Art book

Exquisite Art Book ‘Paper Dolls’


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As much as I love a good art book, I don’t often get my hands on full-fledged art objects. “Paper Dolls” is that rare exception. It uses strategically placed wide-gamut cutouts, embossing, foil and stochastic printing to illustrate a poem about humanity’s two deepest questions: “Who am I” and “What could I become?” As we shall see, these questions are also at the heart of the printer of the book.

Truly creative French folds

Much of London artist Hormazd Narielwalla’s collage work explores how clothing tells a story, often featuring collage pieces affixed to vintage sewing patterns. In “Paper Dolls”, some of these colorful works are interspersed with full-body self-portraits in which the artist reinvents himself as a geisha. While Frida Kahlo’s face barely changes from frame to frame, her outfit does so dramatically from page to page.

Each consists of many pieces, each with its own color and pattern, put together like an elegant puzzle. On some of these 135g (90lb) Gardapat Kiara pages they are offset printed as a single illustration to complement a few lines of poetry on the opposite page. In other cases, embossing and a gloss varnish add some tactile interest to an already visually textured image.

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Other figure illustrations, however, are much more complex. This is because they are printed on a French fold that has been painstakingly cut to allow a separately printed and finished sheet tucked between the two folded panels to pass over to the illustration side, completing the image.

These extravagances include pages that feature a tipped stamped leaf on paper. Strategically placed hot stamped foil blended with angled tactile substrates. Or just like the artist’s collages themselves, they feature different fabrics and substrates, allowing them to shine through the cutouts.

This technique becomes even more impressive when one panel of the French fold is cut out while the other is embossed, completing two different illustrations in different and exciting ways. I’m not even sure there’s a term for this 3-page French fold – that’s how ambitious this book is.

This exquisite experience is complemented by cut-out spikes which in some cases can be lifted to reveal additional poems. And the Smyth stitched binding which features threads in different colors not only adds a subtle handcrafted look to the work, but also keeps the book open flat.

The result of all this precise attention to detail is something more like an art gallery between the covers than a book, which the creators had in mind.

Extend the color gamut

One of the reasons the illustrations of “Paper Dolls” are so eye-catching is the brilliance of its colors. Everything you see here has been produced using an extensive color gamut – what Boss Print likes to call “Vivid Color”.

Faced with many challenges following the death of co-owner Joe Kilmurray the previous year, Boss Print business partner Fenton Smith urged the company to experiment with adding color to their already ultra-fine stochastic offset printing ( 10 microns) for more precise colors. reproductions in press. The resulting process uses CMYK + Violet to expand the color gamut on the printer’s Speedmaster CD74 press.

Realizing that this improved color matching process is ideal for the fine art / luxury book market, Boss Print, under the publisher’s name Concentric editions, has partnered with a different design studio for each limited edition book it prints, such as Ornan Rotem who, under the name Sylph Editions, designed the look of “Paper Dolls”.

From its super inventive use of French folds to its sophisticated placement of cutouts, this book doesn’t just reproduce works of art, it IS one.

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