Axis Graphic Design


Breaking Ground book launched

Sunday, October 30th, 2016

See details on our publications page here

See details on our publications page here


Breaking Ground: Art, Archaeology & Mythology

Sunday, October 30th, 2016

Short listed for the William Hill Sports Book of Year 2017

A unique collaboration of art, archaeology and the fans who participated and ultimately made it possible!

Click here to see full list

ISBN: 978 0 9554825 6 4


The huge demand for the book in the wake of the William Hill Sports Book Prize shortlisting means we have sold out of the first edition of Breaking Ground and there are currently no plans for a reprint. 




What started with a world first – the archaeological excavation of a goalpost hole – ended with a trowel as an exhibit in the National Football Museum. It is to all intents and purposes, ground breaking. In 2013, the Park Avenue football ground, a long-forgotten time capsule of Bradford’s social history, began to be unearthed by archaeologist Jason Wood and artist Neville Gabie.

That first tentative dig convinced them to grab the moment before the ground’s legacy was lost forever. Invigorated by the fans’ enthusiasm, with funding from Arts Council England and the National Football Museum, and with the blessing of Bradford Metropolitan Council, they returned in 2015 with an enlarged team of archaeologists and artists, once again to be embraced by the passionate Avenue fans with their contributions and insights. It is a publication which uses art and archaeology to celebrate the mythology of this once great club.

The book also contains a DVD of artist works and interviews with the archaeologist and fans.


Completing the shortlist is Breaking Ground: Art, Archaeology and Mythology, which uncovers the ‘lost’ place of Bradford Park Avenue football club and, as a collection of essays, marks a first in form for the Award.
William Hill Sports Book of the Year 2017 press release

“It reminds me of Damien Hirst’s archaeological book of his Diamond Skull, but it’s more Jeremy Deller than Hirst”
As reviewed by @pittsmike in @archaeologyuk


When Saturday Comes “A book with heart and soul: not so much due to the facts or artefacts uncovered by the project, but in digging up memories of matchday experiences”

Daily Express “Photography books are rare nominees for the Sports Book Of The Year award so those that make the shortlist are well deserving. Breaking Ground is possibly the fi rst account of football archaeology, both physical and emotional. This crowd-funded visual masterpiece chronicles the fascinating excavation of Bradford Park Avenue FC’s former ground at Horton Park, beginning in 2015.”  5/5 

Football Book Reviews “It will be picked up and put down, as the pages are revisited time and time again”

The Guardian Best Sports Books of the Year 2017


“Importantly, it also stands as a lesson in how publically funded projects like this can (and perhaps should) be made intelligible to communities by the use of their knowledge and memories.

The feeling is always mutual however, and Breaking Ground never stops giving, all the way to the careful-you-don’t-miss-it ‘Souvenir’ DVD of extra material found within the inside back cover. The volume’s concluding remarks refers to the old football ground as a ‘people’s palace’ (128). If this is so, then Breaking Ground is a treasure trove magically recovered from that palace.”
Ian Waites (2017): Breaking ground: art, archaeology & mythology, International Journal of Heritage Studies, DOI: 10.1080/13527258.2017.1338604

“What a superb production and a very interesting looking book! I believe this is a first entry to our collection along the lines of goal line archaeology!
And of course, it looks to be a fascinating and moving insight into the social history aspect also.”
Amy Wolstenholme
Senior Library Assistant Rewley House Continuing Education Library, one of the Bodleian Libraries





Breaking Ground: Art, Archaeology & Mythology

Friday, October 21st, 2016

What started with a world first – the archaeological excavation of a goalpost hole – ended with a trowel as an exhibit in the National Football Museum. It is to all intents and purposes, ground breaking.
In 2013, the Park Avenue football ground, a long-forgotten time capsule of Bradford’s social history, began to be unearthed by archaeologist Jason Wood and artist Neville Gabie.
That first tentative dig convinced them to grab the moment before the ground’s legacy was lost forever. Invigorated by the fans’ enthusiasm, with funding from Arts Council England and the National Football Museum, and with the blessing of Bradford Metropolitan Council, they returned in 2015 with an enlarged team of archaeologists and artists, once again to be embraced by the passionate Avenue fans with their contributions and insights.
It is a publication which uses art and archaeology to celebrate the mythology of this once great club.

Click here to order. All enquiries to



The Human Document: Mead Gallery

Thursday, October 6th, 2016

Accompanying newspaper for exhibition at Mead Gallery, University of Warwick
including all invites, flyers and postcards

The Human Document takes The Bitter Years as its starting point in exploring artists’ enduring fascination with the FSA Historical Section– both as photographs designed to awaken human emotions and as a collective body of images. It presents a selection of photographs from The Bitter Years, corresponding to Steichen’s original thematic groupings, alongside photography by contemporary artists including Richard Billingham, Paul Graham, Sunil Gupta, Chris Killip, Susan Lipper and Eileen Perrier as well as the film installation On Photography, People and Modern Times by Akram Zaatari.


