Friday, 25 May 2012

Last night I went to Flowers Gallery in Kingsland Road to celebrate Tom Phillips 75th Birthday. It was a magnificent dinner, attended by many luminaries of the art, literature and media worlds, with an exhibition of Tom’s latest paintings on the walls, which is highly recommended. There were speeches by Stephen Fry, Angela Flowers and the artist himself, which was greeted with immense warmth, showing just how much Tom and his work are loved and respected. The first hand-bound copies of The Sound and the Fury have just come in and I have to say they look tremendous: the binding is fresh and modern and the coloured text looks really enticing. In my letter describing the book I said I was unaware of any other book printed in different colours in this way. One member has already put me right in this respect, citing Michael Ende’s The Never Ending Story (though it is a mere two colours, as opposed to 14 for our Faulkner) – and I’d be interested to hear of any others. A trial panel for the slipcase spine also came in today, and is included in the photo. Last week I went to Düsseldorf for Drupa, the world’s biggest printing equipment fair. The array of machinery on display was quite staggering, particularly the new digital presses. Some of these have a million ink-jet nozzles and are making literally billions of actions per second – this was too much for a bear of little brain to cope with and I was relieved to find someone printing on a press which Gutenberg would have been familiar with.

  I’m told that Hewlett Packard spent not much short of €25 million on their display, but some outfits were more modest in their promotion.     Jemma Lewis, who creates hand marbled papers for us, has just sent in samples of four possible designs for the binding of Travels in Arabia Deserta, inspired by Bedouin fabrics and desert dunes – it will be hard to choose between them.