Creative Research and Development Ltd.

Core disciplines: Brand strategy, Branding / design, Digital

We have worked with Art Book Publisher Prestel for several years on Book Designs and the design of thier London Book Fair stand.

Book designs for an English Room by Derry Moore and Noble Houses of Scotland by Chales Weymss.

Who they are

Founded in 1924 and with over 500 English titles in print, Prestel Publishing is one of the world's leading publishers in the fields of art, architecture, photography and design.


The original challenge with Prestel was to develop a solution for their trade stand at the London Book fair. At the time they were using ready made shell scheme shelves. This shell scheme did not really match thier brand values of being a publisher of high end art books. The inital brief was to develop a new bespoke stand design that could showcase books in an innovative and eye catching manner. The overarching goal was to draw more footfall to their stand. Based on the succes of the stand prodcution and design we were asked to design books for thier interiors range. The challenge with book design is to develop a grid system or design style that you can hinge a multiple page document on. The books we design run up to 300+ pages. It is also imperitive that any design style complements the content and works to showcase the source material in its best light. 

Trade fair stand at the London Book Fair with bespoke patterns by Kate Moross.

What we did

Since 2006, through brand consultancy Boston, we have been working with Prestel on thier London Book Fair stand design. On the back of the success of the trade stand we were have gone on to design several books for them.

We developed several sketches and concepts for how the stand would look.

The units were made using the latest CNC cutting technology.

The stand was designed to last several years.

The elements from the stand were designed to be Modular and Flat packed for easy storage and transportation..

London Book Fair Stand

In 2006 we were approached by Prestel to improve thier book fair stand. We set about sketching concepts in pencil, before moving onto CGI renderings which were put in front of the client. Through a discussion with sales team and the Managing Director we picked one concept which we proceeded to refine into production drawings. These production drawings were sent to the stand builder who then worked with us to refine the drawings into something which could be put into production. We have redesigned the stand 2 times, the second time around we were taksed with coming up with a solution that could be flat packed. For the production of the second design we used the latest Laser Cutting technology to develop modular units that could put together in different dynamic combinations.

Cover of 'An English Room' by Derry Moore showing Benedict Cumberbatch in the Library at the Garrick Club in London.

Spreads form 'An English Room' by Derry Moore showing Tim Knox, Gilbert and George and James Dyson.

Layout showing pages from 'An English Room' by Derry Moore. Spread shows Jeanette Winterson.

English Rooms

For work on ‘English Rooms’ by Derry Moore our creative team developed Book Layout and Design concepts which were presented to the Author and Editorial team. Based on this presenation we refined the concepts down to one option which was approved by all the stakeholders. After approval of the BLAD we were provided with all the assets which we then began laying out on a carefully constructed grid that we had developed. Consideration was taken into showcasing the beautifully crafted photographs taken by the Author Derry Moore. After several months of production and editorial amends, files were released to the publishers preproduction department for subsequent release to the printers. The first printing run of the book sold out and was lauded as a considerable succes.

Cover for Noble Houses of Scotland by Charles Weymss

Flat Cover Layout for Noble Houses of Scotland by Charles Weymss

Spread from Noble Houses of Scotland by Charles Weymss

Spread from Noble Houses of Scotland by Charles Weymss

Spread from Noble Houses of Scotland by Charles Weymss

Spread from Noble Houses of Scotland by Charles Weymss

Spread from Noble Houses of Scotland by Charles Weymss

Spread from Noble Houses of Scotland by Charles Weymss

Noble Houses Of Scotland

As part of our on-going working relationship with Prestel, we also worked on the design and layout of the book ‘Noble Houses Of Scotland’ by Charles Weymss. This 330 page book covers some of the greatest castles of Scotland. We worked closely with the author and the publisher to ensure the design remained in keeping with the books contents. In addition to the complex, yet elegant, grid layout, the book included several maps and castle diagrams which we also produced.

Cover for 'Damascus Tiles' by Arthur Miller

Grids and Layouts from 'Damascus Tiles' by Arthur Miller

Cover Options for 'Damascus Tiles' by Arthur Miller

Spread from 'Damascus Tiles' by Arthur Miller

Spread from 'Damascus Tiles' by Arthur Miller

Spread from 'Damascus Tiles' by Arthur Miller

Damascus Tiles

‘Damascus Tiles’ by Aruther Miller is our most ambitious book design done to date. The book measures 300mm x 340mm and comes in at 320 pages. It includes a varitey of content including a tile catalogue and several maps. The book is based on the research of Arthur Miller who made several trips to Syria before the out break of the civil war, it documents relics which likely now no longer exist. Due to the diverse nature of the content we needed to come up with a grid that allowed us to display content in an adaptable manner. The quality and attention to detail shown to the final product shows what is the benchmark expected when working with our agency.


Stand design for Prestel Publishing at the London Book Fair.


The process of designing for Prestel varies from job to job but follows certain similar principles. Whether desiging a 3D environment or a Book it is important to get as much information from the client before commencing. This is done through meetings and researching the intended target market for the project. After the objectives are isolated we begin a development process which is usually done, brainstorming and sketching in pencil. Once sketches are completed and reviewed interally we refine the most succesful into 'Design Concepts.' These Concepts are then presented to the client. Based on thier feed back we then take the concepts back to the studio and either refine them or begin execution. Working primarily on Mac's we use a carefully organised IT server management structure that allows us to isolate jobs into different parts. Once artworking or production drawing begins, we carefully inspect all details of our files before releasing them to the client for final approval. On final approval drawings or files are released to suppliers who are in charge of prodcution.


Footfall and sales have steadily increased since we produced our first stand. The success of the stand has meant that it has been used at the Frankfurt book fair and other trade shows. The client has been happy and we have also continued to make modifications to the stand over time.

Some of the books we have designed have sold out on thier first print runs, all others have had healthy sales. Beyond this the Editors, Publishers and Authors have all been pleased with the final product and they have garnered favourable reviews on Amazon.

We continue to work with this client on an ongoing basis which is a testament to the attention to detail we take when working on any job.

“Our stand design was successful in that it made it possible for to Prestel to differentiate itself from it's competitors in the crowded market place that is the London Book Fair.”


0Shares  Twitter   LinkedIn   Facebook   Google+   Send to a friend 
Interact with Creative Research and Development Ltd.