Much Obliged
Stephen Sutcliffe

Published by Book Works, London, 2019

Edited by Gavin Everall

Proofreading by Jenny Fisher

Designed by James Brook

ISBN 978 1 906012 81 6

Soft cover | 195 x 130 mm | 144 pages | Printed by Albe de Coker in Antwerp, Belgium, 
on Symbol Tatami, Munken Pure and LumiArt papers | Typeset in Adobe Caslon Pro and Nimbus Sans

Much Obliged is a book by the Glasgow-based artist, Stephen Sutcliffe, that I designed for Book Works in London. Much Obliged is inspired by Joe Brainard’s seminal memoir, I Remember, and is a similarly constructed assemblage of loosely connected reminiscences drawing on Stephen’s experiences of childhood, family, art school, friends and work. Like me, Stephen is from Yorkshire so it was been a real treat to typeset words and phrases that are familiar from my own childhood. I very much enjoyed working on this project and Stephen’s text was been a joy to read, often making me laugh out loud. 

This story is typical of the dry humour running through the book:
In Greenacres Stephen’s mam and dad once had John Spooner and his wife over for dinner. During the meal Stephen’s mam said, ‘You look brown John. Have you had your shirt off at work?’ John was a miner.

Printed on uncoated paper, the book features a glossy central section of images including Stephen’s own collages – often made as birthday cards for his friends – alongside family snapshots. My favourite is Stephen at a fancy dress party, dressed as Camila Batmanghelidjh. The cover has a high gloss finish – I've always wanted to do a book with a glossy cover so was delighted that the artist shared this ambition!​​​​​​​

Gavin Everall, Co-Director, Book Works: James has a long history of involvement with Book Works, as a former valued colleague and friend, but this was the first time we had worked with him as a freelance designer. And it was a complete pleasure to work with someone who really understands artists, artists’ books, and the role of a designer in the publication process. Not only is he meticulous in his approach and delivery, but it was also a pleasure to be reminded of what fun he is to work with. 

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