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Softback Artist Catalogue Printing: The Art of Within Hebridean Seas

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210x210mm Zines
4pp Cover onto 350gsm Silk
Matt laminated to the outer
76 inside pages onto 170gsm Silk
Four colour print throughout
Trimmed, collated and perfect bound


Delve into the serene world of “Within Hebridean Seas,” a softback artist catalogue by Margaret Soraya, capturing the soul of the Scottish coast. This case study unveils the meticulous art book printing journey, blending impeccable design with expert printing techniques. Discover how the author’s vision, paired with Ex Why Zed’s guidance, materialises into a tangible celebration of nature’s artistry.

Embracing the Ephemeral: A Photographic Journey

The design choices of Margaret Soraya’s art book are both deliberate and resonant. Each photograph is a solitary narrative, cradled within white borders that serve not just as a frame but as a moment of pause—a quiet space for contemplation. This careful consideration of layout invites the viewer to fully immerse in each image, to feel the ebb and flow of the Hebridean seas. The white space echoes the solitude of the landscapes, allowing the viewer’s eye to rest and meditate on the imagery.

A Symphony in Silk: The Tactile Experience

The tactile quality of the book’s pages is remarkable—printed on 170gsm Silk, the texture conveys a subtle hint of luxury and durability. This choice of material enhances the visual experience, as the colours seem to dance on the pages with a vibrancy that pays homage to the dynamic hues of the seascape. The matt lamination of the cover on 350gsm Silk provides a soft, inviting touch, urging the viewer to engage with the book intimately.

Palette of the Pensive: Colours that Speak

Margaret’s palette choices in her photographs are a narrative in themselves. The transition from the vibrant oranges and pinks of dawn to the mysterious blues and greys of the Hebridean waters showcases a dynamic range of emotions. The colours are not just seen; they are felt. They do not merely represent the landscape but seem to carry the very essence of the Hebridean atmosphere—the chill of the breeze, the salt in the air, the solitude of the shores.

Binding Styles and Storytelling

The perfect binding of the book is reflective of the cohesive story that Margaret tells through her photographs. Each turn of the page is seamless, mirroring the continuous and unending horizons of the Hebrides. The square format of the book, 210x210mm, is an embodiment of balance and equality, offering each landscape a space where its voice can be equally heard, its story equally felt.

Actionable Insights for Future Designers

  • Utilise white space judiciously to frame and accentuate visual artwork.
  • Select paper quality that complements the artwork, enhancing both the visual and tactile experience.
  • Consider the emotional journey of colour when arranging the sequence of artworks.
  • Choose a binding style that not only holds the pages but also adds to the narrative flow of the book.
  • Acknowledge the power of a book’s size and shape in contributing to the storytelling aspect of the design.

Margaret Soraya’s “Within Hebridean Seas” is more than an art book; it is a sensory journey through the landscapes it represents. It stands as a beacon for the power of print to capture and convey the profound beauty of our world.

Margaret’s Print Journey

The email exchange between Margaret Soraya and Ex Why Zed reveals a professional and smooth interaction, demonstrating the company’s commitment to customer satisfaction and attention to detail.

Key Takeaways from the Interaction:

  • Margaret Soraya sought to replicate the specifications of a previously printed book.
  • Ex Why Zed confirmed the details promptly, providing a previous invoice for reference.
  • Margaret was guided on how to proceed with the order and upload files.
  • Ex Why Zed provided a clear quote and adjusted the order based on Margaret’s needs.
  • There was an assurance of a preflight check for artwork and a final PDF proof before printing.
  • Ex Why Zed was accommodating to Margaret’s address change and payment preference.

Margaret’s trust in Ex Why Zed’s printing services is evident, as she aimed to maintain consistency in her book’s format. The company’s responsiveness, detailed communication, and clear guidance through the ordering process exemplify their expertise and customer-focused approach. The positive interaction culminates in Margaret’s satisfaction, reflected in her prompt payment and attention to delivery details, showcasing a successful client-company partnership.


“Within Hebridean Seas” stands as a beacon of artistry and print perfection. From the harmonious design elements to the collaborative spirit between Margaret Soraya and Ex Why Zed, every detail weaves a narrative of quality and craftsmanship. This case study encapsulates the essence of creating a stunning soft back art book, highlighting the dedication behind the scenes to bring such a photographic marvel to life.

Ready for a Quote?

We hope you find this case study inspirational.

For more information on this book or to discuss your upcoming project, do get in touch on:
hello@exwhyzed.com01206 766647
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Brilliant communication from start to finish. Mike had endless patience for the many questions we asked. The guides provided were easy to follow and super helpful (the video guides are a must watch too). Our order of hardback illustrated children's books was delivered expertly packaged and on time. As for the finished product itself - stunning - a real joy to finally hold, beautifully made and perfectly printed! We couldn't have asked for more. Well, we did - we instantly placed an order for paperback children's colouring books too, which we are equally as happy with. Look forward to working with Ex Why Zed again in the future.
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