Today we're unveiling these gorgeous little beauties, riso-printed recyclable notebooks bearing our #Canongate50th logo. They've come about through a collaboration with print studio @ootblueprint and designer @OtPascoe, the mastermind behind our 50th logo
We approached @ootblueprint at the end of last year to help us design our celebratory logo for a few reasons; They're a Risograph print studio, focusing on specialist japanese printing methods, namely Riso & Gocco. Locally based, in Leith Edinburgh, they're an eco print specialist, using an affordable, sustainable and ethical print service, and they're a social enterprise which reinvests money from their eco printing service into supporting work with young people (more on that later). They also, as you can see, produce some stunning work!
We commissioned @ootblueprint who invited previous resident and Leith artist & graphic designer #OtPascoe to be involved. Ot initially designed our logo digitally, and then took to the studio working hands-on to with the analogue riso printing to create repeating pattern options. Risograph printing is a low-cost, eco-friendly print process with a unique aesthetic. Invented in the 80s as a cheap duplicator for community projects, RISO is now popular with graphic designers, artists and illustrators due to its vibrant colours, tactile texture and ease of use.
In the studio, OT would set up each colour layer to transfer onto a separate ‘master’, a stencil wrapped around the ink drum. The ink is then pushed through the stencil onto the paper. Once the master is made, the machine can reproduce thousands of copies very quickly. This creates a multi-layered, stunning, visual effect. Ot's final design lends itself to repeated patterns and colourful remixes; so far you've seen it on our social media, but also our address labels, stationary, catalogues, and now this exclusive, one-off run of notebooks, which we're gifting to independent booksellers (surprise!)
We chose @ootblueprint carefully for their care to the community & enviroment. Risograph printing is a greener solution to printing - using 95% less energy than photocopying, it's free from harmful emissions and produces minimal waste. RISO inks are unique. The ink is made from rice bran oil, a waste product derived from rice husks. Non-toxic and vegetable based, rice inks are more environmentally friendly and sustainable than standard petroleum-based inks, and their paper is 100% recycled and FSC-approved
@ootblueprint also care for their community, supporting tranieeships & work opportunities for 8 young people annually, alongside a creative programme of exhibitions, residencies & workshops for those under-25. Find out more here: https://outoftheblueprint.org
Their Residencies programme has hosted 20 young artists in the past 5 years, all paid in line with the Scottish Art Union's rates. Resident's work feeds in quarterly to their exhibitions programme. Each is provided with a dedicated studio space and full access to the printers. Their Residencies programme has hosted 20 young artists in the past 5 years, all paid in line with the Scottish Art Union's rates. Resident's work feeds in quarterly to their exhibitions programme. Each is provided with a dedicated studio space and full access to the printers.
At a time where the arts are constantly under attack from the political and economic spheres, it was important to us that we sustainably celebrated our 50 years of publishing, and also helped to plant seeds for young artists, because when art is allowed to bloom, we all flourish.