Killer app: Rankin passion project brought to life in print

Richard Stuart-Turner
Monday, June 28, 2021

Photographer Rankin was unable to capture his usual subject matter – people – in the early days of the pandemic. During lockdown he took a different artistic approach when he found himself drawn to the decaying flowers in his garden, which he shot like portraits to bring them to life. His aim was to capture the loneliness many have felt during the pandemic, with each image contrasting darkness and separation with a sense of strength or hope.

What was produced?

Rankin decided to present his images in a new 176pp plus cover book, Embrace, which is raising funds for The Care Workers’ Charity. It marked another collaboration between Rankin, design agency SEA, and paper manufacturer Fedrigoni, while Leeds-based printer Team, which has a long working relationship with SEA owner Bryan Edmondson, was called on for printing.

What did the job entail?

Team had recently produced another publication for Rankin, on X-Per paper from Fedrigoni, and Team sales director Simon Bucktrout said “the client was extremely happy with the print quality and colour reproduction, so X-Per was the obvious choice for Embrace”.

“X-Per is a hybrid paper that has the bulk and feel of an uncoated paper, but the colour lift and printability of a coated paper. We already have profiles set up in our repro studio to apply to the images to get the optimum results for this paper.”

X-Per New Shade White 140gsm was used for the 80 front and 80 back text pages, as well as the end-papers, while the same substrate was used over 2,500mic boards for the cover. 140gsm Sirio Color Nude was used for the 16 centre text pages.

1,500 copies of Embrace were printed on Team’s five-colour B1 Komori H-UV litho press, which Bucktrout said “cures the ink immediately as it hits the papers, ensuring maximum sharpness and colour lift”.

The books were then section sewn and case bound by Team’s partner Diamond Print Services in London, which also foiled the covers.

What challenges were overcome?

Bucktrout said the main challenge when working with photographers is “seeing beyond just the colour”.

“They will know their work intimately, so we need to capture the depth and detail in the shot, whilst keeping the colour vibrancy and accuracy.”

What was the feedback?

“Embrace was a passion project born out of this unprecedented time of disconnectedness and isolation. When I decided to turn this deeply personal endeavour into a book, it only made sense to work with my long-time trusted collaborators, Bryan Edmondson, the SEA team, and Fedrigoni,” said Rankin.

“Together with the expertise of Team’s printing services, we were able to bring this vision to life, and raise funds and awareness for an incredible organisation.”


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