the art of protest front cover
the art of protest exposed binding
the art of protest open pages

‘Art of Protest’ – The Concept

Imago were approached by publishers Bonnier Books UK to bring to life an incredible piece of work, as it required specialist hand-binding and printing techniques.

These finishes were decided on as they embody the spirit of the author’s vision, and we truly believe this has been achieved and has now indeed been recognised as an award-winning production.

Imago produced two versions of the ‘Art of Protest’ one for the US Market and one for the UK, with the UK edition recognised as the award-winning edition. The USA edition was printed CMYK over 2x white, whilst the UK is Black + 2x PMS over 2x white.

Producing an Award-Winner, ‘Art of Protest’

‘Art of Protest: What a Revolution Looks Like’ is a double award-winning children’s book authored by designer and activist De Nichols, published by Big Picture Press (an imprint of Bonnier Books UK) with print and production handled by the team at Imago. The incredible illustrations throughout the publication include works from Diana Dagadita, Olivia Twist, Raul Oprea, Molly Mendoza, and Diego Becas.

We are delighted that all of the hard work from everyone involved in this eye-catching production has been recognised as award-winning both at the British Book Design and Production Awards and at the BolognaRagazzi Awards. It won in both of its respective categories amongst other incredible productions, taking the crown for ‘Children’s Trade 9 to 16 Years’ at the BBDPA Awards and ‘Best Non-Fiction’ by BolognaRagazzi.

BBDPA Awards – The Judges’ Comments

Striking imagery and superb design execution to educate young adults in the power of art in social movement and protest. The book captures the spirit of revolution through vibrant, bold colours and statement typography. A contemporary binding technique and heavy uncoated stock add gravitas and shelf appeal to the reader.

Techniques and Finishes

Fully exposed binding was achieved by hand-binding the book in Malaysia by a team of our preferred, specialist printers and binders. Whilst the production is intricate, the purposefully unrefined look and feel of the book is highlighted by its raw edges to create a beautifully ‘rough’ and ‘unfinished’ overall production, which amplifies the subject matter of protest and revolution.

Exposed Binding

The binding of the ‘Art of Protest’ book is fully exposed, with all the sections and the stitching visible, which makes for an incredibly unique look. To achieve this, the traditional method of applying a spine board was dropped, and to ensure the binding remained strong it was then bound by hand.

This also allows the book to open completely flat, which is visually stunning both in terms of its look and feel and allows illustrations to seamlessly bleed across two pages. It makes the book easy for children to use too!

To produce the finished effect of the spine, the spine area needs to be clean and white. This means the folded pages that sit on the outside of the folded section need to have a blank area so no image or bleed can occur. The back of the book block is then printed using a 2-colour printing method.

art of protest exposed binding

The Use Of Greyboard

The cover boards of the ‘Art of Protest’ are comprised of greyboard, the same material that would typically be used on any other hardback book. However, this is where the similarity ends. Generally, on a standard book, Imago would usually use greyboard that is encased with a covering material. However, for the ‘Art of Protest’ we were entrusted to achieve a finish that meant we needed to drop this covering material.

A Raw Finish

To achieve the ‘raw’ finish that the production demanded, we left this cover material off to expose the raw edges and finish of the greyboard, which complements the unfinished binding. This allowed us to print directly onto the greyboard, which presented some challenges that needed to be overcome meaning changes to the printing techniques used.

To print colour onto the book’s greyboard and to ensure that it didn’t dry in a way that would be murky and not the desired colour, we first printed a base of white followed by a second layer of white. This was then dried, before the full-colour printing was applied. This resulted in a beautiful finish without any colour irregularities.

the art of protest front cover

‘Art of Protest’ – A Responsible Production

Each and every Imago production complies with our own robust sustainable printing and production standards, plus international and local government policy too. We also work hard to ensure that our customers are informed of the choices they have when it comes to producing their projects as responsibly as possible.

Added to this, Bonnier Books UK donated 10% of all the proceeds from sales of ‘Art of Protest’ to, which as one of the largest nonprofits exclusively for young people and social change, takes action to improve communities in every U.S. area code and in 131 countries.

Start your project

Imago would be delighted to work with you on your next print project. Get in touch with the team to discuss your ideas, no matter how out of the box they might seem!