My First: type foundry Colophon and photographer Sophie Mayanne make a publication


In partnership with

To celebrate the launch of Arjowiggins’ new digital range, we have partnered with the creative papers manufacturer to offer two emerging talents the opportunity to work with an established graphic designer to create a new publication that showcases the work of the participants and the potential of new digital printing techniques.

For the first book, type foundry and design studio Colophon Foundry / The Entente worked with photographer Sophie Mayanne on Twenty-Two, a chronological narrative tracking her journey as a photographer from graduation to today. Designer Bruce Usher took a very different approach for the second book, working with illustrator Antti Kalevi to create a visual poem, translated using a key, for I Can Speak with Shapes.

We kick off our coverage of the collaboration with a look into Colophon and Sophie’s working process.

The Idea

Since graduating, following her Dad’s advice, photographer Sophie had been keeping diaries which documented her life and work. “The journals follow a journey of when I graduated up until now,” she tells us. A little back and forth with the team at Colophon and it was decided: Sophie’s journal entries would become the basis of the their first book.

The Layout

“Because I have so much work, I had to put it into four massive folders and then we started to edit down from there,” Sophie explains of the story told in the pages of Twenty-Two. She selected a range of different entries which enabled her to communicate her story as a whole. “Some journal entries are general ones about feelings from that point, and some are more specific to shoots, referencing them or what happened that day.”

“We got sent the four folders that Sophie put all of her work in, and there was a lot, a lot of stuff,” Colophon laughs. “We initially decided to break it up into four chapters. Because the journal spans so much time, we were going to have to break it up anyway, so we decided on four chapters with a key focus in each. I looked through the images and thought it would be quite hard to do a selection by myself, so Sophie sent through the journal entries and I made an interpretation of which photos would go with each.” Sophie helped Colophon with the layout by jotting down key photos and the diary entries which matched them.

The Typeface

When considering the look and feel of the typeface, Colophon used Sophie’s journal entries as a jump-off point. “We thought that we would create something which had more of a contemporary feel which didn’t take away from the work,” Colophon says. “It’s a fixed pitch typeface: all of the space is the same in every character, much like a typewriter, which then goes back to the idea of a journal writing. We wanted to develop something that didn’t take anything away from Sophie’s work but also gave a certain expression within the content of the work.”

The Paper

For their cover, the trio went for Curious Collection Skin i-Tone Dark Blue 270g. After flirting with the idea of using yellow paper as a visual lead-in for each of the books four sections, they landed on Pop’set i-Tone Sky Blue 240g, a “neutral” blue which worked well with the other paper choices – Pop’set i-Tone Brilliant White 170g and Pop’set i-Tone Ivory 120g – and with the combination of both colour and black and white images.

“We wanted each chapter to have a journal entry so we chose a coloured paper to lift it out of the section slightly,” Colophon explains. “We wanted to use a big selection from Arjowiggins’ paper range. In each section, we’ve printed most of the images on white paper, but we’re also using coloured stock in each section to carry a lead image as a focal point. We’ve printed white onto the colour paper and then printed the lead image on top, almost as if it’s a Tip-On stuck onto the paper like you would in a journal, sticking pictures onto the pages. With the journal entries we wanted to simulate a torn out page, so onto an ivory, off-white stock we printed a very subtle ripped page to give that feeling of scrap booking, memories next to images: the relation between an event and the resulting photograph.”

Arjowiggins’ expansive paper range allowed Colophon and Sophie to get their first publication together feeling exactly how the trio wanted. “The technical aspects of the paper and the range that we were given were important,” Colophon say. “It was finding the page that was the right weight, the right feel. If it didn’t come in a 120g then we couldn’t have used it, so to have it in that weight was great.”

Arjowiggins Creative Papers has refined and extended its range of digital printing papers to offer graphic designers greater creative freedom with new sizes, colours, textures and finishes, plus easy selection with a new reference book. With digital technologies breathing new life into the medium of print, this digital range of papers allows designers to take advantage of custom print runs and quick turnarounds, while widening their creative options and retaining exceptional print quality. To find out more about the range, click here. 

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About the Author

Bryony Stone

Bryony joined It's Nice That as Deputy Editor in August 2016, following roles at Mother, Secret Cinema, LAW, Rollacoaster and Wonderland. She later became Acting Editor at It's Nice That, before leaving in late 2018.

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