It isn’t just beer, wine, and spirits that can make people behave in funny, impulsive ways. Recently this gorgeous volume, “Simply Bourbon: An Introduction to America’s Most Beloved Spirit,” has taken to regularly disappearing and reappearing around PaperSpecs Towers as members of our team borrow it just long enough to drink in every last intoxicating detail. It’s a heady brew.
“We wanted to create a printed piece that not only highlighted what we can do, but that also would be tough to forget,” admits Rule29 Founder and Principal Justin Ahrens, and boy howdy did they accomplish that.
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Let’s take a closer look starting with that ultra-evocative cover. Celebrating as it does the uniquely American qualities of bourbon, the book projects a Wild West feel right out of the gate with a leather cover strip stamped with appropriately themed iconography: an ice-filled tumbler here, a bourbon bottle there, etc. (These and many other illustrations are repeated in the end sheets, and other places throughout the volume.)
The smoothness of the leather is complemented by a canvas cover that further puts one in mind of centuries gone by, as does the choice of type lovingly hot foil stamped along the spine. But of course all of this is merely a backdrop for the cover’s pièce de résistance: the large, wood inlay at its center featuring the book’s title and design accents laser engraved into its surface.
The Smyth-sewn binding is a smart choice for a book such as this, which is bound to be read again and again in the months and years to come.
What is Smyth-Sewn Binding?
Smyth-sewn binding is THE binding method for any book that will be used repeatedly, that needs to evoke a certain air of prestige, or that must remain in an open position during use – textbooks, cookbooks, art books and Bibles are usually bound this way.
To accomplish this, the printed signatures are folded down to their designed size and sewn together with thread through the spine. Then the signatures are stacked one on top of the other and sewn together to form the book block. Typically, these Smyth-sewn book blocks are then inserted into a hard cover – what we refer to as case bound.
Inside ‘Simply Bourbon’
The book’s interior more than lives up to the promise of its cover thanks to gorgeous photography, engaging written content (describing the tastes and options for various bourbons), and a design style that strikes a pleasing balance between the two. All of this is enhanced by the use of Sappi McCoy paper that boosts the vibrancy of the colors and imagery while providing an almost decadent feel – very much the tactile equivalent of a fine bourbon.
Sabine Lenz is the founder of PaperSpecs.com, the first online paper database and community specifically designed for paper specifiers.
Growing up in Germany, Sabine started her design career in Frankfurt, before moving to Australia and then the United States. She has worked on design projects ranging from corporate identities to major road shows and product launches. From start-ups to Fortune 500 companies, her list of clients included Oracle, Sun Microsystems, Deutsche Bank, IBM and KPMG.
Seeing designers struggle worldwide to stay current with new papers and paper trends inspired Sabine to create PaperSpecs, an independent and comprehensive Web-based paper database and weekly e-newsletter. She is also a speaker on paper issues and the paper industry. Some refer to her lovingly as the "paper queen" who combines her passion for this wonderful substrate called paper with a hands-on approach to sharing her knowledge.