It seems like more and more top designers are telling us that in order to compete these days you have to bring more than one skill to the table. If that’s the case then one of the many “value addeds” that Alexander Isley provides is an “off center” sensibility. Ironically, that is both on display and NOT on display in his studio’s 2016 annual report for the New Canaan (Conn.) Library, a document meant to introduce the identity they designed for that institution. (You can view the full report here.)
He explains that it’s “built around a central die cut that reveals a different message with each turn of a page. The cover square was 1/16 of an inch smaller on each edge to hide page creep and therefore the cover had to be die cut separately from the text and assembled as an extra step.”
It’s at this point that we recall that Alex told us recently that die cutting is his favorite printing technique. “You could argue that’s not technically printing, but it’s something we often employ in our work. For relatively little cost you can activate a printed piece to reveal information, help tell a story, or simply make an engaging object.” In the case of this booklet: done, done and done.
His characteristic “off center” approach reasserts itself again in his discussion of the binding. “Fans of bindery techniques might appreciate how we had to slightly shift the underlying grid on each page to accommodate the movement of the square within the saddle-stitched booklet. (This technique is called ‘providing for creep,’ which also sounds a lot like what our sister does with that loser husband of hers.) (Sorry, but it just had to be said.)”
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