Friday 8 May 2015

Feature Friday: Book Swag - 5 Questions with Spineless Classics

I lovvvvvvvvve me some book swag (who doesn't). I also really love posters...and then i found THESE!! You know that moment when you find two of your loves have come together and made a little love child! THIS.IS.IT. I've gone through various stages of covering my walls top to bottom with movie and music posters and though they're not there anymore (even if I still have a large number of them rolled up in my room) I'm finding my walls are looking a bit bare...and to go with my book clock (yes THIS amazing thing will one day be recreated on my wall) I'm back to wanting some snazzy posters...something with a bit of edge that I'd enjoy looking at every day....well how about something I can READ as well. 

Dum Roll pleaseeeee (i'm doing it internally I hope you are too) Enter Spineless Classics and these amazing amazing amazing poster you can see dotted all around. The question just is WHICH ONE DO I WANT! 

What I love about these...well there's a love I love, it just how simple yet recognizable they are! I think the first one that I saw was Harry Potter to my right here and I was just like what it is I want it...I don't even know what it is! Then when you get up close and personal...its actually the WHOLE OF THE BOOK....Yes I said it...and it's true, believe me I've spent time reading! It's in 4pt print so it's not the largest, but it is a bit of fun to have a read and get those flashbacks. And the designs are soooo cool, they fit in so simply, and you ( well I) really get what the book and the poster is about. I meant just LOOK at Paddington... oh and Alice (which actually is very appropriate given the 150th Anniversary this year) ... So me being me, I wanted to know to they choose which books, because there's a really good mix of old classics and more modern classics, from Jane Austin to Harry Potter, The Hobbit and some really sweet fairy tales, how they design them, and what's next. So naturally I went and asked! Check out my 5 questions with below!

And apparently inquisitiveness pays off because (and here's a little present for you'r weekend) they're offering Dark Readers 15% off some of their designs!!! Click the voucher for below...and just you try and only buy one!

5 Questions with : Spineless Classics 

1.       How do you decide which books you are going to develop into posters?

We act entirely on the instruction of KGB moles based in the City of London.  There's a Dead Drop under a park bench in Westminster which we can only visit once every two months to avoid arousing suspicion.  If there's a dead pigeon under the bench, that means there's a list of new books we should do.  If there's ever a Russian doll then we will fold the company and flee to Jamaica.
Sometimes we take our own initiative and go for a book which has been offered to us by a publisher or agent.  As we don't compromise on doing the full text every time, or not going smaller than 4point text, really long books just aren't practical.  We prefer to wait for something that's a practical length as well as having a strong visual identity in people's minds.

2.       Which has been your favourite and which has been the hardest to work on?

Design-wise I really liked A Clockwork Orange but I think Swallows and Amazons sets a new standard for innovative use of text, so that's probably my new favourite.  The best books to work with are ones without too much dialogue because longer paragraphs give you denser areas of text with which to create the shapes.  The hardest are probably the ones which have a great many themes or characters so it's hard to nail down a single image that represents the story.  The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time should have been a nightmare, with all the little illustrations and diagrams, but actually it ended up being quite fun and I did the basic layout in a single ten-hour session.
3.       Can you tell us a little about the design process?
First of all we proof read the text.  It might seem like overkill but it's also the only way to be sure that we actually have the full text, after one infamous incident where a few paragraphs were actually missing from the original file supplied by the publisher.  Once we have a clean copy then I'll lay it out just in a rectangle which gives us an idea of the ratio between dark and light on the page and that will often give the creative process a kick start.  We have a few designers on the phone who contribute sketches and concepts, and I combine them as best I can with the columns to create a finished product.

4.       If you could do any book which would it be and way?

It's getting late but I'd love to learn to write properly and create a Spineless from my own book.  I'm terrible at delegating though so the chances are I'll never get around to it and will be replying to email on my deathbed instead.
Short of that, though, we've done many of my favourites already like 1984 and The Colour of Magic. Obviously there are many we haven't secured yet, so watch this space! The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy would be amazing.

5.       Have you got anything exciting coming up?

I'm not allowed to talk about it but there's a 50th anniversary coming up in September and we're doing a couple of designs which will be FAB.  And I fear our next design will seem loathsome to some people.  Or something.  I'm bad at hints.  Skirt off sick.

Let us know over on Twitter or in the comments below which is your favorite and don't forget to hck out their website for the rest of their cool designs (the complete works of Shakespeare anyone? Could use that as wallpaper!!!) 


Dani said...

These look so cool! I think they'd make great presents, and since my birthday is coming up in a few months, I'm going to start dropping hints everywhere.

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