The 2016 Alliance of Literary Societies Conference celebrated the Brontë Bicentenary. I was asked to produce a set of visuals of the generic side of the bookmark showing different colour backgrounds in preparation for new marketing (the golden coloured version is the preferred choice that the society branding is now based on - see later blog posts and design for print on the main website pages).
The only portrait of Charlotte Brontë available for author's side of the bookmark was greyscale and not very high resolution, so I worked this into a locket design, and presented visuals with purple and red silk backgrounds. The grey version of the generic ALS side was a classic choice to match Charlotte's portrait and the red silk.
The bookmark for the 2015 ALS conference celebrated the Bicentenary of Anthony Trollope. The Trollope Society had a very lively website and twitter feed to support the Bicentenary year and supplied a lovely logo. I felt it was important for me to design the bookmark to support this strong branding while not looking completely out of place with the rest of the collection.
The main challenge with the bookmark in 2014 was to take the glowing orange from Christopher Marlowe's buttons when his portrait was viewed on screen, and to transfer it into the rest of the design so that the colour came up strongly in print. A bright orange on screen isn't always going to appear as bright when it's been printed and it needed a bit of the red Photoshopped out of the picture's button colour. The Marlowe society had approved the use of the portrait, and further use of its background gave a lovely leathery textured look over the bookmark.
The very first bookmark appeared in 2012. The brief was for a double-sided bookmark with one side giving the Alliance of Literary Society details, and the other celebrating the author with an anniversary that year, Charles Dickens. The 'from Austen to Zola' quotation was provided for the one side, so I suggested a quotation by Dickens should be displayed in the design on the other. The title page, printed in an old set of his works in our house, provided the illustration. To give the ALS side a lively look, and to update the bookmark for new readers today, I used fans of pages of open books in a golden orange for the pages with glowing yellow highlights to match the brown and golden colours on the Dickens side. I chose shades of orange to work well with the green, which was the colour of the society's website at the time. I also needed to reconstruct the society logo as a resizeable vector file from the web version supplied.
The following year, the ALS decided to continue with the bookmarks, keeping the original generic design on the front and having a design for the author for that year’s conference on the other. The bookmarks had been a great success at the Nottingham AGM and all the thousand copies had been picked up. They doubled the order and also commissioned a leaflet which you can see in the picture at the top of this page, together with the Barbara Pym bookmark. The jpg supplied for this was a big movement away from oranges and browns as it was a small illustration with a violet colour overlay at the top, in contrast with the colours on the generic side which was to stay the same.
It left me looking forward to seeing what colour a bookmark could be the next year.