The making of the Dior Avedon Book

Posted on by Beyond Bespoke

From the House’s beginnings, in 1947, and over almost 30 years, Richard Avedon would immortalise Christian Dior’s creations in images that have become legendary. This special relationship can be traced through a host of iconic photographs in the book Dior by Avedon. Here, Ian Murdock from Pureprint tells us about the processes that went in to producing the book – from the paper to the folding, the laminating to the embossing

What was the brief for this project?
Working closely with the designer, Paul Neale of Graphic Thought Facility, the mechanics of the book and the slip case were hugely important. Dummies and material tests were done to fit the brief of a flexible book and a slip case with clean lines and minimal visible seams.

 The photography needed to look like the original hand prints from the Avedon archives 

What challenges did you face along the way?
There were many challenges really. We tested laminates with a sand grain finish and different embossing pressures. The paper used for the photography and the Dior drawings needed to take high volumes of ink but also differentiate between photography and sketch, the French folding was a vehicle for this using a one sided coated with the coated side carrying the photography and the uncoated carrying the sketches but folded the other way. Specialist papers from Japan including a lovely uncoated grey Takeo were used and Fusion from Sappi. The photography needed to look like the original hand prints from the Avedon archives and our Colour Manager created unique separations made of two black and a grey (two different greys were used throughout the book) to reproduce the rich feel.

Dior Avedon Book

What are you most pleased with?
The beautiful french fold, tactile cover material and being enclosed in a slip case gave this book its premium finish.

Anything you would change with hindsight?
No, the process of concept to completion was well thought out, dummies of the book and slipcase, scatter proofing on machine of the images using test papers, foiling trials. There were modifications made, especially to the slip case and to how the printed material wrapped around the boards to avoid seams. Tests done with the grain embossing with different pressures. I think every element was engineered and considered, change? More time as always.

Dior Avedon Book

Client involvement – hands-on or hands-off?
Hands-on, a pleasure working with a designer so knowledgeable about the process of designing and constructing a book and an object people want to pick up, touch, look at and read. Together every element was carefully considered, discussed, explored and tested.

Do you have any exciting projects in the pipeline for 2016?
We have so many stunning projects being briefed in all the time. From fine art books, eye-catching brochures, clever bespoke packaging to the clever use of technology to provide webstores to intelligent use of data to produce personalised products.

Dior Avedon Book

For more information, visit Pureprint 


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