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Munken Polar used for unique Rankin book, ‘Alive: In the Face of Death’

Friday, July 18, 2014

Press release from the issuing company

The well-known Munken Polar grade from Arctic Paper UK has been used for a unique book by the acclaimed British photographer Rankin, ‘Alive: In the Face of Death’, which depicts a range of people, from every walk of life, who have or who are, sadly suffering from, or with, the effects of the life-threatening disease, cancer. 

‘Alive: In the Face of Death’ has been produced in collaboration and with co-operation from designers, and printers, Team Impression, who together with Arctic Paper UK, have come together to work on this truly unique and inspirational collaborative project.

The book, ‘Alive: In the Face of Death’, contains more than 70 photographic images dealing the issues of mortality and illness, as seen through the experience of individuals. It was also the subject of a BBC2 Culture Show documentary, and was exhibited at Liverpool’s Walker Art Gallery last year.

‘Alive: In the Face of Death’ not only depicts those photographed, but also more importantly tells their emotional and compelling stories, all of which are very moving and reveal their reasons for being photographed in the way they have each been featured and illustrated.

Commenting on their participation in this unique project, Simon Bucktrout, Sales Director with Leeds-based printers Team Impression, who specialise in high-end print projects for a range of clients in the design, fashion, arts and property sectors, revealed, “This was certainly a first for us in terms of working on this book, and took some time to really understand the ethos and importance of the project.” 

The book was produced on a Komori 640 B1 six-colour press, with Munken Polar 120gsm being used for the text papers and Munken Polar 150gsm for the end papers. 

Simon stated that the Munken Polar grade performed excellently throughout the print run.

“Munken Polar held both colour and detail perfectly. It is a sheet we have used many times before and rate highly,” he said.

“The smoothness and printability for an uncoated paper are outstanding characteristics for Munken Polar, and also the slightly off white shade is very appealing,” added Simon, who has used Munken Polar as a printing grade many times before. 

Bryan Edmondson, Partner at London-based designers SEA, stated, “We have worked with Arctic Paper before on many projects, one of which was ‘Male and Female Nudes’, so we knew when this particular project for ‘Alive: In the Face of Death’ came about it would be a moving and emotional one to be involved with. It’s a remarkable project, and probably one that due to the subject matter some people would shy away from,” Bryan revealed.

SEA have collaborated with Rankin numerous times previously, and Bryan said, “For personal reasons this was probably a first for Rankin. We had worked previously on a book a few years ago, ‘Breast Friends’, which was about those fighting breast cancer. In ‘Alive in the Face of Death’, the most powerful thing are the stories behind the images of those featured, when you read one you want to read another, and supported by stunning imagery as well.”

Commenting on the use of Munken Polar, Bryan revealed, “We had used Munken Pure for a previous book two or three years ago, Rankin Portraits, so we knew the grade and ran some trials on Munken Polar and it performed outstanding. As with a lot of photographers they demand quality reproduction, and with Munken Polar it’s nice and sharp, as well as being very tactile. We know the paper very well, so I think it was a relatively easy choice.”

He added, “Always with Munken an outstanding feature is the deep blacks, which you can hit very hard, as with the four colour blacks which run throughout the book. Most premium uncoateds tend to drop off and don’t get that deep rich reproduction, whereas with Munken it just tends to hold much deeper and sharper.”

Rob Slowe, Managing Director for Arctic Paper UK, said, “We were delighted that Munken Polar was chosen to be used for such a moving and emotional project. The image reproduction and clarity on Munken Polar has captured the feeling and sentiment of those pictured, which helps give the reader a sense of the depth of the messages being conveyed alongside the images throughout ‘Alive: In the Face of Death’.”


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