It was a terrific honor to be asked to design a large format photobook of George Kalinsky's iconic images of Muhammed Ali for his exhibition at the NY Historical Society.
After showing him the large monographs we had designed on the work of Mark Seliger, Steve McCurry and Rodney Smith for Monadnock Paper, George asked if I might create something similar in time for his December opening. It was a tight schedule and the design format took a couple of turns, but the project was hugely rewarding and the book is really impressive. It is now on sale at the Historical Society's museum store.
The biggest puzzle to solve was the size and binding. At first, I planned to run it on 13" x 19" sheets on the Indigo, with a layflat binding similar to the great book on Joan Miro's masonite paintings printed by Francis Atterbury at his Hurtwood Press in London. Chris Harrold of Mohawk had shown it to me a few years ago and I've always recalled the strong impression it made.
However, after we sent dummies to George and the Historical Society, he opted to stick with the saddle-stitched binding on the Monadnock books. I wanted to stick with Indigo, so we ran it on a 10000 that can run 20" x 29" sheets at Sandy Alexander in Clifton NJ. Sandy's color guru, Art Bush, did a fantastic job converting an array of images of varying nature spanning George's 50-year career. George made a great decision to keep the book totally black and white and Art employed a few of his secret tricks to create amazingly rich and dense quadtones.
The stock is Ultrawhite Eggshell Superfine Digital, 100 cover with 80 cover for the text. The quality of the toner laying on the surface is something. Looks like it might be carbon black fused to the paper.
The result is a book that reflects the heavyweight persona of Ali and his long-time friend and photographer. Both true masters of their art.