Marcantonio Raimondi, Raphael and the Image Multiplied

Saturday, October 1st, 2016

Published by Manchester University Press and the Whitworth, this extensively illustrated catalogue to accompany the exhibition features the work of one of the radical originators and innovators of the European tradition of printmaking, Marcantonio Raimondi (c. 1480-c. 1534). Marcantonio was one of the leading printmakers of the Italian Renaissance and is best known for his groundbreaking collaboration with the Renaissance artist Raphael. This is the first Marcantonio Raimondi exhibition for thirty-five years and the first ever in the UK.

24opp softback

No. 04 in the Whitworth series of publications



Pillars of Light: Jeremy Gardiner

Monday, September 12th, 2016

This is the accompanying publication to Paisnel Gallery’s new exhibition from Bath-based artist Jeremy Gardiner around the theme of the lighthouse. The artist explores the dramatic south west coastline of Cornwall, Devon and Dorset, travelling from the islands of Lundy to Godrevy and on to the Isle of Wight.

This is reflected in the use of spot varnish details throughout the publication, which glint and catch the eye on the paper surface. The publication is wrapped in an unusual hard dust jacket that houses the DVD.



Planit: Sadlers Yard publicity material

Monday, July 11th, 2016

Singer sewing machine stitched brochure outlining the new Sadler’s Yard development in the Northern Quarter of Manchester, the public realm was designed by Planit.

Photography by Len Grant and Adrian Lambert.
Print by Andrew Kilburn Print Services.

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Because of Judo: Richard Goulding

Saturday, May 21st, 2016

Days before he died Akinori Hosaka said to Richard Goulding, “I am not a wealthy man but, because of judo in my heart, I am a millionaire”. This statement led to a five year project and the resulting photographs are now published as a monograph by The Ichiban Press.

[from RG]

Stunning photographs, beautifully reproduced in duotone by Graphius, Ghent

The book is available from here


Fashion & Freedom: Manchester Art Gallery

Friday, May 13th, 2016

Latest gallery publication designed within the new evolving house-style for Manchester Art Gallery.

Two stocks were used to explore different facets of the show and the cover was soft-touch laminated and gold foil embossed.



Mark Titchner – Live the Life that You Imagine

Thursday, June 11th, 2015

Live the Life that You Dream commissioned and published by InSite Arts, documents the contemporary installations by artist Mark Titchner, installed in One St Peters Square, Manchester.

The artworks were commissioned by Argent, Glenn Howell Architects and on-site art consultants InSite Arts, the works employ multi-layered gold and silver acrylic extracts of text, adapted from Henry David Thoreau’s Walden 1984 and a pamphlet published post Peterloo in 1819, The Political House that Jack built.

Design, photography and print management: Axis
Essay: Simon Grennan
Print: De Coker, Antwerp









John Plumb: A Retropspective

Tuesday, June 9th, 2015

Extract from Paisnel Gallery press release:

Counting Mark Rothko and William Turnbull as peers, and enjoying a 50-year career at the centre of abstract British art, the late John Plumb is finally achieving the recognition his work deserves. Paisnel Gallery is delighted to mark the renaissance of one of the most instinctive painters of the 20th century with its forthcoming exhibition, John Plumb a retrospective, his first career-spanning show. The exhibition runs from 10-20 June at Paisnel Gallery and Gallery 8, both in St James’s, London.

After studying at Central Saint Martins, John Plumb had become a distinguished abstract painter by the 1960s. Initially making his name with a series of stunningly rich tachiste paintings, it was Plumb’s inclusion in the epochal Situation exhibitions, alongside artists such as Bridget Riley and John Hoyland, which signalled his rise to prominence. On a large scale, his use of tape, colour and geometric form was emblematic of London’s status as the 1960s capital of cool, with one of the 1962 tape series now featuring in Tate’s collection.

Plumb progressed from there. With Rothko as a contemporary and acquaintance, he began producing colour-fields of dramatic scale, presence and atmosphere, admired across late 1960s Europe. Plumb’s deep interest in American abstract art and jazz subsequently led him to employ the element of chance in his work, randomly picking day-glo colours to create striking improvisational grids and structures throughout the 1970s.

For various reasons the 1980s were unproductive for Plumb and it was not until the 1990s that he captured the public imagination again, with his large-scale hydrastructure series. This energetic, organic series, also shown in the Tate Collection, is further evidence of his dedication to expression. The John Plumb exhibition explores all these distinct phases of his career, from the 1950s right through to the last work displayed from 1995.

