After nearly 8 months of brainstorming, research, design, presentations, photography, typesetting, proofreading, color-correcting, retouching, printing, folding, scoring and binding, The Progressive Corporation 2012 Annual Report is now ready to be shipped off to the shareholders. Most people will never know what goes into making a book, so here are a few behind-the scenes pictures I took of the final phase in our production process, perfect binding. After 21 years of hanging out at the bindery, I’m still mesmerized by the automation process. The equipment is kind of like something from the mind of Rube Goldberg — a super complex series of high-tech contraptions all connected together with what seems like miles of winding conveyor belts. It’s all synchronized perfectly and the people working at each station move and stack so efficiently to the rhythm of the repetitive, overlapping sounds — like some kind of weird industrial music that gets stuck in your head for hours after you leave the plant.
Special thanks to Brian Zak at AGS Custom Graphics, Ron Myers at Steffen Bookbinders and their talented teams who always go above and beyond to make our books top-notch!
As a child of the ’70s, I have always had a affinity for Spirograph, dream catchers and string art. Last year around Christmas, I noticed some groovy window displays at the Gap that took string art to a whole new level of sophistication. A large typographic “JOY” woven with colorful yarn and bolts attached to a bright red gator board. It seemed to be a pretty effective way to stop shoppers in their tracks (at least for a few seconds anyway). As a graphic designer, I couldn’t help but think about the elaborate production of assembling these handmade displays for every Gap store in the world. It must have been quite an undertaking to design, plan, organize and provide clear instructions so that every store installed them correctly.Ever since then, typographic string art has been in the back of my mind. Recently I have been coming across some blogs with string art “how-to”s. It looks like a easy technique to learn if you are neat and have a little patience (and time!). ManMade has a pretty basic how-to if you are interested.As I dug a little deeper, I came across all kinds of really interesting examples where the letterforms were reversed out of a very intricate web. Australian designer/artist, Dominique Falla is doing some of the best examples of this I have seen, including poster designs and logotypes made entirely with string. She also creates typography with sticks, map pins, buttons, paper, gum paste and on, and on. Her work is really meticulous and mesmerizing. Here are some details of her work, but do check out dominiquefalla.com to see for yourself. Enjoy!
(photographs via DominiqueFalla.com and ManMade)