And We’ll Drift Away, Art Book Printing for Hebru Brantley

I know I say this with almost every Blog post about art book printing, but this book, this one, really is one of the most spectacular books Bookmobile has printed to date. Hebru Brantley is a visual artist in Chicago, and two weeks ago we shipped a limited run of 300 copies of And We’ll Drift Away for his exhibition opening of “Memoirs of the Minimum Wage” at Vertical GalleryAnd We’ll Drift Away is a hardcover with printed end sheets, dust jacket, color interior, and a black foil stamp on a black linen case (see more images in our Gallery here).

Brantley’s website describes his work as

pop infused contemporary art inspired by Japanese anime and the bold aesthetics of street art pioneers Jean Michel Basquiat, Kaws and Keith Haring. While spray paint is often at the forefront of his mixed-media illustrations, Brantley utilizes a plethora of mediums from oil, acrylic and watercolor to non-traditional mediums like coffee and tea.

I worked close with Brantley’s assistant, Rhea Fernandez, who did all of the design and layout, from the beginning. In December of 2014 I started estimating options for Rhea (hardcover with a dust jacket versus a hardcover with a printed case, etc.), sent samples of Bookmobile’s printing and binding, then as the design came together, we went through multiple rounds of sample pages to determine the best color profile for the artwork. I always encourage clients to send samples pages for printing before the job comes in, so any color corrections or color profile decisions can be made before we send out the full sets of proofs.

Final files came in on April 24, 2015, and we went through two rounds of proofs, and were still able to ship books by May 28. They were received by the Hebru Brand Studio a week ahead of the event! From Rhea,

It was a pleasure working with Bookmobile and Nicole. Everyone was very responsive and helpful from quotes to formatting to final printing. You can visualize a book like this, but to see it come to life exactly how you imagined it is an amazing feeling.

Many of the art books we print at Bookmobile are a collaboration. For some artists, it’s their first book, so we need to walk through the production process, and as all you book production experts know, books are complicated. I enjoy working on art books—it is nice to exercise the book production side of my brain with interesting questions, such as

  • How large of a hardcover can we do and what size will the dust jacket flaps then need to be? Answer: We squeezed out the maximum width we could produce for the dust jacket on this title—And We’ll Drift Away is an 11-1/2″ square trim size, with a full-sized dust jacket with 2-1/2″ flaps. (We are still working on expanding our maximum sizes.)
  • How much gutter margin will the printed end sheets take up and how can we best accommodate that in the print file so we don’t lose any images once it’s bound? Answer: For this title, not much.
  • And, what will a black foil stamp on a black linen case look like? Answer: Awesome.

Interested in working with us on your next art book? Then your book can be my next blog post about the best book we’ve ever printed? Contact me!