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Lead Image

Ultralight Gear: Don’t Waste Your Time in the Canadian Rockies

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Production Method

Die-cut
Lithography

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Design

Subplot Design Inc.

Creative director, designer, illustrator: Matthew Clark
Writer: Craig Copeland
Photographer: Kathy Copeland
Production Artist: C.J. Poznansky

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Printing

Asia Pacific Offset
Case Manufacturer: Royal Case Company

Breaking up a 677-page tome into nearly weightless booklets, Vancouver-based Subplot Design makes hiking into the mountains a peak experience. 

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Client

hikingcamping.com


Quantity Produced


Production Cost


Production Time

Dimensions (Width × Height × Depth)

5.5 × 8.5 × 2 in


Page Count

677 pages


Paper Stock


Number of Colors

4

Varnishes


Binding

matte laminate, perfect bound


Typography

Stag
Zig Zag
Palatino Linotype

This piece is available for purchase for $59.95 + Shipping


Ultralight Gear: Don't Waste Your Time in the Canadian Rockies
Ultralight Gear: Don't Waste Your Time in the Canadian Rockies
Ultralight Gear: Don't Waste Your Time in the Canadian Rockies
Ultralight Gear: Don't Waste Your Time in the Canadian Rockies
Ultralight Gear: Don't Waste Your Time in the Canadian Rockies ---

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Project Description

How can a 700-page hiking guidebook be considered "Ultralight Gear"?

Guidebooks have always been hiking gear, but publishers have ignored that fact. So Alberta, Canada’s hikingcamping.com re-invented the guidebook when they created the 7th edition of Don’t Waste Your Time in the Canadian Rockies.

In setting out to package this set of books, Subplot Design Inc. aimed to make it a serious piece of ultralight equipment. It doesn’t even look like a book. It’s protected in a bright green, hardshell case that looks like outdoor gear. Zip it open and you’ll see it allows you to leave most of the book behind when you go hiking but take the trail directions and orientation map in your pack, so you always have those essentials with you in the backcountry. The average trail-weight per hike is just 67 grams, or 2.4 ounces. That’s as light as a pair of sunglasses you can wear on your nose all day without noticing.

The Ultralight Gear 7th edition is divided into Opinion and Fact. The Opinion book contains all the trip descriptions, and most of the photos. It’s intended for use at home, in the car, at the trailhead. It provides everything you need to choose your next hike. It’s also an inspiring read when you’re between trips. But it stays behind, in the hardshell case, when you go hiking. The nine Fact booklets contain the trail directions and orientation maps. For each hike, you carry just the one booklet you need. Compared to eReaders, tablets or smartphones, these booklets are lighter, simpler to use, and easier on your eyes. They don’t rely on limited batteries. They won’t break if you drop them.

Production Lesson(s)

1. Let the function inform the form.
In this case, wanting to lighten the weight for hikers and yet maintain the deep-dive format of the book (677 pages!) lead to the idea to create a modular book in a case, rather than a single, large tome.

2. Be patient with the industrial design component.
Innovating a custom case was a challenge. Working closely with the manufacturer, we went through many rounds of development to achieve the final case, and make sure all elements (foam, fabric, 3M coating, rubber zipper pull, pockets, rubber front tag, emboss) all worked to our satisfaction.”

Post Author

Author Picture

Jessica Mullen

Writer for UnderConsideration LLC.

More: Online / On Twitter

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Date Published

July 16, 2015

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Filed Under

Books
Die-cut
Lithography

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About

FPO (For Print Only), is a division of UnderConsideration, celebrating the reality that print is not dead by showcasing the most compelling printed projects.

FPO uses Fonts.com to render Siseriff and Avenir Next.

FPO is run with Six Apart’s MovableType

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All comments, ideas and thoughts on FPO are property of their authors; reproduction without the author’s or FPO’s permission is strictly prohibited

Contact us by e-mail

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About UnderConsideration

UnderConsideration is a graphic design firm generating its own projects, initiatives, and content while taking on limited client work. Run by Bryony Gomez-Palacio and Armin Vit in Austin, TX. More…


blogs we publish

Brand New / Displaying opinions and focusing solely on corporate and brand identity work.

Art of the Menu / Cataloguing the underrated creativity of menus from around the world.

Quipsologies / Chronicling the most curious, creative, and notable projects, stories, and events of the graphic design industry on a daily basis.

products we sell

Flaunt: Designing effective, compelling and memorable portfolios of creative work.

Brand New Conference videos / Individual, downloadable videos of every presentation since 2010.

Prints / A variety of posters, the majority from our AIforGA series.

Other / Various one-off products.

events we organize

Brand New Conference / A two-day event on corporate and brand identity with some of today's most active and influential practitioners from around the world.

Brand Nieuwe Conference / Ditto but in Amsterdam.

Austin Initiative for Graphic Awesomeness / A speaker series in Austin, TX, featuring some of the graphic design industry's most awesome people.

also

Favorite Things we've Made / In our capacity as graphic designers.

Projects we've Concluded / Long- and short-lived efforts.

UCllc News / Updates on what's going at the corporate level of UnderConsideration.


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