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Kensington Stories

Project Type:
Books | Print

Historic Royal Palaces

As part of a fundraising appeal for the transformation of Kensington Palace, Historic Royal Palaces wanted to let donors capture moments in the history of the palace. For the most generous donors, a selection of seven stories were written especially for the scheme by leading authors and historians, to be printed as single editions – just one unique publication of each story. The team at Historic Royal Palaces asked me to design and produce these stories, with the brief that they should be elegant and beautiful, and suggestive of luxury and exclusivity. I did some research into historic writing about Kensington Palace, and uncovered a poem written in 1700: ‘The Court at Kensington: A Poem on the Most Celebrated Beauties There’.


Printed in a large format (slightly narrower than A4), I particularly liked the use of catchwords: individual words placed at the bottom of the page which anticipate the first word on the next page. The use of these was widespread in the 16th and 17th centuries, and helped the reader move from one page to the next. I used the poem as the basis for my design, and then worked with the Wyvern Bindery to bind each of the stories. I also created a protective box for each one, wrapped with a belly-band.