A Collection of Marks: Thomas Dabner

Show: A Collection of Marks. Book by Thomas Dabner

Info: “As I am a Graphic Identity Designer the book showcases a collection of the marks/symbols I have designed over the past few years giving brief details into what each one was for. The book covers are hand screen printed on high quality 2mm book board and the inside pages onto 300gsm white paper to allow the marks to print crisp and clear.

“The idea came to me after buying Pentagram’s Marks book and being inspired by how beautiful they can look when shown purely in black and white. All the details in the shapes and lettering become much more evident and the viewer can appreciate the work on a deeper level. The only specifications I set myself were that it must be a form of book (i.e. cover, inside pages, all bound together) and it must be of a comfortable size to fit in one’s hand. From this I decided to print the marks in black only, but with a contact sheet style page of their colour versions at the back.

“The trick for this type of book is to devise a system of showing each mark in isolation but without making it look out of place. Getting the correct grid together was essential. I decided upon showing each mark on a separate page in a swatch book style binding so that only one could be seen at a time, instead of facing pages. Originally the covers were going to be printed on the same paper stock as the pages, however after testing it, they seemed incomplete without proper covers. That and the binding screws were twice the depth of all the pages stacked up.

“The decision to print the covers on boards not only solved the problem of better binding, but they really give the book character and the contrast of the two stock colours separate the covers from the work on the inside. The cover image took a while to get right, I went through numerous different ideas, some purely type based and other more outlandish and eye catching, however in the end I decided the best thing to do would be to sum up what Identity and Marks mean to me. The answer was simple: order, clarity and geometry. Hence the square, circle & triangle diagram.

“Although the outcome was far more exciting and successful than I had first anticipated, the project was not without its challenges. I had originally aimed to make it A6 sized, but upon finding the paper to print onto I couldn’t fit all the pages onto one sheet (something I was also aiming for to keep costs down) so I had to cut the size slightly to 87mm x 122mm. This size in fact fits the hand better and didn’t compromise the quality of the marks when printed.

“Overall this project was very successful in my eyes, but I won’t truly know its worth until I send the books out for studios to see. I have my fingers crossed and I hope anyone who sees this work here enjoys what I’ve had to say. If I was to thank anyone for this project it would be Pentagram for the initial inspiration and to all the clients who gave me the work which is featured in the book.”

Info: Thomas Dabner is a freelance designer from Sheffield with a focus on graphic identity design. This ranges from marks and symbols to full business identity work including stationery, packaging and signage.


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A Collection of Marks: Thomas Dabner was posted on March 8th, 2011 at 10.19am and is filed under Show and Tell. This entry has no comments (yet). You can follow any responses through the RSS 2.0 Feed.

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