TM's algorithmically-arranged design for Fedrigoni 365/2021 means no two books are the same
Each year, leading paper manufacturer Fedrigoni and London-based studio TM invite UK-based designers, illustrators and photographers to contribute to the spectacle that is Fedrigoni 365 – an annual calendar that thrives on a sense of community. Usually filled with 365 contributors in reference to the book’s primary function, 2021’s editions are instead permeated with just shy of 1000 individual designs, inspired by a desire to be as inclusive as possible amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
How can 1000 designs fit into 365 days you may ask – with the solution lying in Fedrigoni’s range of digital papers and intelligent five-colour printing from Ricoh’s Pro C7200X machine. As a result, each 416-page OTA-bound book within the 4000 copy print run is entirely unique – from cover-to-cover.
To cater for such variability, Fedrigoni and TM had to present contributors with an even more constrained brief than previous years. Instead of a specific date, every creative was assigned a number from 1-31 and one of a multitude of seed words to act as an inspirational starting point. Three hundred and sixty-five of the resulting designs were then algorithmically compiled from the overall pool of submissions into each book, with no fixed running order or preferences applied.
For each of Fedrigoni 365’s four editions, TM have faced the challenged of defining a new and exciting visual concept. “The paper always comes first,” Creative Director Danny McNeil explains, adding that they are “always spoilt for choice in that department.” Fedrigoni 365/2021 takes advantage of three of Fedrigoni’s digital papers, with the smooth yet tactile Freelife Vellum used for the inside pages, the glossy Splendorlux used for the gradient-filled covers, and the translucent Golden Star K providing the finishing touch as the dust jacket.
In keeping with the individual theme set by the book’s inside pages, each cover utilises two different gradient meshes randomly placed together with generative code. The result of neon and CMYK inks, the colours are unquestionably electric on top of their glossy base. The dust jackets act as the final piece of the puzzle, displaying the entire range of contributors’ names but, in another unprecedented twist, only highlighting those found within the specific book in question.
McNeil explains that the production of each book as its own unique entity “simply wouldn’t have happened” without Ricoh’s expertise and enthusiasm. Inspired by the creative challenge posed to them, Ricoh came on board during the early stages of the project as its print and technology partner, in doing so being instrumental in the production.
Fedrigoni 365/2021 is availably to purchase exclusively from Counter-Print, with all profits donated to the Teenage Cancer Trust.