Friday, 7 May 2010

Publisher Spotlight: Nobrow Press

Nobrow is a London based independent publisher with an eye for design. Formed in 2008 they specialise in publishing quirky and eye catching work by lesser known illustrators and comic artists. Although they publish a lot of UK based talent such as Bristol based illustrator Ben Newman (whose comic book debut on Nobrow I reviewed here) they also publish work from international artists such as Berlin based master of colour and Ou Ba Po, Blexbolex, and American Micah Lidberg. Despite being a small publisher they don't cut corners when it comes to quality which is something that instantly draws me to them. They seek to use the best paper and experiment with different sizes, means of folding, and other techniques to insure that what they produce is not only worth reading but also worth holding on to as an art object in itself. They also have their own in house studio with screen printing facilities where they produce prints and posters by their rosta of artists and they even sell an expensive (but great looking) vinyl toy designed by Ben Newman. To cement their identity further, you can usually tell a Nobrow product due not only to its comforting to touch paper but also from their use of colour. A lot of their products are printed in only 2-4 colours (usually blues, reds, and sometimes they venture into neon territory, but the artists here make neon look good, unlike the people over at Paper Rad/PictureBox). Sometimes as with a lot of indie publishers and artists, there is a danger of venturing too far into the twee style of illustration and some of the items can be a bit pricey, however I shouldn't let this bother you too much as you are paying for quality. If you fancy getting a sample of what they do, they release an anthology type magazine every now and then. If you live in London they are also opening a shop and gallery space on the 27th of May which I can imagine would be well worth checking out (details below).

Out of what they have to offer now, the things that catch my eye are Micah Lidberg’s stunning prehistoric concertina Rise&Fall, Blexbolex's abstract alphabet Abecederia, and John McNaught's Birchfield Close (which reminds me a bit of Tobias Schalken's work).

Nobrow's site is here, and blog is here.

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