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Case Study

Aardman Animations and Bloomsbury Publishers - The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists!


We offer a number of design services for publishers:

Book Design
From key stage educational titles, to large photographic coffee table books. Whether you require a book styled to a template or a lead title styled and designed from scratch - we work with you to deliver the very best design.

Book Packaging
In conjunction with our Media Partners we can offer a hand-picked packaging team specifically suited to the project.

Promotion material
We also design related promotional material like sales leaflets, posters, bookmarks, banners, postcards etc.

We can take existing text book files and turn them into an ebook, for use on Kindle and the ipad.


Other clients we have worked with previously include:

BBC Books
Harper Collins
Reed International
Egmont Books 
Pitkin Unichrome
The History Press
Weidenfeld & Nicolson
Toucan Publishing

The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists! image
The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists! image
The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists! image

The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists!

We were contacted by Bloomsbury Publishers to design a 'making of book' for this animated feature film. Over the course of several weeks we met with Bloomsbury at their London Offices to discuss the form and design of the book, the timescale for it's completion and the logistical task of collating the material that would be supplied by Aardman Annimations and the books author, Brian Sibley.

Part of the design brief was to work closely with the animation staff at Aardman to ensure that every aspect of the processes that go into the making of the puppets and sets for the film would be covered. So we visited Aardman Animations at their studios in Bath to meet with Peter Lord the director, the animators, artists and sculpturers to see exactly how an animated film of this scale was planned and created.

We were shown around their extentsive studio facilites, visiting the animation studios where the puppets were being made, the huge sets where the animated action would take place, and the sound stages where the film was in the process of being shot. This was a first hand, up-close tour of the complete process of animation, from the initial concept sketches and maquettes to the final editing of the finished film.

A week or so later we were sent a 3TB disk with almost a million images on it! We would need to examine all the images to choose which best told the story of the making of the film and had to be included. Needless to say it was a massive undertaking to whittle down these images to the 430 artworks and photographs finally used in the finished book!

With the graphic material delivered, it was time to start the design and create a concept for the book. It was while designing initial spreads, for approval by Aardman and Bloomsbury, that the concept was realised. This was, after all, an adventure with pirates and scientists, set in the victorian era, so the concept was to treat the book as a mixture between a pirates photograph album and a ships log! By using distressed, yellowed paper and elements from the initial artists sketches as watermarks we could create the look of a victorian 'keepsake', a pirates souvenir which would capture the journey of the adventure from the beginning to the end. The designs were completed and sent to Aardman and Bloomsbury for approval. The concept was approved immediately, so with that in place, the design of the book could start in earnest.

After several months design work and approval stages, the book was finally completed and delivered to Bloomsbury and Aardman Animations. Towards the end of the design and production of the book, we were taken by Sony Entertainment to a private screening of the film in London. There were still a few 'pencil sketch stills' in the film as placeholders as some of the animated scenes were still to be completed at the studios in Bath.

What a fantastic project to be an integeral part of. Thank you Bloomsbury and Aardman!

Extent: 144 pages

The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists! image
The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists! image
The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists! image
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Don't hesitate to contact us to discuss a new project. We are here to help, and will be pleased to hear from you.
Call: 020 8543 4610
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Bloomsbury Publishers
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Dorling Kindersley
We are working with the DK Licensing Department on the design of an extensive 'DC Encyclopedia'


The Pirates! In An Adventure with Scientists
See how we worked with Bloomsbury and Aardman Animations to create the the 'Making of...' book.


We pride ourselves on being easy to work with and professional at all times. Our focus is clearly aimed at giving the best customer service and design for every project we are involved in. more