According to gallery owner, Stephen Paisnel, “Artists should be measured by their ability to evolve, invent and progress, and you only have to look at Plumb’s work over a 50-year period to see that not only was he diverse and confident, he was courageous. His work is impulsive in colour, scale, energy and power and the volume makes it truly great to behold. People wanted to live with his work in the past and we really hope collectors will view this exhibition and the catalogue and think, ‘I never realised he was this good’”.

Alongside the larger paintings, the gallery will be showing smaller studies and presenting a collection of fascinating archive material, including photographs, press reviews and sketch books.

The exhibition catalogue, with an introductory essay by the late Frank Whitford, will be available from 25 May.







Visiting Minds 2013: Radical Pedagogy, Art as Education

Tuesday, May 5th, 2015

Commissioned from afar by editor Adrienne Samos from Panama, this publication documents the project conceived by artist Humberto Vélez, to explore art and education within the Latin American context. This book collates the outcomes of the international forum held in May of 2103.

Described as a memoir it contains the key note speeches and exchanges of ideas between speakers and audience, with essays and documentation of Vélez’ ‘Miss Education’ intervention.

272pp soft-back publication produced with exposed binding and coloured stitching.

ISBN 978-9962-8974-3-9

















Back in Focus: Jobs, Friends and Houses

Friday, April 24th, 2015

Jobs, Friends and Houses is a property development company that employs ex-offenders and ex-addicts who are in abstinent recovery to renovate derelict houses in the town. The properties are either sold on or rented to the recovery community.

The community interest company provides quality employment, stable accommodation and a hub of people committed to turning their lives around.

Len Grant worked with Bradley, Paul and Terry on a photography project – designed to build self-esteem.

As part of their project, I gave a morning workshop on how to edit, assemble and design a newspaper showing the work of the photographers, it was titled Back in Focus. Distributed as part of the outdoor exhibition in April at the Library and Art Gallery in Blackpool, it was blessed with good weather and created a great deal of interest on the street.

Axis is working with Len on developing a book that will follow the year-long story of Jobs, Friends and Houses through 2015-16. [AW]

The project was supported by LeftCoast.






Frank Henry Mason: Marine Painter and Poster Artist

Sunday, April 5th, 2015

Commissioned by Coley Books Ltd and written by Edward Yardley. This is the first major publication looking at the artist’s output. It was produced to accompany a touring exhibition that opened at Hartlepool Art Gallery in March 2015.

ISBN 978-0-9931892-2-7


“The result of their meeting is a lovely new book about Frank Mason by Edward Yardley and a series of major exhibitions of Frank Henry Mason’s art over the next few months.

The first exhibition opened last night at Hartlepool Art Gallery in Church Square. It opens to the public Saturday 21st March and runs until the 30th May 2015. I went to the preview evening and I have to say, it’s probably the finest exhibition I’ve seen in the North East since the Winslow Homer Exhibition in 1988 at the Northern Centre for Contemporary Art in Sunderland.

Frank Henry Mason’s varied artistic skills are clearly evident in his delightful watercolours of sailing ships, fishing vessels, places like Venice, Portugal and the North East Coast. There are also dramatic seascapes depicting World War 1 & 2 navel conflicts, his carefully considered etchings and of course his stunning railway posters.

One of my favourites is this beautifully executed watercolour and gouache painting of Pyramids at Gizza seen in what looks like early evening light. The limited palate has been tastefully chosen to render the fading light. Flicks of red, ultramarine and pink add subtle sparkle to the scene. The crescent moon hanging off centre in the sky, just above the towering palm trees is a small but crisp contrast to the smooth, skilfully rendered washes for the sky.

Make no mistake, Frank Henry Mason was a very fine painter. This exhibition is an absolute must. If that wasn’t enough, another exhibition opens Saturday 21st March at Darlington Railway Museum of Railway Posters and Carriage Prints by Frank Henry Mason. Both exhibitions run until 30th May.”

Extract from







Glimpses: ArtAncient

Tuesday, January 20th, 2015

ArtAncient specialises in ancient art, including numismatics, and artworks of cultural and historical interest.

Axis were commissioned to create a print catalogue of a selection of beautiful artefacts and the stories behind them.












Sensory War 1914–2014: Manchester Art Gallery

Saturday, October 11th, 2014

Accompanying the major group exhibition marking the Centenary of the First World War, Sensory War explores how artists have communicated the impact of military conflict on the body, mind, environment and human senses between 1914 and 2014.

Saturday 11 October 2014 – Sunday 22 February 2015
Manchester Art Gallery  Free





Unreliable Evidence – Mead Gallery

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014

64pp tabloid newspaper, newspaper dispenser, invite and flyer commisioned to accompany the exhibition.

