I was recently lucky enough to be selected to try out a new range of photobooks from German company Saal Digital. I will admit to a bit of scepticism here being someone who makes his own notebooks and photo albums but I thought I'd give it a go and use it as a showcase for my own bookbinding work and display my photographs of previous projects.

Must say I was very impressed with the process of putting it together using the online software although I had to compromise a bit with the fonts available and I did end up accidentally including one picture which had a paint effect applied but that was my fault as I couldn't preview it large enough to notice. Nevertheless the book arrived back to me very quickly and the quality of the printing and binding was excellent. I used a padded case and matt paper and I particularly liked the way the double page spreads lay flat enough to view properly.

Will certainly use these guys again as I am going to put together a look-book to demonstrate my bespoke album range.


Fantastic weekend exhibiting at the Manchester Artists Book Fair which was held at the Old Fire Station on London Road in the centre of town. The building has been derelict for many years and has only just reopened for a limited series of events before it's redeveloped as (inevitably) luxury flats and hotels. We were housed in the fire engine room with its big tall doors and the original poles the firemen slid down still in place. It was a bit dark in there so glad I took some lights...

The event was held in conjunction with the Manchester Print Fair and this, coupled with Mancunian curiosity meant that footfall was high and we met some lovely people - other exhibitors and of course the punters.

Hopefully they won't have developed the building by next year so we can do it all again.



Random Acts with Woodtype

I was given a great big box of old woodtype sorts that have been sitting on the shelf in my workshop glowering at me to do something useful with so I succumbed today and laid them all out on the Farley.

Most of them had some kind of accent on them and there were way many more vowels than consonants and after scratching my head for a time, I realised that there was no way was I going to make any meaningful words out of them but they would be great for making decorative paper for use as either wrapping paper or for bookbinding projects. Slow going though... Each sheet had to be put through twice as my proofing press isn't quite big enough. Anybody like to give me a bit of time on a Vandercook?