OK, that title may be a bit extreme and somewhat unoriginal but you get the idea.
Unusual shaped printed brochures
During a recent rummage in our treasure trove of a samples room, I unearthed a gem of a book we printed for Hillsong Church a few years ago. I hadn’t seen anything like it before or since we printed it back in 2011. The design spec is a circle measuring 180cm in diameter, with 36pp text section and 4pp matt laminated cover with a UV varnish, PUR bound.
Of course, the most unusual element of this book is the shape. Just enough of the circle has been taken away from the left for PUR binding. The book was printed and bound as a square and them RAM punched into the circular shape afterwards. RAM punching is a specialist form of die cutting in which a printed book or material stack is pushed through a shaped die. Though simpler shapes are better, there are very few shapes and printed materials that cannot be RAM punched.
It’s not very often at Printhouse that we print a book in a format other than as a square or rectangle. From the production point of view, it can be easier to design, print and package. For the end user, it may be easier to hold, read and store. Of course there are exceptions but as a generalisation, this often tends to be the case. Researching and somewhat confirming this, I found it fairly difficult to find more examples of unusual and different shaped books, other than books for children, in which this process seems to thrive.
Could it be the potential cost implications as to why designers tend to steer clear of projects like this? RAM punching is an added finishing process and will add to the overall cost of the job. Or could it be for practical reasons; that this type of application doesn’t suit the project? Or is it that designers and clients are often conforming to an idea of what they think a book should look and not challenging or completely overlooking the actual shape of the book as another creative way of catching peoples attention?
Die cut books such as this job and those above, have to be printed and finished with complete accuracy. Being 1mm out may cause the job to be rejected or unusable in some cases. Therefore, the design of the job needs to be thought out carefully right from the start. Adding elements too close to the edge will make the finishing much harder to complete, as do borders or any design or text formatted to mimic the circular shape just inside the page edges.
Due to good design practice and competent production, this book was a complete success. It certainly got people talking and received many compliments. For me, it is another example that taking risks and thinking outside the box can really pay off when thinking about producing a book. It’s one that I remember and for all the right reasons.
Bespoke or custom shaped brochures
As this wonderful case study demonstrates, not every brochure has to be A4 or A5 size. Sometimes a company might think they’re being adventurous by designing a 210mm x 210mm square brochure. We say that’s cool. But we can be far more exotic with your brochure sizing!
If you would like an interestingly shaped brochure designed then give us a call on 020 8963 0123, drop us an email or feel free to use the quick contact form below. We’ll get back to you with a little bit more imagination than your bog standard corporate brochure.