Hat trick! Three nominations for the Solutions Awards 2017!

Solutions Awards 2017

I am incredibly proud to say that we have been nominated in a fantastic THREE categories for our work this past year in the print industry’s Solutions Awards 2017 – which come up in November.

The nominations are for two major projects – the Shine Winners Book which we completed back in June and the Scarfes Bar menu for Rosewood London which was introduced back in the Spring after several months work.

I am going to write in more depth about on our work for Shine – particularly from a paper specification and environmental perspective – next week, but this post focusses on a new introduction to our work for Scarfes Bar which hopefully gives some interesting in-depth background about the design process we went through.


The Scarfes Bar menu – one of nominations in the Solutions Award 2017



Client: Rosewood London
Nominated for Best Design Solution

One of the major highlights this year has been building a working relationship with the Marketing Team at the Rosewood Hotel, in the heart of London’s Holborn.

We’ve completed a series of pieces of print this year for Rosewood but the first project we were briefed on was by far the most complex, involving a wide range of materials, devising a new design approach, then juggling a combination of printers and bookbinding experts.

Looking at this project in the first instance, it was clear right away that there was a disconnect between the design as it was – very formal and restrained – and the riotous and infectious two fingers to the establishment (and pomposity in general) that Gerald Scarfe has always manifested in his work. We wondered – could there would be a way of combining the two?

Growing up in the 1980s, I knew the work of Gerald Scarfe well and in particular his incredibly distinctive handwriting. This was our starting point. There’s a great design tension between the simple blind-embossed trim on the red leather cover and the sketched self-portrait that really appeals to me.

The custom-leather binding was created especially for us by The Wyvern Bindery, based in nearby Clerkenwell. We so often work in the digital realm of Mac-based layout that it’s a huge pleasure to collaborate with artisans like Pauline and her team. The end result is beautiful to hold and has an extraordinary attention to detail, particularly in terms of the neat internal binding concealing all the fixings.

On the inside front cover, there’s more handwriting which fills the page, screen printed in a deep red gloss on to sueded paper. A bold design with an extravagant design finish, it feels elegant, modern but… there’s a pinch of anarchy in the mix. Just what we wanted.

Thereafter the menu continues to use the handwriting motif alongside a wide range of Gerald’s most famous drawings which inspired the cocktails. These vivid pages are work spending time with as the drawings and characters seem to jump off the page. More in the realm of magazine than bar menu, it’s a significant departure from what went before.


The Scarfes Bar menu – one of nominations in the Solutions Award 2017



In the past year we have completed a series of pieces of work for Rosewood, including menus for Scarfes Bar, the Mirror Room and work including digital communications.