BMP Creates coffee table book

To celebrate its last 30 years, advertising agency BMP DDB decided to blow its own trumpet to clients and employees with a 160-page coffee table book showcasing its favourite campaigns.

Consultancy: Pentagram

Client: BMP DDB

Designers: Angus Hyland, Charlie Smith

To celebrate its last 30 years, advertising agency BMP DDB decided to blow its own trumpet to clients and employees with a 160-page coffee table book showcasing its favourite campaigns. BMP Creates is packed with screen grabs of ads from the 1970s onwards and minimal text.

Pentagram decided an uncoated paper would suit the project. The quality of images was poor and the consultancy had to work mostly with low-resolution 35mm images, which were often out of focus and pixelated. A coated paper would have drawn attention to the poor quality, but uncoated stock was more sensitive to the low standard and softened the images.

Second, Pentagram felt uncoated paper subdued the colour, which would have been too garish as the book is highly picture-led. The text was often flowed over the screen grabs, and the paper, Neptune Unique from the Fenner Paper Company, accentuated the contrasts between sharp text and slightly out-of-focus imagery. Pentagram partner Angus Hyland says the physical quality of uncoated stock was one of the main reasons it was used on this project. ‘A book designed to be picked up repeatedly requires touchy-feeliness – which glossy coated paper can’t provide,’ he says. Pentagram designer Charlie Smith agrees uncoated paper is more substantial and is perfect for books. As a rule, Pentagram prefers uncoated paper as it has more character, she says, but concedes some jobs – such as corporate projects – dictate a different type of paper.

Smith thinks designers will always use uncoated paper, as it is attractive and reliable. ‘Types of uncoated stock will come and go as designers experiment, but as a paper type it will stand the test of time,’ she says. ‘I don’t foresee a mass exodus to coated paper in the future.’

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