within minutes of hitting the streets he spotted a girl running gleefuly back to a waiting car with a print in her hands. An hour of hunting later he bagged the print above, finding it face down in Brixton's skatepark.
The prints are already showing up on Ebay, though Adam Neate says he's cool with this. There are 22 available on there at the time of writing, and they're going for up to £640 at the moment, which is a nice little Christmas present for the folks who found prints. This chap found nine of them, which is either highly resourceful or a tad greedy depending on your standpoint.
We're wondering how many of the thousand were found, how many were binned by cleaners, and how many are still out there... Anyway, we think it's a great way of spreading some goodness; and wanted to say a big thank-you to Mr Neate.
The book was created from submissions from Flickr users, who posted their photos to a Flickr group set up to tie in with the Tate Modern's recent Street or Studio show. The group pulled in over two and a half thousand photos, which were whittled down to just one hundred for the book by the judges (photographer Juergen Teller; the show's curator Ute Eskildsen; and Flickr team member Heather Champ). The winning entries were also shown on a slideshow at the Tate, which means the winning photographers can now say they've been exhibited there. Which is kinda cool.
The book was / is produced using Blurb, a print-on-demand site that lets users create their own limited edition books via some downloadable software. Blurb's been around for a while, but it's great seeing it, and Flickr, being used in such a high profile way.
We loved the selection of shots in the book (including Betty, top, by Flickr user Scarycrow; and Sunday, above, by Flickr user Docksidepress); and actually found it much more engaging than the Tate's original show.