The Fleece Press wins Best British Book at BPIF Book Awards

Simon Nias
Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Huddersfield-based private press The Fleece Press scooped the Best British Book award at last week's BPIF British Book Design and Production Awards 2014.

The winning book, Sensuous Lines (a 284pp catalogue raissone of the intaglio prints of John Buckland Wright), was printed in three editions by Sheffield-based Northend Creative Print Solutions.

All three editions feature the same collection of more than 400 prints, comprising a full catalogue of all the artist's engravings, including surviving copper plates found in Wright's studio by his son following the artist's death.

The 100 copy A edition was full bound in cloth with a letterpress-printed label (printed inhouse by Fleece Press owner Simon Lawrence on a circa 1930s Autovic).

A further 220 copy B edition, featuring an original tipped-in copper engraving printed by Black Star Press included as a frontispiece, was quarter bound in cloth and marbled paper over boards, with a paper spine label, and housed in a slip case.

The hand-marbled cover paper was produced in Madrid by Antonio Velez Celemin in a "false Suminagashi pattern" incorporating a large heart that the judges said provided a "considered link between the contents of the book and the cover.

Lawrence said: "There's a large red and black heart in the middle of the marbling on the front of the book, which is incredibly clever and difficult to do with marbling. You have a bath of water with inks floating on top that you have to draw into a particular pattern that is then drawn into paper that has been primed with alum. Every single one is different."

The final 40 copy C edition included four extra original prints housed in a separate folder; the book itself was quarter bound in vellum and enclosed in a clamshell box.

Lawrence selected an uncoated paper from Swedish paper mill Lessebo Bruk for the book.

Binding was done by the Finedon-based Fine Book Bindery, which also made the slip cases and boxes for the B and C editions. Separations were done by Ian Wright Creative.

The Fleece Press publishes one or two books a year and specialises in printing wood engravings on an 1853 Albion Press; it also prints text for some shorter (60-100pp) books in-house on a 1960s Heidelberg Cylinder. Longer pagination books are offset printed by Northend Creative.

"They are extremely careful and good at dealing with people like me," said Lawrence of his chosen print partner. "They know how to get the right result on uncoated paper, which is quite a tricky subject."

The private press has previously won the Book of the Year in 2006 for The Inward Laugh, as well as the Limited Editions category "about five times".

This year's Book of the Year went to London-headquartered specialist publisher Thames & Hudson for The Sick Rose, which was printed by Toppan Leefung Printing.

For a full list of winners see below.

British Book Design and Production Awards 2014

Brands/Series Identity
Phaidon Focus Series - Phaidon Press; printed by Midas Printing Group

Limited Edition and Fine Binding
The Third Thing - The Old Stile Press; printed by Nicolas McDowall (The Old Stile Press)

Digitally Printed Books
Simona Aru - Hurtwood Press; printed by Pureprint Group

Best Use of Cross Media
Marketing: an Introduction, 3rd Edition - SAGE Publications; printed by Ashford Colour Press

Exhibition Catalogues
The Sick Rose - Thames & Hudson; printed by Toppan Leefung Printing

Photographic Books, Art/Architecture Monographs
Bruce Nauman: The True Artist - Phaidon Press; printed by C&C Offset Printing Company

Trade Illustrated
The New Sylva - Grade Design; printed by Tallers Grafics Soler

Lifestyle Illustrated
One: A Cook and Her Cupboard - Hodder & Stoughton; printed by Graphicom

The Encyclopaedia of Early Earth - Jonathan Cape (Random House); printed by C&C Offset Printing Company

Primary, Secondary and Tertiary Education
What's Inside? - Thames & Hudson; printed by Toppan Leefung Printing

Scholarly, Academic and Reference Books
Overleaf - Kew Publishing; printed by Printer Trento

Children's Trade
Peck Peck Peck - Walker Books; printed by C&C Offset Printing Company

Best Jacket/Cover Design
Ceviche: Peruvian Kitchen - Orion Publishing Group; printed by C&C Offset Printing Company

Best Student Book
The Fox and the Bear - Sarah Strandoo, Norwich University; printed by Norwich University

Best British Book
Sensuous Lines - The Fleece Press; printed by Northend Creative Print Solutions

Book of the Year
The Sick Rose - Thames & Hudson; printed by Toppan Leefung Printing


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