Umbra 1
Umbra 1
Umbra 2
Umbra 3
Umbra 4
Umbra 5
Umbra 6
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We love it when artists like Julie Renee Jones bring us projects! Julie, a fine art photographer who is locally based, came to us to print a gallery book of her latest series, Umbra, which depicts a family history in a modern, artistic, and imaginative way. To fund the book, Julie had won a grant from Culture Works, a regional nonprofit arts organization in Dayton that promotes the good news about the amazing cultural vibrancy of our region to a national audience. Given Julie’s talent and creativity, and the grant from Culture Works to produce something extraordinary, we were challenged to produce a truly one-of-a-kind piece.

The Project

To support the topic of her photo series, Julie requested a book that had the look and feel of an old photo album. She asked for a piece that she could use to send to galleries to introduce her work and give curators a glimpse at her art.

The Oregon team took Julie’s idea and ran. We started with a technique that involved printing multiple hits of white ink first and then laying four color process on top of the white, all on black paper. This process required a LOT of testing and different paper selections, but we ultimately achieved a look and feel that is authentic to an old photo album and that showcases Julie’s work beautifully. For added interest, we also utilized black ink on black paper to give a watermark or “ghosted” image feel.

For such a unique book, we couldn’t use just any standard binding option to hold it together, so we created our own. We used a split Wire-O binding method, which allowed the center of the bending edge to go unpunched, thus leaving more room for Julie’s photos. We’re calling this the “hidden Wire-O”, as the wire isn’t seen when the books are closed.

The final touch? Julie requested we add a loose photo as an insert into the book, so that the recipient would have the idea that a picture had come un-glued from the album. We were happy to make that happen!

We’re excited to see how the Umbra book introduces Julie to galleries around the world and can’t wait to work with her again. Learn more about Julie and see some of her art at: