Pieces of a Jigsaw

for Parthian Books & the University of Wales

Services included: Cover design, page design, promotional materials

The journey: A large, full-colour, hardback book by photographer Bernard Mitchell. Bernard has spent decades taking photographic portraits of the creative figures who put Wales on the map. We helped Bernard edit an enormous archive down into about a hundred of his best shots, and designed the book with the aim of taking the reader on a visual journey, never letting the eye rest. We wanted each photo to stand out in its own right, so we mixed the order of the edit. Black and white images sit next to full colour, portrait-format pictures are offset by landscapes, and an image of a cavernous, bare-walled studio may be juxtaposed with a busy, cramped kitchen with a curled-up cat hiding among the clutter.

We designed a wrap-around dust jacket, and helped Parthian select the materials to be sure the book looked of the highest quality. We choose deep, rich reds for the endpapers and the cover board wrapping, and added gold foiling to the spine. We also added white head and tail bands (those tiny pieces of ribbon at either end of the spine, which help hide the construction of the binding).

We also provided some postcard and pop-up banner designs to help promote the launch events and to decorate venues. We’re looking forward to designing another art book for Parthian in the coming months.

Richard Davies, Publisher, Parthian and the Library of Wales: ‘I always feel Head & Heart care about each individual project they work on with us – it’s like having another production department on call, happy to discuss ideas and adjust specifications with a real understanding of the whole process.’

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