The Execution of Maximilian
by Edouard Manet
and Other Histories

Edgardo Aragón, Zarina Bhimji, Omer Fast, Rabih Mroué, Santiago Sierra, Hito Steyerl, Luc Tuymans

The Execution of Maximilian depicts the fatal moment when the young Emperor Maximilian of Mexico, abandoned by the French colonial forces that had installed him there some three years earlier, was shot alongside two of his generals, Mejía and Miramón, on 19 June 1867. The left hand section of the canvas was lost during Manet’s lifetime. After his death it was cut into smaller fragments, some of which were sold off separately, eventually to be reassembled by Edgar Degas. The painting has been part of the National Gallery Collection since 1918.

This important painting – presented at the Mead Gallery as part of the National Gallery Masterpiece Tour – forms the centrepiece to a specially curated exhibition of works by some of today’s greatest artists from across the world. Together they speak of the way the past is represented to us, and of the personal stories at the heart of violent events which are either lost or – like the image of Maximilian’s hand clasping Miramón’s – can only be glimpsed. [Mead]

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Designers in Residence 2014

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014

Commissioned to deliver the graphic identity for the annual ‘Designers in Residence’ exhibition, in conjunction with 3D designers Hunting & Narud we delivered the publication – a newsprint publication wrapped in a litho, debossed cover and all the information design surrounding the four designers’ work.

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Virgn with a Memory: Sophia Al-Maria

Tuesday, September 16th, 2014

The novelised version of Beretta’s script, Virgin with a Memory: The Exhibition Tie-in, is published to accompany the major new exhibition by Sophia at Cornerhouse, Manchester. This piece is predicated on Al-Maria’s idea that in today’s challenging environment for independent cinema, the only way to achieve an unadulterated director’s cut of a film is to write it as a novel, making it the director’s sole property. Darker and more introspective than the medium of film allows, the novel is written from the perspective of Suad and interspersed with entries from Al-Maria’s production diary. It also features production research, emails, budgets, kit-lists, schedules, sketches, storyboards, headshots and excerpts from the shooting script. [Cornerhouse]

Available here

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Contemporary Heritage: A new way of seeing

Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013

“This is Contemporary Heritage. A thoughtful, thought provoking series of commissions across the Pennine area that tell new stories, ask new questions and formulate new answers to its rich, often dark, histories.” 

Laurie Peake, Director of Projects and Programmes, Liverpool Biennial


Axis designed and branded a commission for Mid Pennine Art back in 2004 called Panopticons | Land. After that commission ended five years later, they developed a new series of commissions in some of the wonderful ‘heritage assets’ of the region titled Contemporary Heritage: A new way of seeing.

This publication is the first of two volumes, and is a document of the first three commissions:

Not Forgotten: Geraldine Pilgrim

Taken: Ailís Ní Ríain

No Match: Claire Morgan


ISBN 978-0-9509878-6-6


Volume 2 is currently in production.










1 Angel Square: Len Grant

Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013

1 Angel Square is the new home for one of the UK’s most recognised brands, and one of Manchester’s most valued employers.

This dramatic addition to the city’s skyline is already a multi-award-winning structure, boasting more environmentally-friendly features than any of its size in Europe.

Combining text and photographs, Len Grant has documented this iconic new building throughout its construction. He has interviewed the project team, from clients through to architects, engineers and builders, and created a striking pictorial record of The Co-operative Group’s new head office in Manchester’s new NOMA district.

[back cover text]

Published by Manchester University Press

ISBN: 978 0 7190 9110 0


Axis was also commissioned to produce a special commemorative box for the book, which was then presented to Her Majesty at the official visit and opening of the building on 14 November 2013.

The Queen certainly looks pleased to receive her special Len Grant book. The second in her collection, as she was presented with a previous Axis / Len Grant collaboration at the Commonwealth Games – The Mancunian Way, Clinamen Press.



















Institute of Public Information, Faculty of Provocation, Oldham College

Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013

We’ve been commissioned to work on an intriguing project in Oldham, by the mysterious Institute of Public Information. We can’t tell you who they are or we’d have to kill you. Needless to say an exciting project is about to land and we have been lucky enough to design the logo for the project.

More information will follow in due course as website and social media platforms are launched in late October.

If you do nothing else follow @IofPI and get ready to interact and be provoked.


Field of Play: Neville Gabie

Friday, August 2nd, 2013

It would be fair to say we have completed a lot of projects for Neville Gabie, every collaboration is a pleasure. Last year we designed Great Lengths 2012, after his Olympic Park residency and then we followed that up with his limited edition book The Greatest Distance.

A small piece of print for his Bristol University residency was completed this year and now we’ve just designed a specially commissioned blad for his on-going goalpost photography project called Field of Play, which explores his documentary collection from around the World.

At the same time we have been revamping his website in collaboration with Leanda Ryan.

Neville’s site has been completely restructured for both desktop and mobile devices and can be viewed here